A SUPERB cross-country performance from the Irish eventing team saw it shoot up the leaderboard at the French Nations Cup in Fontainebleau today (Saturday), moving into third place ahead of tomorrow’s final show jumping phase.
The Irish quartet, which was made up entirely of riders partnering Irish Sport Horses, all completed the cross-country course without jumping penalties, to move up three places having held sixth spot after dressage.
Jonty Evans with Cooley Rorkes Drift (ISH), Austin O’Connor riding Kilpatrick Knight (ISH)(TIH), Clare Abbott aboard Euro Prince (ISH) and Cathal Daniels riding Rioghan Rua (ISH), all added just time faults to their dressage score.
An incredibly tight time allowed saw just one of the 72 starters come home inside the time allowed, with many countries – including overnight leaders Australian - slipping down the leaderboard when they also added jumping faults.
Team manager Nick Turner’s Irish side moved onto the podium places on a combined total of 189.3 penalties, with Germany holding the lead on 156.2 ahead of the home team from France in second on 167.1.
The Fontainebleau Nations Cup comes to a conclusion on Sunday with the final show jumping phase, with Jonty Evans the best-placed Irish rider on the individual standings in 13th place overall.