THE Belgian team of Koen Vereecke (Kasanova de la Pomme), Gregory Wathelet (Iron Man van de Padenborre), Gilles Thomas (Calleryama) and Jerome Guery (Quel Homme de Hus) claimed the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2022 title and the single qualification spot on offer for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain this afternoon (Sunday) when completing on a zero scoreline.

It was not Ireland's day as Michael Blake’s senior Irish show jumping team of Andrew Bourns, Trevor Breen, Mikey Pender and Jack Ryan, finished in eighth place overall in the eight nation contest at the Real Club de Polo in Barcelona, Spain.

Ireland had taken their place among teams which qualified for the final following a runner-up finish in the first qualifier on Thursday at Barcelona.

Galway’s Andrew Bourns was first to go for Ireland with Sea Topblue (ISH), owned by Andrew Bourns & QBS Equestrian LLC. They were clear up until fence 11 where they picked up four faults and two further fences down on the way home saw them finish with 12 faults. It was a similar story for Ireland’s second combination, Tipperary’s Trevor Breen with Highland President, owned by Heather Black. They jumped clear over the opening half of the course but would come home with 16 faults in total.

Kildare’s Mikey Pender, who celebrated his 23rd birthday this weekend in Barcelona, then produced a hugely impressive clear round with the Irish Sport Horse HHS Calais, owned by Bravo Hughes Ltd. Kilkenny’s Jack Ryan was last to go with the Irish Sport Horse BBS McGregor (ISH) owned by Marguerite Ryan, and they finished with eight faults, with Ireland completing on a final score of 20 faults.

Victory, and the one Olympic qualifying place on offer, went to Belgian after a brilliant display that saw them finish as the only team on a zero score. France finished as runners-up while third place went to Switzerland.

Ireland already qualified a show jumping team for Paris 2024, achieved at this year's FEI World Championships in Herning (DEN).

Breeding details

Sea Topblue (ISH) – 2011 gelding by Chacco Blue (MECKL) out of Sea Top Lady (ISH) by Lux Z (HANN). Breeders: James & John Meade, Co. Clare. Owner: Andrew Bourns & QBS Equestrian. Rider: Andrew Bourns (IRL).

HHS Calais (ISH) – 2011 gelding by Cavalier Royale (HOLST) out of MHS OBOS Cruise (ISH) by OBOS Quality (OLD). Breeder: Ita Brennan, Co. Kilkenny. Owner: Bravo Hughes Ltd. Rider: Michael Pender (IRL).

BBS McGregor (ISH) – 2012 gelding by Cardento (HOLST) out of Random Chance (ISH) by Mark Twain (TB) bred and owned by Marguerite Ryan ridden by Jack Ryan.

The Irish Show Jumping team is sponsored by The Underwriting Exchange

Charles Ancona – Official athlete clothing supplier to HSI’s Senior Olympic programmes

Source: Horse Sport Ireland press release; FEI press release