Brilliant bronze medal for GAIN Irish U16 (Pony) eventing team

France (silver medal), Britain (gold) and Ireland (bronze) stand on the podium following the U16 European Eventing Championships in Strzegom
France (silver medal), Britain (gold) and Ireland (bronze) stand on the podium following the U16 European Eventing Championships in Strzegom

Ireland has collected another medal at the U16 (Pony) European Championships at Strzegom in Poland, with the GAIN Irish Eventing team taking the team bronze medal last weekend.

The Irish team of Grace Tyrrell, Brian Kuehnle, Alex Connors and Tiggy Hancock, managed by Becky Cullen, were in fourth place after the opening Dressage phase on Friday and climbed to third after an impressive Cross Country performance on Saturday.

Irish U16 Eventing team manager Becky Cullen with from left Susan Shanahan, Brian Kuehnle, Grace Tyrrell, Alex Connors, Olivia Swan and Tiggy Hancock (Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile)

Irish U16 Eventing team manager Becky Cullen with from left Susan Shanahan, Brian Kuehnle, Grace Tyrrell, Alex Connors, Olivia Swan and Tiggy Hancock (Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile)

The final jumping phase saw Ireland hold onto bronze medal position, finishing on a final score of 131.6. Britain took the gold medal on a score of 101.8 while France claimed the silver on 120.1. Italy finished fourth (147.6) ahead of Netherlands in fifth, Germany in sixth and Denmark in seventh.

Grace Tyrrell with Fiona’s Fionn finished best of the Irish individually in 11th place, while Olivia Swan finished 13th with Rockon Pedro (ISP). Alex Connors took 15th place with Millridge Buachaill Bui (ISH), just ahead of Brian Kuehnle in 16th with Tullibards Sixth Sense. Susan Shanahan took 24th spot with Fernhill Mix And Match and Tiggy Hancock finished 29th with Coppenagh Spring Sparrow. The individual gold medal went to Britain’s Finn Healy, with silver going to Ibble Watson (GBR) while Italy’s Camilla Luciani collected the bronze.

Team manager Becky Cullen was thrilled with how all her squad performed:

“Everyone has worked incredibly hard since Tattersalls where we only had two finishers and the children, parents and trainers have committed ourselves since then for weeks of training – and we have managed to win a medal. We had two exceptionally young riders on the squad and the whole squad performed brilliantly. It is never easy to pick the team and we have had a great team spirit here and for everyone to finish this tough competition as strong as they did was an incredible achievement.”

Horse Sport Ireland CEO Ronan Murphy said: “This is another fantastic result for our riders at the European Championships. They showed great composure to hold onto their medal position on the final day and I congratulate all of the squad and manager Becky Cullen on a brilliant performance over all four days of the championships.”

On the Friday in Strzegom, the Irish U16 Show Jumping team claimed the team gold medal and Ireland has three riders inside the top 10 heading into the individual jumping final. There have also been hugely impressive individual performances this week in Strzegom for Irish U16 Dressage riders Martha Jobling-Purser and Sadhbh O’Toole who both finished inside the top 40.

The Irish teams for 2019 FEI European U16 (Pony) Show Jumping, Eventing and Dressage Championships are sponsored by GAIN Equine Nutrition

Equiline – Official athlete clothing supplier of Team Ireland Equestrian