In-form Duffy and his mare Cinca 3 inspire Ireland to European team bronze


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

In-form Duffy and his mare Cinca 3 inspire Ireland to European team bronze In-form Duffy and his mare Cinca 3 inspire Ireland to European team bronze

A career-best performance for Galway show jumper Michael Duffy in Milano, Italy last week helped Ireland win silver medals at the FEI Jumping European Championships.

The Turloughmore rider and his 14-year-old grey mare Cinca 3 jumped three clear rounds, one each on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, which contributed handsomely to Ireland’s second place finish in the team event.

Duffy (28) and Cinca were one of only five out of 85 pairings in the championships who jumped three clear rounds.

The first rider out each day for Team Ireland managed by Michael Blake, his confident clear rounds set the tone for teammates Trevor Breen, Shane Sweetnam and Eoin McMahon.

The quartet made history – this was only the fourth time Ireland has medalled at European Championships, which was staged for the 39th time last week.

It represents a career highlight for Duffy who has competed at international events at U14, U16, U18, U21 and senior. This was his fourth international medal and by far the most valuable, which puts him in a decent position to secure a spot on the Ireland team which travels to France for the 2024 Olympics.

Duffy’s other significant successes include his first, in 2007, when he was 12 and jumped three clear rounds for the Ireland U14 team that secured silver in Istanbul.

Two years later he was part of Ireland team that secured silver (he was 7th in the individual competition) at the Pony European Championships; and in 2015, he earned a team bronze and fifth individual finish at the U21 championships.

This was Duffy’s first senior European silverware and for a period last Sunday it looked like he was going to add an individual medal, too, before withdrawing in the final.

Duffy went into Sunday’s individual event placed third but after picking up faults for two knockdowns in the first of two rounds, he dropped to ninth out of 25 riders.

Pictured: Turloughmore’s Michael Duffy and Cinca 3 who combined brilliantly in leading Ireland to the team silver at the European Showjumping Championships.

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