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Photo: The bronze medal winning Irish Pony Eventing team (far right) stand on the podium at the FEI European Championships in Le Mans, France
Eventing Ireland

Irish Domination at Youth European Championship Level Continues

General News
Photo: The bronze medal winning Irish Pony Eventing team (far right) stand on the podium at the FEI European Championships in Le Mans, France


A remarkable run of results for Irish athletes at European Championship underage level has concluded today (Sunday), with Irish U16 (Pony) riders winning the individual gold and bronze medals, while the Irish Pony Eventing team won the team bronze medal at the FEI Jumping European Championships for Ponies in Le Mans, France.

The Show Jumping individual final saw Sligo’s Paddy Reape riding Fernando, bred by Sean Judge, as the only combination to jump clear in all four rounds of the Championships to take the individual gold medal. Limerick’s Kian Dore riding Sparkling Lackamore Joey went into a three-way jump-off for silver and bronze after finishing on four faults. Just one fence down against the clock for the Irish combination saw them take third place and the bronze medal. Westmeath’s James Derwin riding Rincoola Babog (ISH), bred by the late Harold McGahern, and Kilkenny’s Emily Moloney riding Lady Crown also finished inside the top five, sharing fifth place on an eight fault total. Kilkenny’s Abbie Oakey riding Boutade Ste Hermelle finished in 14th. The result came less than 48 hours after Ireland won the European Championship Pony team gold medal in Show Jumping.

Meanwhile the Irish Pony Eventing team also collected the European Bronze medal on Sunday morning with another fantastic performance. The team of Meath’s Carla Williamson, Down’s Molly O’Connor, Wexford’s Hannah Willis, Wicklow’s Ciara O’Connor and Kildare’s Ben Connors, managed by Jane Kinsella, finished on a final score of 129.2 – well clear of fourth placed Netherlands who finished on 180.2. The German team took home the team gold medal on 97.3 while the silver medal went to France on 112.6. The silver medal winning French team included two Connemara Ponies – Duncan’s Star (Derrymore Duncan x Ciuin Star) with Laurick Hardy, bred by Christy Fitzgibbon, and Babylon Night Graves (Midnight du Brana x of Courbette de Gere) with Tifaniie Villenton, bred by Audrey Dauge.

Meath’s Carla Williamson with Galco narrowly missed out on an individual medal. Two fences down in the final jumping phase saw them finish just one place outside the medals in fourth with a score of 35.8. Wicklow’s Ciara O’Connor with Agharanny Minstrel (CP), finished 12th on 45.1, while Down’s Molly O’Connor was 15th with Coolnaleen Rebel (ISH)[TIH] on 48.3. Wexford’s Hannah Willis was just one place further back in 16th with Kilnaspic Lily (ISH) on 53.4, while Kildare’s Ben Connors with Cornafest Fred (CP) finished in 22nd place on 59.8.

Irish Horse Board Director General Alison Corbally said:

“These results crown what has been a phenomenal couple of weeks for Irish riders and breeders at the very highest level in Europe. Many congratulations to Paddy Reape and Kian Dore on their medal wins today, and to the Irish Pony Eventing team of Carla Williamson, Molly O’Connor, Hannah Willis, Ciara O’Connor and Ben Connors, who took home the bronze medal. It was also notable how many of the ponies that competed for other nations at these Championships were bred in Ireland, and that is down to the many fantastic breeders and producers that we have in this country. Many congratulations to the Pony Show Jumping team manager Gary Marshall and Pony Eventing team manager Jane Kinsella on their medal wins and to all the parents, owners and coaches.”

In the last fortnight, Irish horses and riders have won European team gold in Show Jumping at U16 (Pony), U18 (Junior), U21 (Young Rider) level. Ireland has also won the U16 (Pony) and U21 Young Rider individual gold, along with U18 (Junior) individual silver and U16 (Pony) individual bronze, while the Irish (U16) Pony Eventing team also won team bronze.


Breeding: Show Jumping

Fernando (SIES) – 2010 gelding by Mr Pretender. Dam Castleside Topaz by Clonmany JJ. Breeder: Sean Judge. Owner: Jonathan Reape. Rider: Paddy Reape (IRL)

Rincoola Babog (ISH) – 2011 stallion by Luidam (KWPN) out of Rincoola Abu (ISH) by Cruising TIH. Breeder: Harold McGahern. Owner: Jim Derwin. Rider: James Derwin (IRL)


Breeding: Eventing

Agharanny Minstrel (CP) – 2007 stallion by Castleside J.J (CP) out of Silver Mint (CP). Breeder: Sean Hynes. Owner: Noreen O’Connor and Sharon O’Connor. Rider: Ciara O’Connor (IRL).

Kilnaspic Lily (ISH) – 2013 mare by Woodfield Sammy (CP) out of Our Queen (UNK). Breeder: Anneline O’Malley Neary. Owner: Laura Bowe. Rider: Hannah Willis (IRL).

Coolnaleen Rebel (ISH)[TIH] – 2010 gelding by Rebel Mountain (ID) out of Crested Ten Lady (IRE)(TB). Breeder: Noeleen Redmond. Owner: Paul O’Connor. Rider: Molly O’Connor (IRL).

Cornafest Fred (CP) – 2013 gelding by Gwennic De Goariva (CP) out of Corrnafest Nora (CP). Breeder: Thomas Grimes. Owner: Kieran Connors and Michelle Nelson. Rider: Ben Connors (IRL).


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