The Irish U18 (Junior) Show Jumping team produced an excellent performance on Friday, to finish as convincing winners of the FEI Nations Cup at Fontainebleau in France.

The Irish team, managed by James Kernan, included two Irish Sport Horses and was made up of Kate Derwin (AHG Whiterock Cruise Down (ISH), Harry Allen (Quarisma Della Caccia), Jennifer Kuehnle (Consun (ISH) and Jason Foley (Uncas S).

FEI Jumping Director John Roche presents Irish U18 Team manager James Kernan with the winners trophy following victory for Ireland in the French Nations Cup in Fontainebleau

Ireland were in a share of the lead at the halfway stage on just four faults with clear rounds coming from Kate Derwin and Jason Foley. Derwin completed a double clear performance in the second round while Harry Allen added just a time fault before Kuehnle jumped clear to put Ireland in control. Jason Foley didn’t need to jump as last to go for Kernan’s team, as their 5 fault two round total could not be beaten. Belgium finished as runners-up with 8 faults, while France finished third of the seven teams on 12 faults.

A delighted team manager James Kernan outlined how his team’s experience proved crucial and how the outing was very beneficial ahead of this years European Championships:

“We came here with a very strong team – three previous European gold medal winners and one rider who has won European individual silver. That really came out today as all four riders jumped brilliantly which was even more impressive as some of our riders were on relatively new horses. We had some very strong riders left at home and it is all very positive for the future. We will go to Hagen next for the Nations Cup there and continue our preparations for the European Championships that take place in July.”

Horse Sport Ireland CEO Ronan Murphy said:
This was an excellent performance and I want to congratulate all our riders and team manager James Kernan. Our results at youth level continue to show us that we are in a very strong position and huge credit has to go to the owners, parents and all those working behind the scenes to make this happen.”

Just 48 hours after helping Ireland win the U18 (Junior) Nations Cup at Fontainebleau in France, Athlone’s Kate Derwin and Wexford’s Harry Allen claimed two major Grand Prix wins at the same venue.

Riding The Irish Sport Horse Ahg Whiterock Cruise Down, Kate Derwin was one of just seven riders who managed to jump clear in the opening round of the U18 (Junior) 1m40 Grand Prix. Another clear against the clock in a time of 32.24 seconds saw Derwin take the winners prize – finishing over a second ahead of French runner-up Antoine Ermann.

Harry Allen and Dancing Queen Z (Photo: Grand Prix Events)

The Irish also proved unbeatable in the U25 1m45 Grand Prix, with Harry Allen guiding Dancing Queen Z to the top of the standings. Seven combinations made it into the jump-off and a clear round against the clock in 38.49 saw Allen take victory by over two seconds. Kate Derwin was again in the prizes when finishing fourth with Luidam de La Cruise (ISH).