THE Irish eventing team have finished fourth overall at the three-star FEI Nations Cup at Boekelo in The Netherlands. Ireland had been in 10th place after dressage and climbed the leaderboard on Saturday after three clear jumping rounds cross country.
Ireland, led by Team Manager Sally Corscadden, briefly held third place after cross country but dropped down one place when Australia successfully appealed 20 penalties given to one of their riders meaning Ireland started the final day in fourth position.
The final show jumping phase saw Austin O’Connor with Kilpatrick Knight (ISH)(TIH) jump clear inside the time, while Sam Watson with Imperial Sky (ISH)(TIH) and Michelle Kenny with RLE Aspe, both finished with just one fence down apiece.
Ireland’s last rider, Declan Cullen with Seavaghan Ash (ISH), finished with 10 faults to leave Ireland on a final score of 207.20.
New Zealand took the winners' prize with a score of 160.90, with Germany second (174.30) and Australia in third (203.70), less than one fence ahead of the Irish.
The home team from The Netherlands finished fifth (237.40), with France sixth (244.60) and USA seventh of the 11 teams that took part.
Sam Watson finished best of the Irish individually in 13th overall, with his second mount Ardagh Highlight (ISH), on a score of 57.00.
New Zealand’s Tim Price claimed victory, riding Cekatinka, with a score of 43.70.
Declan Cullen with Seavaghan Ash (ISH) a 2009 skewbald gelding by Glenhill Gold (ISH) out of Davy’s Instructions (TB) by Safety Catch (TB). Breeder Seamus MacGouran. Owner Becky Cullen.
Michelle Kenny with RLE Aspe (HOLST) a 2008 bay mare by Singulord Joter (BH) out of Ramatuelle (HOLST) by Levernois (HOLST). Breeder: May Thomas (GER). Owner: River Lodge Equestrian.
Austin O’Connor with Kilpatrick Knight (ISH)(TIH) a 2005 bay gelding by Master Imp (TB) out of Golden Choice (ISH) by Golden Trump (ID). Breeder Joan J Dolan. Owners: Mr Eugene McKenna & Wendie Foster
Sam Watson with Imperial Sky (ISH)(TIH) a 2006 grey gelding by Puissance (ISH) out of Skies of Blue (ISH) by Horos (TB). Breeder: Carolyn Lannigan O’Keefe. Owners Hannah Bailey and Cathy Byrne
Sam Watson with Ardagh Highlight (ISH) – 2004 bay gelding by Puissance (ISH) out of Gentle Servant (ISH), by Kings Servant (ISH). Bred by Teresa Walsh, Co. Kilkenny. Owner: Belinda Keir