Equestrian: cross-country prowess sees Ireland improve in Netherlands

Ireland move from seventh up to fourth in the final FEI eventing Nations’ Cup of 2018

Carlow’s Sam Watson helped boost Ireland’s place in the Netherlands. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Carlow’s Sam Watson helped boost Ireland’s place in the Netherlands. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

 

Ireland’s traditional cross-country riding skills saw the team improve from seventh to fourth place on Saturday in the final FEI eventing Nations’ Cup of 2018 at Boekelo in The Netherlands.

Carlow’s Sam Watson, team silver medallist at the World Equestrian Games in North Carolina last month, was home clear within the time on Tullabeg Fusion to complete on his dressage score of 36.50 penalties. His Tryon teammate, Meath’s Sarah Ennis, picked up 5.20 time penalties with Woodcourt Garrison (40.50) as did Cork’s Brian Morrison on Global Milchem JJ (41.70).

Making her Nations’ Cup debut on Killossery Athletic Touch, Waterford-based Meabh Bolger had a disappointing run-out at the second element of fence 21, an angled hedge on four strides, for 20 jumping penalties. With an additional 28.40 for time, they completed on 81.40 so their score was discarded as Ireland finished the day on 118.70 behind Germany (83.40), Great Britain (91.40) and Sweden (94.20).

In the individual standings, the first three after dressage all held their ground. The host nation’s Tip Lips topped the leaderboard with Bayro on 19.20 penalties followed by Germany’s Julia Krajewski on Samourai du Thot (22.60) and Britain’s Laura Collett on London 52 (24.70).

Watson and Vahe Bogossian’s nine-year-old dun Tullabeg Flamenco was best of the Irish in 23rd place just ahead of Armagh’s Declan Cullen who, riding as an individual, picked up 4.40 cross-country time penalties on Saturday with Seavaghan Ash (36.60). Both moved up two places on Sunday morning before the final show jumping phase as Astier Nicolas withdrew the fifth-placed Alertamalib’Or while Uyassa Champeix (Alicia Ennesser), which had been lying 14th, was not accepted at the second horse inspection.

There were no major wins for Ireland’s international show jumping riders on Saturday but plenty of placings. At Moorsele in Belgium, Co Wexford’s Harry Allen, one of five riders to go double clear, finished second in the 1.45m jump-off class with Dis Moi Tout de Clairbois (38.01) behind Belgium’s Gilles Thomas on Konak (36.02).

Offaly’s Darragh Kenny recorded two top-six placings at the five-star show in Oslo, finishing sixth on Billy Dorito in the 1.45m speed class before claiming fourth spot in the day’s feature competition, the 1.5m-1.60m jump-off class, on Cassini Z. In Vilamoura, Portugal, Kildare’s Mikey Pender partnered Dome van Overis Z into second place in the 1.45m speed class.

In overnight news from the USA, Ireland’s Paul O’Shea was one of only four riders to progress to the second round of the 1.50m Grand Prix at Tryon. While his mount, Tequestrian Farms’ Imerald van’t Voorhof, left all the poles intact against the clock, the Limerick native had to settle for second place in 33.026 as home crowd favourite Kent Farrington was clear in 32.232 with Gazelle.

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