AN Irish show jumping team that included two riders making their Nations Cup debut, finished joint-third in Saturday's three-star Nations Cup at Uggerhalne in Denmark.
Michael Blake's Development team of Clem McMahon (Pacato (ISH), Peter Moloney (Compelling Z) Richard Howley (Dolores), and Jenny Rankin (Bennys Legacy), were in a share of seventh place at the halfway stage but finished strongly to share third place with Belgium.
McMahon, Moloney, and Rankin all finished with two fences down each in round one, while Howley had just one fence down.
Making his first first ever Senior Nations Cup appearance, Waterford-born Peter Moloney jumped a perfect clear in the second round with Compelling Z, owned by Carmel Ryan.
Jenny Rankin, who was also making her debut, finished with just one fence down with the Deirdre Bourns-owned Bennys Legacy, while Richard Howley and the Morgan Kent-owned Dolores also finished with just four faults.Clem McMahon and the Hilton Farm-owned Pacato (ISH) were the second round discard score with eight faults.
Speaking afterwards, Irish Development team manager Michael Blake was delighted with his team's performance: "I am really, really happy with all our team. This was an inexperienced team with Peter Moloney and Jenny Rankin making their Nations Cup debut and our four horses ranging from just eight to 10 year old.
"When I walked the course I knew this competition was going to be won on a high score. It was a very tough course with a particularly difficult line to the combination. These Division 2 Nations Cup's are always competitive and I am very proud of how we did against some very strong teams."
Victory went to Germany on 20 faults with Britain in second (24) and Belgium joint third with Ireland on 28 faults.
EVENTING NATIONS CUP
Meanwhile, in the FEI Eventing Nations Cup in Houghton Hall in England, a brilliant show jumping performance from Ireland has seen them move up to third place overall.
Ireland, led by Chef d’Equipe Rodney Powell, completed the jumping phase without adding any penalties after clear rounds from Austin O’Connor (Colorado Blue), Aidan Keogh (Pride of Tredstep (ISH) and Michelle Kenny (RLE Aspe), while Declan Cullen and Seavaghan Ash (ISH)(TIH) finished with just one fence down.
The leaves Ireland on their dressage score of 102.3 heading into Sunday's final cross country phase. Britain lead on 88.0 ahead of Germany in second with 89.2 penalties.
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