Farm Ireland

Sunday 19 November 2017

More home-grown glory at Mounted Games

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Ireland's international mounted games team lived up to its 'favourite' tag at the European Mounted Games Championships, held at Tattersalls in Co Meath.

After four days of competition to determine the best teams in Europe based on speed and pin-point accuracy, the under-17 competition had a nail-biting finish which resulted in a popular win for Ireland.

The Irish had been well touted beforehand as possible winners, but they had to fight hard to fend off the persistent challenge from Scotland, who were only three points adrift on 124 at the end.

England finished in third place on 120 points.

The dramatic final saw only seven points separating the first three countries after six competitive sessions of racing.

Representing Ireland were Graham Beirne, Philip Weldon, Andrew Devitt, Peter McCarthy and Niall Hughes, who have all played successfully together for several years.

The team was trained by Mark Devitt, himself a former European individual winner.

Co Meath's Alan Keoghan provided Ireland's second European Championship with a fine win in the Individual final on Saturday night. Alan was a previous winner of this event.

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The under-12 competition was won by a quality team from Wales who had played consistently well in all the qualifying sessions.

They were a tightly-knit unit that made few mistakes and were worthy winners on 254 points, ahead of England on 195 and France on 193.

The under-14 competition was won by the English team who two years ago won the under-12 MGA European Championship in Northern Ireland. Their final tally was 341 ahead of Wales with 312.5 and Northern Ireland on 275.5 points.

With teams from 14 countries competing throughout the week, it was the turn of the Norwegians to take first prize in the Open 'B' final.

They scored 108 points, beating Belgium into second on 98. The under-17 'B' final was won by Switzerland on 64, from Italy on 60 and Denmark on 58.

Last but not least, the concluding final was the open final for senior riders. This was won by England, with France in second and Wales in third.

This was the first staging of the MGA European Championships in the Republic of Ireland, made possible by the hard-working organising committee and its sponsors, the Meath Partnership.

The 2014 MGA European Championships will take place in Belgium when new emerging talent and new champions will be unveiled.

Irish Independent

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