Twenty-two-year-old Galwegian Cathal Daniels and the Irish Sport Horse mare Ríoghan Rua (ISH) produced a magnificent performance at the Longines FEI Eventing European Championships at Luhmühlen in Germany, to win the individual bronze medal to add to the World Championship team silver medal they won last year.
Daniels had been in 13th position after Friday’s Dressage, having scored an impressive 29.0. A clear Cross Country round on Saturday well inside the time, saw Daniels and the 12-year-old mare rise to sixth place heading into the final day. Crucially the Irish combination were less than a fence off the medal places.
A brilliant clear round in the final Showjumping phase saw Daniels put pressure on those above him. As fences began to fall, Daniels rose to third place at the finish to take home the second championship medal of his career.
“It’s an amazing feeling!” Cathal Daniels said. “I’ve gone through Juniors, Young Riders and now Seniors with this mare. Unfortunately, the team didn’t get as strong a result as they wanted, but I was glad I was able to get a medal and keep spirits high and build again for next year on the road to Tokyo.”
Germany’s Ingrid Klimke and SAP Hale Bob defended her European title to claim the gold medal with a score of 22.2, while her German team mate Michael Jung collected the silver with Fischer Chipmunk FRH on 24.9.
Daniels’ bronze medal is the first Irish Senior European Eventing medal win since 1995 when Lucy Thompson claimed gold with Welton Romance at Pratoni del Vivaro in Italy where Ireland also won team bronze.
Sally Corscadden’s Irish team of Sam Watson (Tullabeg Flamenco (ISH), Ciaran Glynn (November Night (ISH(TIH), Sarah Ennis (Horseware Woodcourt Garrison (ISH) and Cathal Daniels with Ríoghan Rua (ISH) finished in sixth place overall of the 12 teams.
Germany took the team gold medal ahead of Britain who took silver while Sweden collected the bronze.