Ireland has achieved a podium clean sweep in the 5-year-old World Championships Final for Young Horses at Lanaken in Belgium.
Richard Howley and The Irish Sport Horse Uppercourt Cappucino claimed the gold medal for the Irish Sport Horse Studbook after a 24 horse jump-off. Their double-clear round in 35.17 seconds proved unbeatable in a competition which attracted 237 horses from around the world.
Darragh Ryan from Tipperary with CSF Sir George (ISH) won the silver medal, finishing just 0.17 behind the winners.
To complete the clean sweep, Mikey Pender from Kildare finished third with the Marion Hughes-owned Irish Sport Horse HHS Vancouver (ISH) in 35.75 seconds.
New World Champion Richard Howley said of today’s win:
“I bought him [Uppercourt Cappucino] after a show in Millstreet. The horse was owned at that time by Ger O’Neill [Castlefield Sport Horses] and Jason Higgins. Jason had produced the horse as a 4-year-old and I bought him at the back end of this year. He [Uppercourt Cappucino] has only done a handful of shows in his life and the horse is so mature in his mind he is just like riding an 8-year-old. It’s a good day for the Irish and a good day to be Irish. I think the world of this horse, he has done enough now for this year. It’s amazing, I came here two years ago to watch and this is my first time riding here and it’s an absolute thrill to ride here in front of this wonderful crowd.”
Horse Sport Ireland CEO Ronan Murphy congratulated the Irish riders, breeders and horses, stating:
“This is another incredible result for The Irish Sport Horse Studbook, Irish owners, breeders and our riders. To fill all three places on the podium in a world championship final is phenomenal. I want to congratulate our Chef d’Équipe for the championships John Ledingham and all the connections involved.”
Gold – Uppercourt Cappucino (ISH) by Pacino (BWP) out of Uppercourt Posh (ISH) by O.B.O.S. Quality 004 (Old) bred by Paul O’Byrne and owned by HK Horses.
Silver – CSF Sir George (ISH) 2013 G by Sir Shutterfly (Hann) out of Norrira (ISH) by Cavalier Royale (Holst), bred by Shane Connolly and owned by Molly Tracy.
Bronze – HHS Vancouver (ISH) 2013 by Indoctro (Holst) out of La Juanita (ISH) by Don Juan De La Bouverie (SBS) bred and owned by Marion Hughes.