Equestrian: Sofie Slattery and Harold McGahern successful in Sweden
The Irish duo completed on a total of five faults with Sweden finishing second, just ahead of France
Sofie Slattery enjoyed success in Sweden. Photo: PIerre Costabadie/Icon Sport via Getty Images
Ireland’s underage show jumping riders enjoyed considerable success in Europe on Friday, rounded off by a night time victory in Sweden for Sofie Slattery and Harold McGahern.
The pair, who are both based in Belgium, were competing in the Under 25s’ two-round team competition in which they faced representatives from eight other nations. The Irish duo completed on a total of five faults with Sweden finishing second (12), just ahead of France (13).
From Tynagh, Co Galway, Slattery went double clear on Ecurie Dehalais’s Valentine du Bois Pinchet while, after picking up five faults in round one, Co Antrim-born Megahey, who switched to show jumping from eventing at the end of 2016, recorded a clear round with Glenpatrick Sport Horses’ Braveheart.
Earlier in the day, at the Future Champions’ show in Hagen, Germany, Ireland won the Pony Nations’ Cup competition, having earlier finished second in the Junior riders’ equivalent.
Gary Marshall was chef d’equipe of the successful Pony team comprised of John McEntee (Little Smithe), Max Foley (Valma de Fougnard), Katie Power (Ghost Rider) and Franno Derwin (Cul Ban Mistress). They completed on a two-round total of eight faults as France finished second on 12 with Sweden placing third on 13.
France won the Junior Nations’ Cup on a zero score with Ireland finishing second on four faults ahead of The Netherlands on eight. The Irish quartet, who were managed by James Kernan, were Ciaran Nallon (Cloe Gp Z), Seamus Hughes Kennedy (Louidor), Harry Allen (Dancing Queen Z) and Jason Foley (Jack van het Dennehof).
Earlier in the week, there were wins for Cian Harrison (Tabby) and Kate Derwin (Luidam de la Cruise) with the former being named on the Irish team taking part in Saturday’s Young Riders’ Nations’ Cup.
At senior level in Europe, Waterford’s Peter Moloney was placed in the five-star €150,000 Longines Grand Prix at Sopot in Poland.
Moloney and Irish teammate Bertram Allen were among 13 competitors who made it into the jump-off where Allen had a fence down with Harley vd Bisschop to finish 10th. Moloney completed a double clear with the 14-year-old Ornellaia to place fifth in a time of 46.14 behind Germany’s Daniel Deusser with Jasmien vd Bisschop (42.87).
Moloney and Allen, along with Shane Sweetnam, Paul O’Shea and Billy Twomey, are part of the Irish squad named by team manager Rodrigo Pessoa for Sunday’s Longines FEI Nations’ Cup competition at the Polish venue.
At the Bolesworth international show in England, Kildare’s Mikey Pender, riding the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Hearton du Bois Halleux, was one of three riders who divided the spoils in the Puissance. Also clear in the fifth round were the British pair of Holly Smith, with the Irish Sport Horse gelding Quality Old Joker, and Alfie Bradstock on H. d’Or.
Following some good placings earlier in the day, there was an Irish win also at Spruce Meadows in Canada where, in the second division of the 1.45m jump-off class, Co Down’s Dermott Lennon took the honours on MJM Holdings (IOM) Ltd’s MJM Pursuit (35.11) with Offaly's Darragh Kenny placing second with Scarlett du Sart Z (35.69). In the following 1.55m jump-off class, Kenny partnered Romeo 88 into sixth place behind the winning combination of the USA’s Kent Farrington on Creedance.
In eventing, there are two Irish riders competing in the CCL5*-L competition in Luhmühlen, Germany where the lead overnight was held by Japan’s Kazuma Tomoto riding Brookpark Vikenti (25.2 penalties). Going into Saturday’s cross-country phase, Carlow’s Sam Watson is in 13th place with Tullabeg Flamenco (32.5) while Co Meath’s Tony Kennedy is in 22nd place on Westeria Lane.
Potential eventing and pentathlon stars of the future are competing in Millstreet, Co Cork this weekend at the Irish Pony Club/Johnson & Perrott national tetrathlon championships. Around 280 members under 12 years of age from branches all around the country are competing in riding, swimming and running on Saturday and Sunday. There is also a contingent of competitors over from Scotland.