Pony event riders claim golds at Europeans
Ireland's pony event riders threw down the gauntlet to the seniors preparing for the Olympics when claiming team and individual gold and individual bronze at the European Pony Championships at Fontainebleau.
Galway's Cathal Daniels steered Master Murrose into pole position in the individual rankings, pipping Great Britain's Louise Nesbitt by a margin of 3.8 penalties, while Ana O'Brien, daughter of horseracing legend Aidan, took the bronze, partnering Ice Cool Bailey.
Yesterday's winning team included Lucy Latta (Nono), who finished 10th, and Gavin Smiddy (Mr Hale Bob), who was 37th.
Leading after dressage, they pulled further ahead in Saturday's cross-country and Irish riders filled three of the top-five places. Germany's Leoni Leuwer was out in front with O'Brien lying second, Daniels third and Latta in fifth.
But 12 faults yesterday put paid to the German rider's chances, and when O'Brien double-faulted she was overtaken by Daniels but still claimed bronze. Latta dropped to 10th when collecting eight faults, while a clear-round secured eighth place for Kirsty Connell and Little Indian Feather.
Meanwhile at Hickstead, Keith Doyle and Walk Tall won the Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Saturday and Shane Breen (Ominerale Courcelle) triumphed in the Sky Sports Classic.
Denis Lynch and Abbervail came seventh in the Grand Prix at the Global Champions Tour in Chantilly and Lantinus was third in the main event, while Jessica Kuerten (API Largo) was runner-up in the Speed.
Nicola FitzGibbon rode Puissance into runner-up spot in the Grand Prix at Ascona, while Conor Swail won the Power and Speed at San Patrignano with Lansdowne.
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