Irish event riders strike gold in Portugal
Irish event riders continued their wonderful run of successes at championship level last weekend, with the Irish young rider team winning gold, and team member Elizabeth Hayden winning individual bronze at Vale Sabrosa in Portugal.
In a weekend which saw torrential downpours and thunderstorms, the team of Elizabeth Hayden, Joshua Pim, Jodie O'Keeffe and Harold Megahey defied the odds, especially when the team was reduced to three riders on the final day when O'Keeffe took an unfortunate fall on the cross-country.
As the five remaining riders prepared for the show jumping, there were four in the top-10, with the best of those being Elizabeth Hayden on Miracle, on whom the rider also won individual silver and team gold at the junior equivalent last year.
Lying fourth going into the final phase, Hayden and her mount jumped clear to move up one place and secure bronze, while also assisting her team to gold ahead of Germany and Britain.
Hayden's team-mates also finished well up the order, with Megahey in fourth riding Chuckelberry, and Pim in ninth on Irish Minstrel.
Irish individual riders Tony Kennedy and Jennifer Diamond also performed strongly, finishing 13th and 14th. Speaking after the win team manager Sally Corscadden said that it had been a fantastic week in very tough weather conditions.
"I'm very proud of the riders battling qualities all week. All six riders were absolutely brilliant," she said.