Daniels steers Rioghan Rua to first Irish bronze for 24 years
Galway's Cathal Daniels produced a superb performance from his diminutive Irish-bred mare, Rioghan Rua, to claim individual bronze at the FEI European Eventing Championships in Luhmuehlen, Germany, where the Irish team finished sixth.
The 22-year-old, who was a member of the team that claimed silver and an Olympic qualifying spot at last year's World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA, shared the podium with German eventing legends Michael Jung (37) and Ingrid Klimke (51), who took silver and gold.
Moving up from 13th to sixth after a spectacular cross-country run on Saturday with the fearless little 12-year-old mare, Daniels stayed clear in the final showjumping phase to become Ireland's first individual European medallist since Lucy Thompson took gold in 1995.
Team chances were dashed when Sam Watson collected 23.6 cross-country time penalties with Tullabeg Flamenco on Saturday and then Ciaran Glynn had to withdraw his mare, November Night, yesterday morning.
Daniels said: "I've gone through juniors, young riders and now seniors with this mare. Unfortunately, the team didn't get as strong a result as they wanted, but I was glad I was able to get a medal and keep spirits high and build again for next year on the road to Tokyo."