Setting the global standard
Whitewash at Fontainebleu pony weekend proves Ireland are the team to beat as talented youngsters show their opponents how it is done
Published 26/04/2011 | 05:00
Ireland's pony riders recorded a total whitewash of the Nations' Cup at Fontainebleu in France recently by winning the Nations' Cup itself, two Grand Prix and numerous other wins and places during the three-day competition.
The Irish squad got off to the best start possible when Thomas Foley took the first class of the day with 'Crown Jewel', while Shane Dalon, Roisin Kenny and Eoin McMahon also placed in the top 10.
The Irish dominance continued throughout the day, with two more first places and a collection of top-10 finishes.
Graham Golden and 'Tequila Twist' took victory in the CSIP Prix Marline, with Charlotte Donoghue not far behind in the runner-up spot with 'The Freckle'. She also took fourth on 'Arganium Boy'.
Cara Mooney followed a short time later with a first place in the six-year-old two-phase competition, riding 'Don't Crumb It'. Ireland had a total of five top-10 places in this class, with Noelle Barry, Aoife McDonagh, Emma O'Dwyer and Sophie Mills also featuring.
Not long after, Foley claimed a third place in the seven-year-old competition on 'Doon Laddie', while Eoin McMahon was sixth with 'Lady Capulet'.
Foley again made the top 10 in the speed class with 'Dibidoe', while, in the last competition of the day, Michael Duffy was best of the Irish in fourth place with 'Kadia Mouche'. Darragh Ryan, Matt Garrigan and Clare Redmond also recorded top-10 places in this class.
The excellent results on Friday meant confidence in the Irish camp was high going into Saturday's competition. The Irish riders proved that this confidence was fully justified by racking up three early wins. Paraic Kenny claimed the Derby trophy on 'Castle Hill Clover', while Graham Golden took the BMW trophy in the speed class with 'Tequila Twist' and Foley snatched victory in the CSIOP speed class with 'Crown Jewel'.