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McEntee (16) is thrilled to net more success

Equestrian

By Ruth Loney

Banbridge showjumper John McEntee (16) continued his brilliant form in Europe by winning the Stuttgart FEI Pony Trophy as part of the FEI Global Jumping Ponies Trophy Grand Prix series.

It comes after he recorded a win in Lyon last month.

The son of Alo and Louise McEntee, John was a member of Ireland's European gold medal-winning pony team this year, and in Stuttgart won with the same pony, Little Smithe, owned by Ballina's Sandra Duffy.

As last to jump from nine competitors in the second round, McEntee was unstoppable, clocking 35.06 to relegate GB's Claudia Moore, clear in 36.34, to second with Elando van de Roshoeve. Belgian rider Amber Frederick was third with Easter BB.

McEntee said: "I didn't know what the others' times were, I just knew that I had to go fast. I was very happy with how Smithe jumped. After being second the first day, it gave me a prime position for the Grand Prix. It was nice to win against good competitors at a five star show."

McEntee has now been invited to compete in the Paris Masters in two weeks' time and at the Mechelen Show in Belgium.

Dungannon's Eamon Rice, the chairman of Showjumping Ireland, added: "This was fantastic for John and for Ulster Region showjumping and Ireland. John is exceptional, he won from a first-class line-up and also won a European team gold this year."

Sponsor Timo Leonhard and Karl Brocks, the German pony riders coach, praised the quality of the ponies and their riders.

Brocks said the performances of the top three riders "were on a par with the seniors".

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