Kilkenny showjumper takes bronze in Abu Dhabi
Kilkenny-born showjumper Marion Hughes claimed third place in the Abu Dhabi World Cup Grand Prix last week, riding the Irish-bred mare Heritage HHS Fortuna.
The Irish competitor was one of just four combinations to go clear in the first round at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club grounds, but was beaten on time by eventual Saudi Arabian winner Khaled Al Eid and the Concorde stallion Vanhoeve, who took the €23,000 first prize.
Hughes, who is now based in Portugal, did however collect €11,000 for the third place on her Kilkenny-bred Cavalier Royale mare. The duo has seen much success of late in the United Arab Emirates after last week taking second place in the Dubai Grand Prix.
Horses have always been a huge part of Hughes’ life as she grew up in Cuffesgrange, Kilkenny, and has won many competitions throughout her life both in Ireland and abroad, including the Queen’s Cup at Hickstead in 1995 and 1996.
Marion Hughes’s late father Seamus Hughes set up the Hughes Stud Farm in the heart of Kilkenny. Seamus had great foresight and established a breeding programme in Ireland that was well ahead of its time.
Their horses descend from quality bloodlines and they compete them at the highest national and international levels. Marion now dedicates her time to producing young horses at Hughes’ Horse Stud to international level.