Clare based Showjumper Jack Conlon Gateau had a successful week in Cheshire with his ponies taking 128 Team Gold (under 12s) with his teammates, Senan Reape, Aine Shortall & Paddy Reape.
The English Home Pony International (HPI) Show is one of four International shows held each year in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales to allow young pony riders – from U10 up to U16 – to compete against their peers in other countries for the HPI titles.
Hundreds of ponies and riders from the four nations competed in Southview Equestrian Centre between Liverpool and Manchester over 5 days of intense competition.
After two days of qualifiers Jack made it on to the 128 and 138 Irish teams for the end of week head to head between the best riders and ponies from each nation. He won one of the qualifiers (out of 49 starters) with his RDS Reserve Champion, the pony stallion Blaengwen Kato Star and came 5th in the other qualifier with his mare, Uquam D’emery. Jack made the 138 team with a new French pony, River de la Courance, a super result for a new combination.
The 128 team won the HPI title with an unbeatable 0 faults over two rounds of jumping while the 138 team were pushed in to second place by a strong English team even though they had just one fence down between the four riders.
Commenting on the week in Southview, Jack said: “It was a very exciting week for me and my family as we got to meet with some old friends from previous HPI events in Cavan and make some new friends from around the UK. It was a long journey by road, ferry and road again to make it to Southview but the event was such good fun and the competition so exciting it made it all worthwhile. Any time you get to hear the national anthem after winning with an Irish team is just amazing, and to get to do that in England last week with super team mates was fantastic.”