24 May 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Niall Hughes, a member of the Monaghan Pony Club, competed in the DAKS International Mounted Games Championships at the Royal Windsor Horse Show from 9th–13th May, as part of the Republic of Ireland team.
Despite tough competition from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, it was the team from the Republic who were victorious! This is only the second time in the competition’s history that the Republic have won at Windsor.
Niall, who at 13 is the team’s youngest member, is still eligible to compete again at this level (under–15) next year. This was a fantastic achievement for Niall , who joins an elite list of Monaghan Pony Club members to have played at Windsor.
He is the first Monaghan member to be part of a winning team.
The competition went right down to the wire, with three teams still in hot contention going into the final (which was double points).
Ireland were three points ahead of Wales, who were closely followed by England. The Republic managed to hold their nerve in the final, however, and ended up winning on a total of 202 points, 11 ahead of Wales on 191, with England not too far behind on 185 points. Scotland were 4th on a score of 171, with Northern Ireland in 5th on 105 points.
The Irish team consisted of Peter McCarthy (Kildare), Andrew Devitt (Laois), Darragh Kavanagh (Wicklow), Niall Hughes (Monaghan), and Philip Weldon (Meath). Molly Furlong (Wicklow) was the team’s reserve, and Chris Ahearne of Tipperary was the Team Trainer.
The team had been training vigorously since the end of February. All the hard work paid off for the boys, who saved their best for the competition and were duly rewarded with a great victory.
To win was an amazing feat for Niall and the team, and one which will live long in the memory of players and supporters alike.

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