Irish Showjumpers crowned double European Champions as U18 team win gold in Italy

Photo: The Irish U18 (Junior) Show Jumping team of Coen Williams, Eoin Brennan, Tom Wachman, James Brennan, Timmy Brennan and James Kernan (team manager) stand on the podium after winning the gold medal at the FEI European Championships in Gorla Minore, Italy

An outstanding weekend for Irish Show Jumping has continued today (Saturday) as the Irish Junior (U18) team has won Ireland’s second team gold medal at the 2023 FEI European Championships in Gorla Minore, Italy.
The James Kernan-managed Irish team of James Brennan with the Tom Brennan-bred MHS Im The One (ISH), Eoin Brennan with Eskola M, Coen Williams with Conthanja, Tom Wachman with Cathalina S and Timmy Brennan with Diadema Della Caccia, finished on a final score of 7.16 penalties.
Ireland came into the final day with a slender lead over the Dutch and at the finish, it needed two clear rounds from Ireland’s last two riders to secure the gold, as The Netherlands completed the final day with three clears to take silver, while Britain won their second bronze of the championships after a jump-off with Monaco.
Co Clare’s Coen Williams is in the gold medal position heading into Sunday’s individual final, while Tipperary’s Tom Wachman is also in contention for an individual medal.

Alison Corbally, Director General of the Irish Horse Board said:

“Many congratulations to the Irish Junior team, their parents, coaches and team manager James Kernan. To win one European gold medal is impressive but to add a second team gold in the space of 24 hours is incredible and shows the strength in depth of Irish athletes, Irish breeding and production. It was a brilliant performance from Coen Williams to secure the gold medal as last to jump under huge pressure and I wish him, Tom Wachman and the rest of the Irish riders the best of luck in the individual final. A special mention also to the the Brennan family as breeders and owners of the home-bred MHS Im The One (ISH) as part of the winning team.”

It was an incredible result for the Brennan families from Co Kilkenny with brothers Eoin and Timmy Brennan along with first cousin James Brennan all part of the gold medal team, while Tom Brennan is the breeder of MHS Im The One (ISH).

Speaking to The Irish Horse Board, a delighted Tom Brennan said:
“It’s unbelievable. The two anchor riders Tom and Coen were out of this world the way they jumped, they took us out of a hole – its a great result for everyone. It’s great for James Kernan as he hadn’t won a gold medal before this week and now he has two at the same championships. It’s been a great championships for Irish-bred horses. Seamus Hughes’ horse ESI Rocky (ISH) looks to be exceptional and so too is Niamh McEvoy’s Templepatrick Welcome Limmerick (ISH). It wouldn’t surprise me if Niamh took home another medal in the individuals, she is such a good rider.”

Irish Youth Show Jumping team manager James Kernan said:

“The riders and horses were superb. They were under real pressure this afternoon but they handled it brilliantly especially Tom and Coen. We were at a warm-up show back in April or May and Coen had the same situation, he had to go clear for us to win the Nations Cup and he did it. So I was quite confident when he came into the ring that he would do it.”

On Friday in Italy, the Irish U21 (Young Rider) team also won European team gold. The James Kernan-managed team of Seamus Hughes Kennedy riding the Ennisnag Stud-bred ESI Rocky (ISH), Tyrone’s Niamh McEvoy riding the Dorothea Wilson-bred Templepatrick Welcome Limmerick (ISH), Max Wachman with Quintini, Clare’s Rhys Williams with Playboy JT Z and Mayo’s Ciaran Nallon with Fifty Shades Of Grey, finished on a final score of just 2.5 penalties – well clear of Belgium who took silver on 15.09 penalties while Great Britain won bronze on 18.41.

MHS Im The One (ISH) – 2014 gelding by Lancelot (KWPN) out of Cavalier Kells Lady (ISH) by Cavalier Royale (HOLST). Breeder: Thomas Brennan. Owner: Sinead Byrne. Rider: James Brennan (IRL).
ESI Rocky (ISH) gelding by Stakkato Gold (HANN) out of Clonaslea (BWP) by For Pleasure (HANN) Breeder: Ennisnag Stud owned by Clare Hughes ridden by Seamus Hughes-Kennedy.
Templepatrick Welcome Limmerick (ISH) – 2010 mare by Limmerick (HOLST) out of Go Luckey (ISH) by Lux Z (HANN). Breeder: Dorothea Wilson. Owner: Robin Bingham. Rider: Niamh McEvoy (IRL).