AN outstanding performance from the GAIN Equine Nutrition Irish U21 (Young Rider) Show Jumping team saw them claim the team silver medal last Friday at the 2021 FEI European Championships in Vilamoura, Portugal.
The Irish team of Kayleigh Soden (‘Ard Leaderman’), Jack Ryan (‘BBS McGregor’ (ISH)), Sean Monaghan (‘Dalvaro’), Harry Allen (‘Guinness’) and Jason Foley (‘Clyde VA’) – managed by Liam Buckley – finished on a three-round total of 23.56 penalties. Belgium won the team gold on 21.35, while the bronze medal went to Britain on 28.72.
Two Irish riders remained in contention for medals heading into Sunday’s individual final. Wexford’s Harry Allen was in fifth, just one place ahead of Kilkenny’s Jack Ryan in sixth.
Irish Chef d’Equipe for the Irish youth teams at the Championships, Liam Buckley said: “This was a really great performance. The level at these Championships has been so high and it was a real fight for everyone to get a place on the podium. All of our riders were outstanding and you couldn’t pick out one over another. We are really thrilled. It was of course a real pity that team manager, James Kernan could not travel here due to Covid, but he was a huge support all week from back at home and we were in constant contact before and after every round. With a bit of luck, we may have even more success over the rest of the weekend here at the Championships.”
Horse Sport Ireland acting CEO Joe Reynolds added: “Huge congratulations to all our team members and their families on a fantastic performance to win the U21 team silver medal at the European Championships. This continues our excellent run of results at European level of the past number of years and once again the future for Irish Show Jumping looks extremely bright. I want to thank all our sponsors and in particular GAIN Equine Nutrition, all the support team and all our fantastic owners.”
Last Thursday, the Irish U18 (Junior) team of Max Wachman, Caragh Charlton, Francis Derwin and Tom Wachman finished fifth of 20 teams in their team final. Tom Wachman lay in the gold medal position with the Lady Bamford-owned ‘HHS Fireball’ going into the U18 individual final on Saturday.