TIPPERARY's Denis Lynch has qualified for Sunday’s Longines World Cup Jumping final round at Omaha, Nebraska, in the USA, after they completed a testing second round of jumping in the early hours of Saturday morning, with just a single time fault.
Lynch and Thomas Straumann’s 14-year-old stallion All Star 5 were in 21st place after Thursday’s opening round at the Century Link Center in Omaha. They finished in 10th place in this mornings second competition and have now up moved up to 13th place overall on the leaderboard with 15 penalties in total.
They were one of just 10 combinations not to touch a pole over Alan Wade’s tough second round course, where a tight time allowed saw seven riders finish with time faults.
Reflecting on his two World Cup rounds so far in Omaha, Lynch said: “We didn’t start off great on Thursday, we had a silly fence. He [All Star] kicked back over an oxer. I’ll take it on my cap, I was a bit slow around to that oxer. Today we were much better, okay we have a time fault but a few others have [had time faults] too. I’m very pleased with him."
When asked about the summer season ahead Lynch added: “We have a new manager now [Rodrigo Pessoa] and our big goal is the European Championships and to be as competitive and good as possible in the Nations Cups’. I have a fantastic horse in All Star, he is very experienced and we have been to a few championships so we are looking forward to that.”
In a repeat of Thursday’s opening competition in Omaha, the second round of the World Cup Final was again won by American rider McLain Ward and HH Azur after a stunning double clear in front of their delighted home fans.
Ward and HH Azur will hold the overall lead on zero penalties heading into the final two rounds of jumping on Sunday. Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet is in second on three penalties, with Switzerland’s Romain Duguet in third on four penalties.
The top 30 combinations now go forward to Sunday’s finale where the 2017 World Cup Jumping champion will be crowned.
Meanwhile, Kildare’s Judy Reynolds and Vanvouver K will represent Ireland in the Dressage World Cup Final tonight in Omaha, with the Grand Prix Freestyle to Music competition starting at 8.15pm Irish time.