Kilkenny's Ger O'Neill and The Irish Sport Horse Killossery Kaiden have been crowned World Champions after winning the Gold Medal in the six-year-old final at the World Breeding Jumping Championships at Lanaken in Belgium today.
Having witnessed 16-year-old Michael Pender from Kildare win both the Silver and Bronze medals in the earlier five-year-old final, 31-year-old O'Neill and the gelding Killossery Kaiden (ISH) produced the only double clear of the competition to take the coveted winners trophy in the six-year-old decider.
A total of 264 six-year-old horses from around the globe started their quest for World Championship glory last Thursday, with the top 40 going forward to today's championship final. Nine combinations managed to jump clear in the opening round and O'Neill aboard Killossery Kaiden produced the first double clear round when fourth last to go against the clock. Those who followed couldn't keep the fences standing, meaning the Irish pair took the top spot on the podium sparking huge celebrations from the large Irish travelling contingent of fellow riders, owners and breeders.
The Netherlands Julian de Boer took the Silver medal with Fernando V (KWPN) while Belgium's Thierry Goffinet claimed the Bronze with Kannabis van de Bucxtale (BWP).
Killossery Kaiden (ISH), who is by the stallion Lux Z (HANN) out of Killossery Kruisette (ISH) who is by Cruising (ISH), was bred by Laura & Frank Glynn from Co. Dublin and is owned by KM Sport Horses.
Irish Olympian Greg Broderick, who himself won a World Championship Gold in the five-year-old final In 2013 with Arraghbeg Clover (ISH), finished 12th in today's final with Santa Catalina (ISH).
The opening five-year-old final in Lanaken saw Michael Pender take Silver with with Z Seven Caretina and Bronze with Z Seven Canya Dance. Dutchman Willem Greve with the stallion Garant (KWPN) took the World Championship Gold.
Comdt. John Ledingham, manager of The Irish Sport Horse Studbook team who travelled to Lanaken said: "It really is a brilliant result for an Irish horse and rider to win a Gold medal at this World Championship level. It was a particularly tough course with just nine clears in the first round. Luckily Ger had a late draw in the jump-off where the fences were again bigger and wider and he decided to go for a steady clear. Thankfully it worked out and it is great when a plan comes together. This is now our most successful ever championships with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals."