Duffy helps Ireland to silver

Young Turloughmore star Michael Duffy continues to challenge for showjumping honours after helping Ireland secure silver at the European championships in Belgium over the weekend.

Duffy, who is just 14-years-old, began with some impressive form in the warm-up events on Thursday when he had a double clear and carried that into the first day of the individual on Friday where he again managed to get around without a fence dropping.

In Saturday’s team competition Duffy, on his consistent pony Sligo Saddlery Silogue Darkie, took the anchor role, and with another first-round clear helped Ireland to a rewarding silver medal, just behind Denmark.

Duffy now returns to Ireland to lead the challenge in the ponies and young riders, along with Galway’s Cian Melia at the RDS. Olive Clarke, who finished fifth again at the national event last week, will be hoping to make a major impact in the main arena as the week progresses.

The McDonaghs from Craughwell are also likely to feature in the ponies with Kate, Tim and Paddy all capable of challenging for top honours, while Jessica Lee and her cousin Clodagh Lee from Headford have also qualified ponies for the key events in Dublin.

Elsewhere Ballinasloe's Damien Griffin jumped to victory in Saturday's round of the Connacht Grand Prix League to move into first overall with just two rounds remaining. Griffin beat off stiff competition on Lissy Egan Clover Diamond to take maximum points and overturn a nine point deficit in the league table to lead by one.

Carl Hanley and Kalips Du Marais had led for the entire season to date, but he failed to pick up points this weekend on his leading horse.

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