Double gold medal win for Kilkenny’s Seamus Hughes Kennedy and Irish-bred ESI Rocky (ISH) at European Championships

Ireland’s Seamus Hughes-Kennedy and the Ennisnag Stud-bred ESI Rocky (ISH) have confirmed their position as the top Young Rider (U21) Show Jumping combination across Europe, by completing a stunning double gold medal win this morning (Sunday) at the FEI European Youth Championships in Gorla Minore, Italy.

Seamus was part of James Kernan’s Irish Young Rider team that claimed the team gold medal in Italy on Friday. He came into the individual final in the gold medal position and a flawless clear in the opening round of the individual final put him within touching distance of another win. He could afford one fence down in the second and final round and when he crossed the line with just one fence down as last to jump, he was confirmed as the new Young Rider individual European champion.
Sweden’s Beata Hermelin took home the silver medal while the bronze went to Dutch rider Skye Morssinkhof. Clare’s Rhys Williams and Playboy JT Z finished in sixth place overall, just ahead of Tyrone’s Niamh McEvoy and the Dorothea Wilson-bred Templepatrick Welcome Limmerick (ISH) in seventh, while Tipperary’s Max Wachman and Quintini finished in 11th.

Speaking after collecting his second European gold medal in the space of 48 hours, Seamus Hughes Kennedy said:
“I’d like to thank everyone that has helped us, it has been a long road. A special thanks to Ennisnag Stud run by our uncles just down the road [Stoneyford, Co Kilkenny]. They bred the horse [ESI Rocky] and we bought him then as a young horse and have had him for the last six years – so it ‘s been good to have something to show for it. A double gold medal sounds good so I can’t complain.”

Alison Corbally, Director General of the Irish Horse Board added:
Many congratulations to Seamus, his parents Clare Hughes and Melvyn Kennedy and to Ennisnag Stud, the breeders of ESI Rocky (ISH) on a fantastic performance to become double European champions. It was another wonderful result for all our horses and riders to finish with four Irish in the top 11 at a European Championships Young Rider individual final”

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).