Ireland has won the first Pony Nations Cup of the year, which took place at Opglabbeek in Belgium today, beating the home team by four faults, and with the Netherlands coming home in third, ten points adrift of the winners.

With six nations competing for the prize, Gary Marshall’s Irish quartet of Francis Derwin, Max Wachman, Tom Wachman and Seamus Hughes Kennedy finished the two rounds on a total of just four faults, a fence ahead of Belgium.

Francis Derwin and Rincoola Babog had four faults in each round, but the Wachman duo proved to be the backbone of the team, with Max and Cuffesgrange Cavalidam producing Ireland’s first double clear round, and younger brother Tom following suit on Quaprice d’Astree.

Vital to the team taking the Nations Cup trophy, however, was anchorman Seamus Hughes Kennedy on Rock Dee Jay, who had a foot in the water in the first round, but put Ireland into the lead with a steady clear on his second circuit of the course.

-Jack Burns