Team Ireland youngsters riding a wave of success
Team Ireland is currently riding a wave of success with its younger generation of eventing competitors, with the Irish Junior (under-18) eventing team taking home team gold at the European Championships at Haras de Jardy in France and the Young Rider team securing team bronze at the same venue.
The GAIN Horse Feeds Junior team (above left) were lying in bronze medal position after the dressage, but clear rounds around a tough cross-country track from Cathal Daniels on Rioghan Rua, Elizabeth Hayden with Miracle and Harold Megahey on Chuckleberry pulled them up to silver medal position the night before the final show jumping phase.
However, several appeal hearings from a number of different nations overnight resulted in the Irish team being pushed up into gold medal position before the show jumping took place.
A clear round from Elizabeth Hayden and her Irish Sport Horse, Miracle, who were lying third individually overnight, secured her the individual silver medal for Ireland.
Ireland's fourth team rider, Josh Pim, on The Irish Minstrel had a fall on the cross-country course but horse and rider were uninjured.
Irish individual rider Susie Berry with Bolero de Ste Hermelle put in a clear cross-country round and held eighth place in the individual competition, while Ireland's other individual Maria Byrne did not show jump after her horse picked up a minor injury.
Junior team manager Debbie Byrne said she was thrilled with the result.
"I felt we could achieve a medal place," she told the Farming Independent. "Deep down I hoped it could be a gold medal."