The Irish Pony Show Jumping team, managed by Gary Marshall, won the FEI Youth Nations Cup at Opglabbeek in Belgium on Saturday.
The Irish team held at the lead at the halfway stage of the competition with just four faults and took victory after completing the second round with a clear scorecard after brothers Max and Tom Wachman double clear rounds.
Francis Derwin was first to go for Ireland with Rincoola Babog (ISH) and finished with one fence down in each round. He was followed by Max Wachman with Cuffesgrange Cavalidam (ISH) who didn’t put a foot wrong over two rounds to finish on a zero score. His superb effort was matched by his brother Tom Wachman with Quaprice d’Astree who also jumped double clear.
Séamus Hughes-Kennedy and Rock Dee Jay had a foot in the water in the first round and produced a vital clear when last to go in the deciding round to leave Ireland one fence ahead of their hosts Belgium who finished on eight faults. The Netherlands took third place on the podium ahead of Germany in fourth and Sweden in fifth.
Speaking afterwards, Irish Team Manager Gary Marshall was over the moon with his team’s performance:
“The whole team were fantastic and we are really delighted to win. Belgium beat us here last year so to win this year is fantastic. The course designer Frank Rothenberger is well known for not building easy courses and I am really proud of how we jumped. I want to thank everyone involved who played their part in what was a real team effort.”