THE Irish eventing team scored a runner-up finish in today’s (Sunday) home leg of the FEI Nations Cup series at Ballindenisk in Co Cork, holding off a strong challenge from France who had to settle for third.
Lying in third after Saturday’s opening dressage phase, Ireland moved up to second after Sunday morning’s show jumping. Despite being reduced to just three team members for the final phase, Ireland produced a superb cross-country performance in the afternoon, where all three Irish team members jumped clear, adding just time penalties.
Ireland’s combined score of 182.5, saw them finish with a two-point advantage over the French while Britain took the winners prize.
The four-strong Irish team was made up entirely of Irish Sport Horses, with Michael Ryan, partnering Ballylynch Adventure (ISH) Joseph Murphy riding Sportsfield Othello (ISH), Cathal Daniels aboard Barnaboy Freeman (ISH)(TIH) and Nicola Ennis with Westwinds Jack Of Hearts (ISH).
Speaking afterwards, Irish eventing team manager Nick Turner said: “I’m delighted with the whole squad. Nicola’s horse lost a shoe Show Jumping in the morning and was a bit sore so didn’t go cross-country. We had three very solid cross-country rounds and it was great to finish second. The organisers here at Ballindenisk as always did a very good job and the Nations Cup course in particular had a very good balance, asked the right questions and was a credit to all involved.”
In the individual standings, Joseph Murphy and Sportsfield Othello (ISH) finished best of the Irish in sixth place, just ahead of Jayne Doherty in seventh with The Only One (ISH)(TIH). Britain’s Pippa Funnell led from start to finish with Mirage D’Elle to take the winners prize.
In show jumping, Waterford-born Anthony Condon and the stallion Aristio continued their recent run of excellent results, with a win in the two-star Grand Prix at Eschweiler in Germany.
Condon and the 10-year-old, who is owned by John and Lisa Hales from Shaw Farm Stud, produced the fastest clear round to take the winners prize of just over €6,000.
Condon and Aristio have been named in the Irish squad for the opening round of the Furusiyya Nations Cup series at Lummen in Belgium next Friday, where they will be joined by Bertram Allen Cian O’Connor, Greg Broderick and Denis Lynch.
Meanwhile at Hagen in Germany, Mayo’s Cameron Hanley grabbed a sixth place finish in the feature Grand Prix aboard the nine-year-old gelding Cas 2, with victory going to German rider Philipp Weishaupt with Chico.