Carrigtwohill’s Gavin Smiddy was on the Irish under-16 pony eventing team that took the gold medal in the European Pony Eventing Championships in Fontainebleau, France, last weekend.
Beaten at the last European championships by just one tenth of a point, the Irish team of four took command of proceedings from the first day, and became the first ever Irish European pony team to emerge in the lead after two days of dressage.
With both Britain and the Netherlands in hot pursuit, the Irish produced superb cross-country performances to extend the lead over the second-placed British, and confirmed their championship dominance by delivering both a team and individual win.
Pony Eventing High Performance Manager, Sue Shortt, said afterwards: “I knew in the last few weeks that we had the best team Ireland had ever fielded at the European championships, and their performance was fantastic. I'm delighted for the kids, they deserved everything they won today.”
Horse Sport Ireland Chairman, Joe Walsh, said; “This is a brilliant achievement, I want to congratulate all of the riders and their families as well as the Team Manager Sue Shortt, dressage coach Sue Smallman, show jumping coach Tom Slattery, team vet Con Kennedy as well as our High Performance administrator Aileen Cartwright.”