Kilkenny youngster, Seamus Hughes-Kennedy wins prestigious international final in Belgium

Seamus Hughes-Kennedy best in Europe

Sean Keane


Sean Keane


Best in Europe

Seamus Hughes-Kennedy and Cuffesgrange Cavalidam (ISH) (Photo: Jumping Mechelen)

In a fitting end to memorable year for Irish Show Jumping at underage level on the international stage, Kilkenny’s Seamus Hughes-Kennedy and Cuffesgrange Cavalidam (ISH) were crowned overall winners of the 2017 FEI Pony Jumping Trophy following Saturday's final round of the series at Mechelen in Belgium, where three Irish riders finished in the top four.

A new concept on the international jumping calendar for 2017, the FEI Pony Jumping Trophy is competition at the highest level for riders under 16 years of age, with the goal of promoting Jumping as a true sport for youth. The competition was run on a league basis beginning in Oslo (NOR) in October and visited Herning (DEN), Verona (ITA), Lyon (FRA), and Stuttgart (GER) before the final in Mechelen.

Irish pony riders dominated the series, with Cork’s Abbie Sweetnam finishing as runner-up with Dynamite Spartacus (ISH) while Athlone’s Kate Derwin took fourth place with Cul Ban Mistress (CP).

The result crowns a memorable year for Irish pony riders who also won pony team gold at the 2017 European Championships in Hungary. The GAIN-sponsored team included Ciaran Nallon, Abbie Sweetnam, Seamus Hughes-Kennedy, and Kate Derwin who won individual silver and Harry Allen who also won individual gold.