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Manager Kernan heaps praise on Derwin after she seals Euro glory

Equestrian

By Ruth Loney

Ireland' Under-18 European team manager James Kernan has praised Athlone ace Kate Derwin's weekend victory in Zuidwole.

County Armagh's Kernan, who competed at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, was delighted to see the Under-18 European showjumping champion excel to take the gold medal, having earlier earned bronze in the team championship on Friday.

Kernan, himself a former Junior European champion, said: "I am just delighted for Kate, her family and all the team. She was so focused all week and the result didn't just happen by accident.

"She had it in her mind to help the team win a medal and then to win the individual gold herself."

Kernan said that Derwin had saved her horse all year in preparation for the Europeans.

"Full marks to her, she is certainly someone any young rider should look up to," he said.

Derwin said: "It was very close all week. My horse jumped phenomenally last year and this year came out and gave it even more.

"I came here with a plan having finished fourth last year. My trainer and dad put together the plan. They said I would win a medal and not just any medal but the gold."

She competed on a horse sired by Cruisings Mickey Finn, out of a Touchdown mare. Kernan owned and bred Touchdown on which he competed in the Olympics.

Meanwhile, in Chantilly, near Paris, Ireland's Darragh Kenny won the €300k Global Champions League Grand Prix with Ann Thompson's stallion Balou du Reventon, two weeks after winning the Rolex €500k Grand Prix in Knokke Belgium.

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