Ireland secure gold as Hayden clinches bronze with Miracle
Ireland claimed team gold and individual bronze at the European Young Riders Eventing Championship at Vale Sabroso, Portugal yesterday.
Lying fourth of the eight competing nations after dressage on Friday, the team rose to second despite elimination for Jodie O'Keeffe in Saturday's cross-country.
And yesterday, the side led by chef d'equipe Sally Corscadden, added just four faults in the showjumping ring to finish almost eight points ahead of Germany in silver medal spot. Great Britain took the bronze.
Elizabeth Hayden was the star performer when clinching individual bronze with the nine-year-old gelding Miracle, whose name reflects his survival as a sickly foal.
Harold Megahey was also highly impressive when a close fourth with Chuckelberry, while Joshua Pim lined up ninth with The Irish Minstrel. Hayden and Miracle claimed individual silver at last year's European Junior Championships, where she also helped secure the Junior team title.
Twelve months later, Ireland's young talents are continuing to blossom under dressage coach, Heike Holstein, and showjumping trainer Ian Fearon.
Individual competitors Tony Kennedy (Westeria Lane) and Jennifer Diamond (Early Spring), slotted into 13th and 14th place yesterday.
Meanwhile, Ireland's teenage superstar showjumper, 19-year-old Bertram Allen, made history yesterday at the World Breeding Young Horse Championships in Lanaken, Belgium, becoming the first rider to top an age-category competition with the same horse two years in a row. Riding Barnike, he pipped German ace Christian Ahlmann to win the seven-year-old title.
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