Irish Horse Board hosts reception at HHS Horse Show to honour European medal winners

Photo (L-R) Mayor of Kilkenny City Cllr Joe Malone (FF), James Brennan, Eoin Brennan, Coen Williams, Timmy Brennan, Rhys Williams, Seamus Hughes Kennedy, Niamh McEvoy, Ciaran Nallon and Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Michael Doyle (FG). Photo: Joe Cashin Photography

The Irish Horse Board hosted a reception on Saturday at HHS Horse Show in Kilkenny, to honour the fantastic achievements of Irish athletes, breeders, owners and coaches, in winning two team gold medals, along with individual gold and silver medals at last weekend’s 2023 FEI Youth European Show Jumping Championships.

Photo L-R Andy Hughes and Andrew Hughes from Ennisnag Stud breeders of ESI Rocky (ISH), Mayor of Kilkenny City Cllr Joe Malone (FF), Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Michael Doyle (FG), double gold medal winner Seamus Hughes Kennedy, Melvyn Kennedy, Alison Corbally (Irish Horse Board Director General) and John McGuinness T.D for Carlow/Kilkenny.

In addition to the medal winning athletes and their connections, the reception was attended by local politicians including the Mayor of Kilkenny City Cllr Joe Malone (FF), Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Michael Doyle (FG) and John McGuinness (FF) T.D for Carlow/Kilkenny.

Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Michael Doyle (FG) congratulated all of the athletes on their great success at the European Championships and said:

“This is no mean achievement and takes years of hard work and dedication from the athletes and their families. All of these riders have done their country proud and it is fitting that The Irish Horse Board have honoured your achievements here at Hughes Horse Stud. I would also like to wish Kilkenny’s Emily Moloney and the Irish pony team the best of luck in their upcoming European Championships. All of this could not happen without the support of families and trainers and in particular I would like to extend a warm word of thanks to the Irish Chef d’Equipe James Kernan and team vet Seamus McSorley. Team Ireland continue to compete extremely successfully at this level and I wish all of these young athletes the best of success in their future equestrian endeavours. I would like to thank Marion Hughes, Miguel and their family for inviting me to the show. “

A presentation of framed photos of the athletes competing at the European Championships was made by The Irish Horse Board to the athletes, owners and winning breeders.

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

“On behalf of The Irish Horse Board I would like to thank everyone for attending this reception to honour the fantastic achievements of the Junior and Young Rider team and individual medal winners. Our Irish horses and riders really were phenomenal throughout the week and it wasn’t just about winning the medals. The level of performances, the standard of riding and coolness under pressure, you were fantastic. These were all things that well-respected people from all over Europe commented on – including the great French rider Michel Robert. To Seamus Hughes Kennedy, Eoin, James and Timmy Brennan, Max and Tom Wachman, Ciaran Nallon, Niamh McEvoy, Coen and Rhys Williams, and not forgetting the Children On Horses team, you all did a fantastic job.

“This victory is not just a testament to the talent and dedication of these young riders, it reflects the unwavering support provided by their coaches, their families and the entire equestrian community. Together they have proven that the hard work, perseverance and passion, can lead to extraordinary accomplishments.”

Alison Corbally also congratulated team manager James Kernan, and the breeders of the three Irish-bred horses on the medal winning teams – Dorothea Wilson (Templepatrick Welcome Limmerick (ISH), Ennisnag Stud (ESI Rocky (ISH) and Tom Brennan (MHS Im The One (ISH). Alison Corbally paid special tribute to everyone involved in Showjumping Ireland, adding:

“I would like to give a special mention to everyone at Showjumping Ireland who are the foundation of this success. All the riders started their careers at pony level, competing at shows throughout the country. To Horse Sport Ireland for their support to the squads and their qualified coaches who are associated with almost all of the riders and horses, developing their skill and talent to win in Europe. The hard-working volunteers, the judges, course builders and committee members are also a key part of the success that we are celebrating today. We also thank Marion and the Hughes family for hosting this event at an already busy show this weekend and It is a pleasure for The Irish Horse Board to host this reception.”

Alison Corbally finished by saying:

“I extend our heartfelt congratulations to all our team members on their fantastic performances. Your dedication, skill and team work has brought glory to Ireland and you have left an indelible “Irish” mark on the world of Show Jumping last weekend.”

All photos: Joe Cashin Photography