Two Irish riders through to the final medal-deciding round at the European Showjumping Championships

  • Ireland’s Eoin McMahon and Daniel Coyle are through to the final medal-deciding round at the European Showjumping Championships at Riesenbeck, Germany.

    The top 25 qualified for today’s (5 September) first round, but Emily Moffitt elected not to jump Winning Good meaning 24 came forward to tackle Frank Rothenberger’s 1.60m track.

    Eoin and Chacon 2 entered the ring in 17th place, and a superb jumping clear with just one time-penalty to add, boosted the pair into the final 12 combinations who will jump in the second round. He currently lies in 10th on 11.70 penalties.

    Jumping on home soil and making his championship debut at this European Showjumping Championships, Eoin said he was “over the moon” with Madeleine Winter-Schulze’s 15-year-old gelding.

    “That was proper jumping in there,” he said. “The oxers are a bit wider and with the lines you really have to be decisive and make a decision early whether you’re going to take one extra or one less stride.

    “It felt great, I’m thrilled to bits. My horse has jumped so good all week, there’s been a few rider errors but I’ve learnt an awful lot about championship showjumping,” he said.

    Daniel Coyle and his own and Ariel Grange’s 11-year-old mare Legacy entered the ring in 13th place. The pair fell foul of the second part of the double at fence 10, picking up four faults. Daniel went on to lose his stirrup following the penultimate fence but made a good recovery over the last and they completed inside the time. They sit in 12th on 13.39.

    The final line has proved influential with the double catching out many. The combinations then had to shorten up with seven strides to the penultimate oxer, then it was seven strides to the final big vertical.

    “Today’s a bigger test than we’ve been doing all week. None of it has been simple by any means but today is a different beast again. That last line after a lot of jumping is tough,” he said.

    “These championships have been a real experience for me, it’s gone better than I could have imagined. I’ve had two very unlucky faults, one today and one in the team final, which probably leaves me out of the medals now but my horse has jumped amazing and I look forward to the next championship. We’re producing a strong team for the future.”

    Michael Duffy picked up an unlucky four faults and a time-penalty with HMF Equestrian’s and Katherine Duffy’s Zilton SL Z. The pair had been in great form in Friday’s team final, during which they jumped a superb clear but today it wasn’t meant to be, as the second part of the double at fence 10 fell.

    “It’s a real test of scope and it’s a real battle to get up that last line. You’ve already done so much with two big oxers, the combination [fence 7], the water [fence 8] and then you come round to the big double. It’s a real marathon,” said Michael.

    “I think my horse was unlucky, he jumped the back pole [of 10b] which everyone has been knocking. He just had a little dink on the front pole.”

    Michael and Zilton SL Z finished on 16.37 penalties, and though the pair did not make it to the final round, he says the gelding has lots more to come.

    “He’s a horse that has so much quality and blood, you’ll never get to the bottom of him. He’s jumped super and it’s his first time really at this level,” said Michael.

    “He’s going to come out of this with incredible credit to his name. It’s kind of a scary thought to think how good he will be once he gets a few more of these [rounds] under his belt. We’re going to up our game next year and it’s only two years to the Olympics.”

    Going into the final individual round at the European Showjumping Championships, Germany’s Andre Thieme and DSP Chakaria sit in gold on 2.84. Sweden’s Peder Fredricson is in silver with Catch Me Not S on 4.46, and Greek rider Ioli Mytilineou and Levis De Muze sit in bronze on 4.64.

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