‘He’s a horse for these big stages’: Ireland completes team competition at European Showjumping Championships

  • Ireland has finished in fifth in the team final at the European Showjumping Championships at Riesenbeck, Germany, on Friday (3 September).

    The 2017 team gold medallists went into today’s deciding round on a score of 20.73. Pathfinder Daniel Coyle with his own and Ariel Grange’s Legacy hoped to replicate their clear jumping round from yesterday (2 September), but the mare got a little bit flat over fence 10, resulting in a frustrating four faults as they took down the planks.

    “It seemed like a simple fence, but she just breathed on it and it fell over,” said Daniel. “The whole line; the combination to the oxer, to the vertical, and the gold fence [fence nine] – it’s a long way up and a lot of jumping in a short space of time. Then the horses get a little breather and the planks come up.

    “The course was riding quite nicely until there. I’m a little disappointed but I’ve had a good championship so far.”

    Michael Duffy and 10-year-old Zilton SL Z were on brilliant form today, jumping a faultless round. The scopey gelding by Zirocco Blue VDL looked confident and forward as the pair navigated Frank Rothenberger’s challenging track.

    “It was a lot bigger and meatier today, a proper marathon,” said Michael. “He jumped great yesterday – it’s about getting that experience and mileage, but there’s only one way to get it and that’s by going in and doing it.”

    Michael said the best is still to come from HMF Equestrian’s and Katherine Duffy’s gelding.

    “He’s a horse for these big stages, he grows into them. We are still only 80% there with him,” he said.

    “He’s a super tough and he’s going to be around a while. You’re going to hear a lot about him someday and I hope it’s with me. The horse is everything, he has everything. There’s no flaw in his body or mind so it’s just putting it all together.”

    Eoin McMahon, 26, who was making his championship debut at the European Showjumping Championships, picked up four faults with Madeleine Winter-Schulze’s 15-year-old gelding Chacon 2.

    Last to go Mark McAuley and 12-year-old Jasco VD Bisschop rode a rhythmical round, but caught the back rail of the oxer at fence four and knocked the first part of the double verticals at 12, to collect eight faults.

    Three of Ireland’s riders have qualified for the individual final of the European Showjumping Championships on Sunday (5 September). Daniel goes through in 12th place and 8.39 penalties, Eoin in 19th on 10.70 and Michael in 20th on 11.37. Mark finished in 39th individually on 20.97.

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