AN impressive performance from the Irish Show Jumping team of Daniel Coyle, Michael Duffy, Eoin McMahon and Mark McAuley, managed by Michael Blake, saw them finish in fifth place of 15 teams following the 2021 Longines FEI Jumping European Jumping Championships team final at Riesenbeck in Germany.
The Irish team included three riders making their Championship debut in Coyle, Duffy and McMahon, while McAuley was part of the Irish squad that won the European Championship team gold medal in Gothenburg (SWE) in 2017.
With Ireland starting the final in fifth place overall, Daniel Coyle and the Ariel Grange-owned ‘Legacy’ were pathfinders for the Irish and returned with one fence down for four faults. Galway’s Michael Duffy was next to jump and produced a brilliant clear round with the Katherine Duffy and HMF Equestrian-owned ‘Zilton SL Z’.
Co. Clare’s Eoin McMahon then looked to be heading for another Irish clear before agonisingly lowering the very last fence to finish with four faults. Co. Louth’s Mark McAuley Scea la Tuiliere-owned ‘Jasco vd Bisschop’ were last to go for Ireland and and they finished on eight faults, giving Ireland a final score of 28.73 to take fifth place overall.
Switzerland won the gold medal on a score of 9.47, while hosts Germany took silver on 12.77. Four clear rounds on the final day saw reigning European Champions Belgium overtake Olympic Champions Sweden to claim the bronze medal on a score of 17.34, with the Swedes finishing fourth less than one penalty ahead of Ireland.
Irish team manager Michael Blake commented: “Overall, I am very pleased with all our riders. Obviously, we would have liked to finish a bit higher, but we were only one fault off fourth in the end. We made a conscious decision to give some of our younger riders this opportunity at Championship level, as we are going to need them for the future and all-in-all, I think it was a very solid performance.”
Daniel Coyle, Michael Duffy and Eoin McMahon all qualified for Sunday’s European Championship individual final which was open to the top 25 riders.
Brilliant performances from Co. Clare’s Eoin McMahon with ‘Chacon 2’ and Derry’s Daniel Coyle with ‘Legacy’ saw both Irish riders finish inside the top 10 on Sunday in the Longines FEI Show Jumping European Championships Individual Final.
Eoin McMahon claimed a superb eighth place finish with the 15-year-old gelding ‘Chacon 2’ at what was McMahon’s first ever major championships. It was a special moment for the 26-year-old, who is actually based in Riesenbeck, with Germany superstar Ludger Beerbaum.
It was also a first major Championships for Daniel Coyle (27), who finished in 10th place with the 11-year-old mare ‘Legacy’. Three Irish riders had qualified for the individual final, with Galway’s Michael Duffy also finishing strongly to take 16th place overall with ‘Zilton SL Z’.
Germany’s Andre Thieme claimed the individual gold medal on home soil with ‘DSP Chakaria’. Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs took the silver with ‘Leone Jei’, while the bronze medal went to Sweden’s Peder Fredricson and ‘Catch Me Not S’.
Elsewhere at the weekend, Co. Kerry’s Capt Brian Cournane was best of the Irish when scoring an impressive fifth place finish in Saturday’s $500,000 RBC Grand Prix of Canada presented by Rolex at Spruce Meadows in Canada. Cournane was one of seven riders to make it into the jump-off, with victory going to former World No.1 Kent Farrington with ‘Gazelle’.
Ireland’s Nicky Galligan and the Irish Sport Horse ‘Javas Miss Jordan’ recorded an excellent win on Friday at Bridgehampton in New York in the $75,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix Qualifier.
Javas Miss Jordan (ISH) – 2009 mare by Luidam (KWPN), out of Ally Angel (ISH) by OBOS Quality 004 (OLD). Breeder: Judy Murphy, Co. Louth. Owner and Rider: Nicky Galligan (IRL).