THE Irish show jumping team scored a third-place finish in last Saturday’s three-star Longines EEF Nations Cup in Madrid, Spain.

Chef d’equipe Taylor Vard named the same team who had taken victory in the Portuguese Nations Cup in Lisbon the previous. The quartet of Richard Howley, Jessica Burke, Kevin Gallagher and Jenny Rankin were in sixth place at the halfway stage in Madrid and produced a flawless second round with four clears to finish on their first round score of eight faults.

Howley was once again the pathfinder for the team with Dalibor Kurel’s 11-year-old gelding Consulent de Prelet Z, who was double clear in Lisbon, however the pair picked up eight faults in the first round.

Galway’s Jessica Burke was next with Liam Nicholas’ nine-year-old mare Namamia and put in a brilliant clear to steady the team. Gallagher was third to go with Greg Broderick’s Ballypatrick Flamenco, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Je T’Aime Flamenco, who was bred by Dr Noel Cawley. They picked up four faults, before Jenny Rankin finished with the same score aboard Vanessa Mannix’s Carmela Z.

That left them on eight faults at the half way stage, however, all four riders were foot perfect the second time out to record four clear rounds and jump up to a podium placing. Burke was among nine who jumped clear rounds.

Victory went to the home nation of Spain on a perfect score of zero. The team was Manuel Fernandez Saro, Mariano Martinez Bastida, Santiago Nunez Riva and Eduardo Alvarez Aznar. Belgium were second on four faults.

Spain’s Eduardo Alvarez Aznar won the 1.50m three-star Grand Prix at the venue aboard Rokfeller de Pleville Bois Margot, ahead of Portugal’s Duarte Seabra with the 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding HHS Washington (Tinaranas Inspector x cavalier Royale) who was bred by Miguel Bravo in Co Kilkenny.