Irish Pony Show Jumping team win Gold at European Championships

Ireland’s domination of the sport of Show Jumping across Europe at underage level has continued today (Friday), after the Irish U16 (Pony) Show Jumping team claimed the gold medal at the FEI European Championships for Ponies at Le Mans in France. The result means that Ireland are now the new European Show Jumping Champions at U16 (Ponies), U18 (Juniors) and U21 (Young Rider) level.

The Irish team of Westmeath’s James Derwin riding Rincoola Babog (ISH), Kilkenny’s Abbie Oakey riding Boutade Ste Hermelle, Limerick’s Kian Dore riding Sparkling Lackamore Joey, Sligo’s Paddy Reape riding Fernando and Kilkenny’s Emily Moloney riding Lady Crown, finished on a flawless zero score to take the gold medal in commanding fashion. Sweden took silver on 12 faults, while the bronze went to Britain on 16 faults.

Ireland, managed by Gary Marshall, started the day as one of four teams on a zero score following Thursday’s opening competition. A perfect performance from Ireland in the first of two rounds on Friday saw Ireland gain a three-fence advantage on their rivals heading into the final decider. The Irish teenagers kept their composure to finish on zero and be crowned the 2023 European Pony Show Jumping Champions.

Speaking after Ireland’s latest gold medal win, Irish Horse Board Director General Alison Corbally said:

“This was another outstanding performance from our Irish athletes and Irish ponies to win another European gold medal for Ireland. To become European Champions at U16, U18 and U21 level is a phenomenal achievement and is just reward for the hard work by the Irish riders, breeders, owners, parents and coaches. On behalf of The Irish Horse Board I want to congratulate Gary Marshall and his team members James Derwin, Abbie Oakey, Kian Dore, Paddy Reape and Emily Moloney along with all of their connections. I also wish them and the members of the Irish Pony Eventing and Pony Dressage teams the best of luck for the remainder of the Championships this weekend in Le Mans.”

Ireland has five riders inside the top 10 heading into the individual Pony Show Jumping final on Sunday, while the Irish Pony Eventing team are in the gold medal position ahead of Saturday’s Cross Country.

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)

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