A strong cross country performance has seen the Irish eventing team climb seven places on the leaderboard, into third place, at the three-star FEI Nations Cup at Boekelo in The Netherlands.
Ireland, managed by Sally Corscadden, had been in 10th place after the opening dressage phase, which took place on Thursday and Friday, but three clear jumping rounds cross country today has moved Ireland into a podium position heading into tomorrow’s final show jumping phase.
Declan Cullen with Seavaghan Ash (ISH), Austin O’Connor with Kilpatrick Knight (ISH)(TIH) and Sam Watson with Imperial Sky (ISH)(TIH) all produced perfect jumping rounds, adding just time penalties to their scores. Michelle Kenny and RLE Aspe produced the discard score after picking up 20 jumping and time penalties.
Ireland are on a team total of 193.20, just ahead of France in fourth (194.40), Australia in fifth (203.70), and Britain (211.10) holding sixth of the 11 teams taking part. New Zealand continue to lead on a score of 152.90, with Germany (166.30) in second ahead of Ireland.
Sam Watson is best of the Irish individually in 10th overall on his second mount Ardagh Highlight (ISH) on a score of 53.00. New Zealand’s Tim Price holds the lead with Cekatinka with a score of 43.70.
Ireland were winners of the Boekelo Nations Cup in 2015 with a team that included Cathal Daniels, Jonty Evans, Padraig McCarthy and Joseph Murphy.
The second horse inspection in Boekelo will take place at 8am on Sunday morning, with the final show jumping phase starting at 10am.
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