Equestrian: Young hits heights as Irish just miss out on Euro medal
Ireland just missed out on team medals at the Junior European Eventing Championships at Bad Segeberg, Germany, yesterday when finishing fourth of the 12 competing nations.
In a spectacular first, the host country made it a clean sweep of team titles in all Olympic disciplines during this summer's Young Rider Championship season when taking gold, while France took silver and Italy took bronze.
The competitiveness of the Irish side was clear to see after the opening dressage phase in which Hannah Dunbar on River Song, Lauren Persse with Darragh Promise and David Hannigan aboard Red Baron all achieved scores in the 50s.
But it was the result posted by Kildare rider Melanie Young that ensured the Irish would stay in the frame.
Riding Riverstown Express, the 17-year-old, whose late uncle Capt David Foster was a linchpin of the Irish senior eventing squad, achieved a score of 40.80, which left the team in fifth spot and herself in joint fifth individually going into the following day's cross-country phase.
Dunbar picked up 23.20 cross-country time penalties, but when Persse collected just two and both Hannigan and Young came home with a clean sheet, the team moved into fourth and Young was seriously challenging for the individual honours going into yesterday's show jumping test.
With two show jumps down and a time fault, her chances were blown however, and she had to settle for an 11th-placed finish while the team held on for fourth place, just outside the medals.
Meanwhile, at Boswell Equestrian Centre in Wicklow yesterday Navan man John Floody and Larkhill Cruiser won the latest leg of the TRM National Grand Prix series, pipping his former protege Cian O'Connor, who was riding K Club Lady.
And at the National Young Rider Championships at Barnadown in Wexford on Saturday, 16-year-old Mayo rider Jonathan Gordon won the prestigious €8,000 Pegus Young Rider Development League Final with Leo Carey's impressive Mt Cruise.