Belfast Telegraph

Marshall is so proud after Ireland edge out GB to clinch gold

 

Winners: the Irish team of Francis Derwin, Niamh McEvoy, John McEntee, Tom Wachman and Max Wachman
Winners: the Irish team of Francis Derwin, Niamh McEvoy, John McEntee, Tom Wachman and Max Wachman

By Ruth Loney

Ballyclare's Irish pony showjumping chef d'equipe Gary Marshall is celebrating with his Gain Under-16 pony team in Strzegom, Poland after they struck gold in a jump-off with Great Britain.

Niamh McEvoy (Omagh) and John McEntee (Dromore) were part of the gold medal team of mini-professionals, which also featured Francis Derwin (Athlone) and talented brothers Tom and Max Wachman (Tipperary).

Marshall, who has a penchant for bringing home European medals, said: "It's unbelievable, I am just so proud of them all. I had said we just needed to keep jumping clear rounds. We had incredible team spirit, and you don't win medals without that."

Marshall, whose brother Harry is competing at the Millstreet International this week, added: "There is so much work behind the scenes from parents, coaches and the team at Horse Sport Ireland. I would like to thank our supporters out here and those who sent messages of support."

Ireland had carried four faults from the opening qualifier on Thursday and rose up the rankings after delivering clear rounds. They moved into bronze position but then finished on a score of zero overall with their carried over four faults.

Great Britain were forced to jump-off with Ireland after they tipped a fence for four faults. France had been sharing the lead with GB, but 12 faults saw them slip to tied third with Germany.

Both Ireland and GB posted a zero score in the play-off, so the combined times decided the victor and the Irish clinched gold by just under two seconds.

Ronan Murphy, CEO of Horse Sport Ireland said: "Huge congratulations to the Irish team, their parents and team manager Gary Marshall on an exceptional result."

Meanwhile, in Millstreet, Jonathan Smyth (Strabane) and Cruising Lux beat Tyrone's Yvonne Whiteside and Ecclesville in the Silver Tour International.

Banbridge-based Canadian rider Rebecca McGoldrick, who trains with Dermott Lennon, won the mare's 1.20m Grand Prix final.

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