BY MICHAEL O’LEARY
July is a busy month with The European Championships taking place in a variety of Equestrian disciplines, and there is plenty of Kilkenny involvement in the various competitions in the coming weeks competing for Ireland.
Starting on Monday 10th July and running all week till Sunday 16th July, The European Championships take place in Gorla Minore in Italy with competitions taking place in Juniors, Young Riders and Children on Horses, and there is plenty of Kilkenny interest involved.
The Brennans from Gowran, Brothers Eoin and Timmy along with their Cousin James will compete for Ireland in The Junior competition, Alice Moloney will compete in The Children on Horses, while Seamus Hughes Kennedy will compete in The Young Riders Section.
The Brennans had success on the continent recently when they were part of The Ireland Team that won The Nations Cup in Hagen, Germany, so they will go into next weeks European Championships confident of a good showing.
Eoin will be on board Eskola M, his brother Timmy will be riding Diadoma Della Caccia, while their cousin James will ride MHS I’m The One.
Eoin, Timmy and James have experience of winning European Championships having tasted success last year in Poland in both The Team and Individual competitions.
The trio were part of The Irish Team that won The Gold Medal in The Pony Competitions, while James aboard MHS Glow won The Silver Medal in The Individual competition that was won by James Derwin from Westmeath with Eoin finishing 5th.
The Irish dominated that Individual competition last year as they filled four of the first five position, including the 1-2-3.
Eoin Brennan has been excelling also against Adult riders having won Grand Prix’s and other competitions around the country over the past 12 months.
Meanwhile, James Brennan recently had a major win when partnering MHS Jersey Girl to victory and a double clear round in The Grand Prix in Wexford with Timmy finishing third with James also winning that same Grand Prix in Wexford last year.
Eoin, Timmy and James have already won in Gorla Minore this year having claimed The Nations Cup in April.
Alice Moloney is also from a strong Equestrian background with her family centrally involved.
She will partner either Casima or Castlefield Lass in The Children on Horses competition, while her Sister Emily will ride Lady Crown in The European Pony Championship in Le Mans France towards the end of this month (24th – 30th July).
Both Alice and Emily are Daughters of well known Showjumper Eddie Moloney and niece to Richie Moloney who has been based Stateside.
Meanwhile, Seamus Hughes Kennedy will represent Ireland in The Young Riders competition where his mount will be ESI Rocky or Castlefield Hero.
Seamus is a rising star who has acheived success Worldwide with a particular highlight coming in 2019, when he became World Champion aboard Cuffesgrange Cavadora at The World Breeding Championships in Belgium in 2019.
The 20-year-old confirmed his ever growing reputation with victory recently in The Grand Prix at The Balmoral Show aboard ESI Ali who is owned by his Mum Clare.
Clare is a Sister of International Showjumper Marion Hughes, while Seamus is a first cousin of former Grand National winning jockey David Mullins.
The Irish Teams for next weeks European Championships are managed by James Kernan who enjoyed plenty of success as a rider especially in the late 70s, when along with Captain Con Power, Eddie Macken and the late Paul Darragh, he was part of the great Ireland Team that won a hat-trick of consecutive Aga Khans from 1977-1979.
In a hugely busy month of Equestrian action, Kilkenny will also be represented by Abbie Oakley aboard Boutade Ste Hermelle in The Pony Championships, while Castlecomer native Anne-Marie Dunphy is manager of The Ireland Team for The Dressage competitions in Le Mans.
Wishing all The competitors and everyone The very best in an action packed month of European Equestrian Championships.