USA showjumping team takes Aga Khan at RDS
Irish team finishes joint sixth out of eight countries
Cian O’Connor riding Quidam’s Cherie in the Aga Khan today. Photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times
The USA showjumping team held aloft the Aga Khan trophy in the RDS ths afternoon as a young team of riders, including Jessica Springsteen, finished on a score of four faults.
Ireland finished equal sixth out of eight countries. The crowd cheered the USA as rock star Bruce Springsteen and his wife Patti watched from the stands with their Irish friends Enda Bolger and Suzy Barkley.
Despite Ireland producing two brilliant clear rounds from Darragh Kenny and Bertram Allen, the home nation finished well down the field. Great Britain finished second on a team total of eight faults.
The Irish team, which also included Cian O’Connor and Dermott Lennon, accumulated 12 faults in the first round but seemed to be staging a comeback as the second round started, with Allen and Kenny having clear rounds.
However O’Connor, who had faulted only once first time out, ended on eight faults in the final round, and Lennon became one of five riders in the competition to suffer elimination due to double refusals on Alan Wade’s deceptively tricky course.
The United States’ dazzling display over both rounds left them with just four faults. Ukraine, France and Sweden shared third place on 16 faults each, while Ireland shared sixth place with the Netherlands on 20 faults.
Germany finished last on a team elimination.
The result means Ireland will not be one of the seven European Division One teams going through to October’s 2014 Furusiyya Series final in Barcelona.
Team manager Robert Splaine said afterwards: “I’m obviously disappointed in today’s result. I pick the riders, and I’m responsible for getting good results, and though a pretty good result was achievable for us today, it didn’t work out that way.
“We had a fabulous second round recovery from the two young lads making their debut here, Bertram Allen and Darragh Kenny, but then we had a completely uncharacteristic refusal from Dermott Lennon’s mare at a fence that caused a similar problem for quite a few other riders.
Third win for Kenny
In other events yesterday, Darragh Kenny enjoyed his third win of the week in the second round of the Connolly’s Red Mills International 7- and 8-year-olds with the consistent Chin Quidam VDL.