James Derwin in action during this year's European Show Jumping Championships for Ponies in Poland.

Athlone's James nominated for prestigious award

Athlone teenager James Derwin has received a nomination in the Rising Star Category of the 2022 FEI Awards.

Derwin's nomination comes after a phenomenal season which saw the talented 14-year-old crowned European Pony Show Jumping champion.

Last August, James two gold medals in the FEI European Championships for Ponies (an under-16 competition) in Strzegom, Poland.

Derwin claimed individual gold in the FEI Pony Show Jumping European final on Rincoola Babog, edging out Kilkenny’s James Brennan in a jump-off.

The Athlone youngster's individual success came hot on the heels of his success with the Irish show jumping team who were crowned European champions a couple of days previously.

The Irish team comprised Kilkenny duo Eoin Brennan and James Brennan, Sligo’s Paddy Reape, Clare’s Coen Williams and Westmeath’s James Derwin.

From Auburn in Athlone, James hails from a family steeped in equestrian sport. A son of Jim Derwin and Jennifer McGuire, James is a student at Marist College. He has two sisters, Jessica and Jane, and a younger brother, Jack.

The Longines FEI Rising Star category is for athletes aged 14 to 21 who demonstrates outstanding sporting talent and commitment.

In addition to James, the other nominees in this category are as follows: Alice Casburn (Britain - Eventing), Sam Dos Santos (Netherlands - Vaulting) and Karla Dyhm-Junge (Denmark - Para Dressage).

The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) is the world governing body for Jumping, Dressage & Para Dressage, Eventing, Driving & Para Driving, Endurance and Vaulting.

The nominations for the 2022 FEI Awards were announced today (Thursday).

The 20 shortlisted candidates from 15 countries include World champions, highly accomplished up-and-coming young athletes, grooms, inspirational equestrians, judges and charities.

The winners will be decided by combination of the public’s vote and the votes of the nine expert judges, with a weight of 50% being given to each part of the voting process.

Online voting has opened for all categories. To vote for James, log on to https://www.fei.org/awards and click on 'start voting'.