Ireland has won it’s third medal at the Longines FEI European Youth Championships in France after Co Clare’s Rhys Williams this morning (Saturday) claimed the individual Gold Medal in the Under 14 Show Jumping competition.
Williams was part of the GAIN-sponsored Irish Under 14 team that won silver on Wednesday and today he completed a fault free performance to be crowned the new individual European champion.
Rhys (pictured) was riding the Irish Sport Horse CES Cruson – owned by Marie Burke from Clare Equestrian Centre and by her famous stallion Chippison. Rhys and CES Cruson were the only combination to jump clear in all three rounds of jumping on their way to the gold medal. German riders filled the two remaining places on the podium, with Chiara Reyer taking silver and Henry Munsberg the bronze.
Irish Youth team manager James Kernan was hugely impressed with the composure shown by Rhys Williams in a tense final round and said,
“Rhys showed nerves of steel. It was an exceptional performance from him all week. He rode according to his plan and it was an exhibition of jumping from him and his horse. Rhys really is a star for the future. It has been an incredible week and again I want to thank all involved in helping us deliver these results.”
Horse Sport Ireland CEO Ronan Murphy said
“This result adds to a brilliant week for Irish riders and Irish horses at these European Championships. Huge congratulations to our new Under 14 European Champion Rhys Williams and the owner of CES Cruson, Marie Burke. It is rewarding for all involved to see our development pathway is producing results and I want to thank all involved. The future of the sport looks extremely positive from the talent we have seen representing Ireland with distinction. A special thank you to James Kernan and his team for their expert guidance during these championships.”
Mary Delaney, Head of Gain Equine Nutrition added:
“Massive congratulations to Rhys Williams on winning individual gold at the European Championships. We are delighted for Rhys and his family. The Irish are having an incredible week so far and we wish the rest of our riders the very best of luck for the rest of the competition.”
Ireland has another chance of a medal in the Under 18 championships with Carlow’s Jason Foley currently in Gold Medal position going into Sunday’s individual final. Foley already has a bronze medal in the bag after Saturday’s team final where he was joined on the Irish team by Jack Ryan, Kate Derwin and Harry Allen. The Irish Under 18 and Under 21 Eventing team’s are in Cross Country action today in Fontainbleau with the medals to be decided following the jumping phase on Sunday
Press Release by Horsesport Ireland