IRISH eventing manager Nick Turner faces a tough decision in the coming days as he chooses his team for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Irish riders and Irish-bred horses dominated the Tattersalls International Horse Trials in association with Horse Sport Ireland in Co Meath today.
Tipperary’s Padraig McCarthy won the George Mernagh Memorial CIC*** class, while Irish Sport Horses filled the top six places in The Irish Field CCI*** competition.
With just days to go before Nick Turner makes his final selection for the Olympic Games in Rio, Tattersalls provided one final opportunity for athletes to impress. Ireland has qualified a full team of four eventing riders for the Rio Games.
Padraig McCarthy claimed the CIC*** class after moving up three places in the final cross-country phase with the 16-year-old gelding Simon Porloe.
The cross-country course proved hugely influential in the final standings, with none of the field coming home inside the optimum time.
McCarthy came closest to the target, adding just four time penalties to leave him on a winning score of 49.60.
Irish riders dominated the leaderboard, filling eight of the top 10 places.
Overnight leader Austin O’Connor finished as runner-up with Kilpatrick Knight (ISH)(TIH) on a score of 51.90, while Jonty Evans finished third with Cooley Rorkes Drift (ISH) (54.90). Mark Kyle and Jemilla were fourth, while Clare Abbot and Euro Prince took sixth, Sam Watson and Horseware Lukeswell seventh and Padraig McCarthy (Bernadette Utopia) eighth.
The Irish Field CCI*** class at Tattersalls saw Irish-bred horses fill the top six places. Australia’s Paul Tapner took the top prize with Prince Mayo (ISH), ahead of Britain’s Fiona Harris in second riding Cooley Lord Lux.
Another British rider, Micheal Owen took third spot on the podium with The Highland Prince (ISH), ahead of New Zealander Andrew Hoy in fourth with The Blue Frontier (ISH).
Local rider Tony Kennedy was the highest-placed Irish rider, filling fifth place with Westeria Lane (ISH), while another Irish rider, Dominic Furnell, completed the top six with Ballycahane Flower Power (ISH).
The Connolly’s Red Mills CCI** U24 class saw Lucy Latta finish best of the Irish in seventh place with DHI Broadway, while Britain’s William Fox-Pitt claimed the Eventing Ireland CCI1* class with Secret Night.
FIVE PAGES OF TATTERSALLS NEWS AND ANALYSIS IN THE IRISH FIELD ON SATURDAY