DONEGAL’S Gavin Harley will collect the prestigious Young Rider of the Year award at the Showjumper’s Awards Gala in Kildare tomorrow night, Saturday.
Gavin was a member of the Irish young rider team which claimed a historic gold medal at the European Showing Jumping Championships in Millstreet in Cork at the end of July.
After a tough afternoon of competition, the quartet emerged the best of 10 teams, with the Netherlands taking silver and bronze going to Switzerland.
Gavin, who celebrated his 21st birthday on Thursday, was joined on the team by Mayo’s Michael G Duffy, Dublin’s Matt Garrigan and Wicklow’s Max O’Reilly Hyland. They finished the two-round contest on a total of just five faults with Harley, their last rider with Understone Van de Kapel, delivering a perfect clear to seal the gold medal.
2016 has been a great year for Harley as he also won the Young Rider Grand Prix aboard the 12-year-old stallion, Understone Van De Kapel, at the international show in Opglabbeek, Belgium, in May.
Harley was the only Irish rider in the 42 strong field and produced a foot-perfect double clear round to win the competition with half-a-second to spare over his nearest challenger.
Gavin who has been based with the Van Paescchen family in Brussels, Belgium for the past three years is the son of Martina and Gerard Harley from Rathdonnell. He has two brothers, Mark and Oisin, and one sister Emer.
Following the Showjumper’s Awards Gala at the Killashee Hotel and Spa, Gavin returns to Donegal for a well earned three-week break.
Posted: 5:30 pm December 9, 2016