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In a statement issued just after Ireland's historic Gold Medal triumph in the Senior European Show Jumping Championships at Arnhem, Netherlands, today (Friday June 29) Equestrian Federation of Ireland President, Ms. Avril Doyle, MEP said:

<< I am delighted at this historic win for our senior show jumpers at the European Championships. I am also extremely proud that they will bring a Gold Medal home to Ireland from this most prestigious international event.

<<I would like to extend congratulations on behalf of the EFI to Kevin Babington, Jessica Kurten, Peter Charles and Dermott Lennon, and indeed to everyone involved in this tremendous victory, which I think augurs so well for the future of equestrian sport in this country.

<<With a First Place in the Nations Cup Series last year, and now a Gold Medal in the European Championships, I think it can safely be said that the most successful Irish athletes now competing on the world stage are equestrian athletes, and that Ireland's best chance of a medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics must lie in the equestrian sport sector.>>

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