RODRIGO Pessoa’s Irish show jumping team of Shane Sweetnam, Peter Moloney, Darragh Kenny and Cian O’Connor, finished fourth in tonight’s (Thursday) Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup at Aachen in Germany where Sweden spoiled the home party by taking victory ahead of hosts Germany who had to settle for runner-up spot.
Cork’s Shane Sweetnam and the Spy Coast Farm-owned Chaqui Z were first in for Ireland in the opening round and finished with four faults. Waterford’s Peter Moloney, who was making his Aachen Nations Cup debut with Chianti’s Champion, owned by Team Harmony, produced a brilliant clear round as second to go for Pessoa’s team. Offaly’s Darragh Kenny was the discard score in the first round with Important De Muze, owned by Anne Thompson when they finished with eight faults.
Ireland’s anchor rider, Meath’s Cian O’Connor with the Ronnoco Jump-owned mare Irenice Horta, delivered a vital clear round to leave Ireland in a share of the lead at the halfway stage – among a group of five teams who were on a score of four faults.
Sweetnam got Ireland off to a perfect start in round two when jumping a clear round. Moloney came home with four faults second time out and when Kenny then also finished with four faults, Sweden moved into the outright lead. The home team from Germany, who had been lying in sixth place at the halfway stage, climbed the leaderboard with their first three riders all jumping clear in the second round - meaning they would finish on a final score of five faults.
Sweden would take victory if their last rider Peder Fredricson could jump clear and the reigning European champion showed his class – jumping a perfect clear round to leave Sweden as winners on a final score of four faults. Germany finished as runners-up on five faults ahead of France in third on eight with Ireland finishing fourth on 12 faults when Cian O’Connor opted not to jump in the second round.
USA finished fifth with The Netherlands sixth, Belgium seventh and Switzerland eighth.
Aachen was not part of the Longines FEI Nations Cup series with Ireland set for their next outing in Europe Division 1 at Hickstead in Britain next Friday, July 26th.
Earlier today the Irish Dressage team of Anna Merveldt, Heike Holstein and Judy Reynolds, finished sixth in the opening competition of the Aachen Dressage Nations Cup. Germany hold the lead ahead of the deciding Grand Prix Special which takes place on Saturday. The Irish Eventing team, managed by Sally Corscadden, start the Aachen Eventing Nations Cup tomorrow Friday.
Source: Horse Sport Ireland press release
The Irish Show Jumping team is sponsored by Devenish and The Underwriting Exchange
Equiline – Official athlete clothing supplier of Team Ireland Equestrian