Athlone’s Kate Derwin is the new European U18 Showjumping Champion following her gold medal success at the European Youth Show Jumping Championships at Zuidwolde in The Netherlands today.
An incredible performance from Derwin and The Irish Sport Horse AHG Whiterock Cruise Down, saw them finish with an unbelievable five clear rounds during the course of the week-long competition, including a double clear round in Sunday’s final.
Going into today’s decider, the Irish rider was in the gold medal position, and when last to jump in the deciding round, knew a fence down or even a time fault would see her drop down the leader board.
The Co. Westmeath teenager kept her cool to complete a flawless performance and claim the individual Gold Medal to add to the team bronze she won when part of James Kernan’s GAIN Irish U18 team last Friday.
The individual Silver Medal went to Spain’s Maya De La Joya Fernandez-Longoria, while Belgium’s Thibeau Spits took Bronze. Wexford’s Harry Allen also completed a double clear final round with Dancing Queen Z to finish just outside the medal places in fifth.
Kate Derwin has previously won team gold and individual silver at the European U16 (Pony) Championships in 2017 while she was also part of the GAIN Irish team that won U18 team bronze in 2018.
Kate Derwin was thrilled with how her horse performed and outlined how winning the gold medal was always her aim this week after missing out on a individual medal 12 months ago:
“It was very close all week. My horse jumped phenomenal last year and this year he came out and gave it even more than he did last year and he really proved to be the best horse. I came here with a plan. There was a lot of pressure on today especially as I didn’t even have a fence in hand – I had to be clear to win the gold medal but the support I have from everybody outside helps me keep chilled.”
Not only did Kate keep he composure in the arena but she also managed to sing the Irish National Anthem on the podium after collecting her gold medal:
Irish Youth Show Jumping team manager James Kernan said of Kate’s gold medal achievement:
“I am just delighted for Kate, her family and all her team. She was just so focused here all week and this result didn’t happen by accident. She didn’t jump her horse too much this year in preparation for the championships and all she had in her mind this week was to help the team win a medal and then to win individual gold herself. Full marks to her and she is certainly someone any young rider should look up to.”