Belfast Telegraph

Ulster pair earn a shot at European success

 

Clare Abbott
Clare Abbott

By Ruth Loney

Two Ulster region pony showjumpers have been selected for the European Championships next week in Strzegom, Poland under the leadership of County Antrim chef d'equipe Gary Marshall.

County Down's John McEntee, from Dromore, son of Alo and Louise McEntee, competes with Little Smithe, while Omagh's Niamh McEvoy, daughter of Richard and Maeve McEvoy, partners Ardfry Skye.

The European event includes team members Francis Derwin, Athlone, on Cul Ban Mistress while Tipperary brothers Max and Tom Wachman compete with Cuffesgrange Cavalidam and Ocean Des As.

Marshall - himself an international rider - is one of the most experienced chef d'equipes of Irish pony teams having taken them to medal successes many times.

Meanwhile, Moy teenager Annabelle Heffron (15) is the new national young rider showjumping champion with her horse Afrika having taken the title in Mullingar with consistent performances in the young rider classes.

In Millstreet, 11,000 entries are competing until Sunday and this week there has already been success for Randalstown rider Jodie Creighton who won her 1.20 young rider qualifier from 72 entries adding to her Dublin Show win last week.

Lisburn's Olympic three-day event rider Clare Abbott, who had been selected for the European three-day event team next week, has been sidelined after her horse Euro Prince sustained an injury.

Abbott will be replaced on the Irish team by Tony Kennedy on Wisteria Lane who joins Sam Watson, Imperial Sky or Tullamore Flamenco, Sarah Ennis, Woodcourt Garrison, Cathal Daniels, Rioghan Rua and Ciaran Glynn with November Night.

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