Irish riders win Student World Finals

From left, Melanie Young, Brian Morrison and Peter O'Donnell.
From left, Melanie Young, Brian Morrison and Peter O’Donnell.

Ireland has made a clean sweep of the weekend’s 2013 Student Riders’ World Finals in Belgium, winning the overall team championships, the overall individual title and the team and individual show jumping titles. 

The Irish trio of Melanie Young, Brian Morrison and Peter O’Donnell collected the Presidents’ Cup, which is the Overall Team Championship. The Championship is run over two disciplines – dressage and show jumping – on borrowed horses.

The team also won the trophy for the Overall Team Show Jumping Championship and finished second behind Germany in the Team Dressage Championships.

Peter O’Donnell pipped Brian Morrison at the post to take the Individual Champion title. The two also battled it out in the Show Jumping Final, with Morrison this time taking the trophy in the 1.40 competition.

The championships, which finished on Wednesday, were held at Aalter in Belgium, with 15 nations taking part. Based on results during the year the top six teams qualified for the Gold League, one of which was Ireland, and from there they went to become world team champions.

In October 2013 Ireland had hosted a Student Riders Nations Cup (SRNC) in Ballindenisk, Co. Cork and to top off the weekend this was voted as the best event of 2013 at the international student rider AGM.

Horse Sport Ireland Chairman Pat Wall congratulated the team on their success.

“This is further evidence of the talented young riders we have in Ireland. To win the team and individual title is a fantastic achievement. The fact that the SRNC in Ballindenisk was voted the best event of 2013 is a great tribute to IURCA and Ballindenisk,” he said.

In March, Ireland’s student riders will compete in the World University Equestrian Championships, which are held every two years and take place in Abu Dhabi in March this year.

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