Wachman caps off incredible week with European Championship silver

  • 16 July 2023, 18:08

Tom Wachman poses for a portrait during Horse Sport Ireland Youth Show Jumping Final training at the National Horse Sport Arena in the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Tom Wachman is a double European medallist after he won individual silver at the FEI Youth European Show Jumping Championships for Juniors (Under-18) this afternoon in Gorla Minore, Italy.

Tipperary’s Wachman and his mare Cathalina S rose from fifth place at the start of the day to finish in second after two fantastic rounds of jumping.

Having helped the GAIN Equine Nutrition Irish team to a gold medal earlier in the week Wachman entered the final for individuals in confident mood, beginning the day on a score of 1.82.

Knowing that nothing other than two clear rounds were required to get into the medals Wachman delivered in spades, jumping impeccably in the first round before another super clear ensured he finished in second place, on the same score he started with.

Austria’s Anastasia Nielsen topped the podium with Tailormade Contou on a score of 0.7 and Holland’s Nick Nanning was third on board Bandia, finishing on 2.78.

After what can only be described as a sensational week, Wachman said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the week – it’s great to be a part of this brilliant team of riders.

Tom Wachman and Cathalina S jumping their way to European Championship silver medal. Pic: Sportfot

“My mare was brilliant in every round and I’m really grateful to all the support team around me.”

Part of that support team is his coach and mentor, Ireland stalwart Cian O’Connor, and he couldn’t hide his emotions after Wachman’s achievement.

He said: “It’s been an exceptional week for all the youth teams here in Italy and it’s obvious for anyone to see the pure talent of all the Irish riders.

“They all work extremely hard and follow a system with their coaches and it really is noticed by the other nations.

“On Tom winning individual silver, I couldn’t be happier for him. His outstanding work ethic is inspirational to me as his coach as he has an inherent quality to dig deep and never give up – this is something that can’t be taught – I’m bursting with pride.”

Fellow Irish riders Eoin Brennan, from Kilkenny and Co. Clare’s Coen Williams had top 10 finishes, on board Eskola M and Conthanja, respectively, and can be extremely proud of their championship having helped their country to team gold.

HSI CEO, Denis Duggan, said: “This result just caps off what has been an incredible week for Irish show jumping – these youth athletes are a credit to Horse Sport Ireland, their coaches, their support team and families.

“Irish athletes and horses have carried all before them this week and I’m delighted for Tom as he has been superb in the saddle this season. He has an incredibly bright future, as do all of the Juniors, Young Riders and Children on horses who competed this week.

“We look forward to welcoming them home and honouring them in the coming weeks.”

The Irish Youth Show Jumping teams are sponsored by GAIN Equine Nutrition and supported by Sport Ireland, Bucas,
TRM Nutrition, Berney Bros Saddlery and Dubarry of Ireland