Equestrian: Disappointment for Ireland as Germans dominate at Millstreet
Ireland failed to win a single medal on home soil as Germany won three
Cian O’Connor missed out on the top prize at the Rolex Grand Prix.
There was huge disappointment among the Irish camp at Millstreet on Sunday as, on home soil, not a single medal was won at this year’s FEI European eventing championships for Young Riders and Juniors.
The German national anthem was played three times in the Green Glens Arena following the show jumping phase of the event with that country winning team and individual gold at Young Rider level and team gold in the Junior section.
The dual gold medallist was Hanna Knüppel who had a fence in hand going into the final stage of the competition and needed it too and her mount, Carismo 22, lowered one pole leaving the combination on a total of 40 penalties. Britain’s Alex Kennedy took silver with the Irish-bred Lissangle Cavaletto B (41.30) ahead of The Netherlands’ Janou Bleekman on Granntevka Prince (44).
Following the early morning’s non-acceptance by the ground jury of the Susie Berry-ridden Morswood, Ireland’s hopes of a medal had evaporated. However, Co Galway’s Cathal Daniels did climb from ninth to fourth as he recorded a clear show jumping round with Margaret Kinsella’s Sammy Davis Junior to complete on his dressage score of 44.60.
Britain, who took the bronze team medal at Young Rider level behind The Netherlands, won team silver ahead of France in the Junior championships where Isabelle Upton secured individual gold on Eros DHI when adding just two cross-country time penalties to her record-breaking dressage score of 23.90.
Germany assured themselves of team gold when filling the next three placings on the leaderboard through Gesa Staas (29.80), Emma Brüssau (30.50) and Antonia Baumgart (34.90). Ireland finished just outside the medal positions in fourth, the best-placed combination in 10th being Co Kildare’s Alex Power riding Lakantus (45).
In Germany, the senior Irish eventing team competing at Aachen was reduced to just two following the withdrawal of Joseph Murphy’s Sportsfield Othello after dressage.
Of the other pair, Co Meath’s Elizabeth Power fared the better when, thanks to a double clear, she climbed from 35th after dressage to finish 15th on the ex-racehorse Soladoun (53.60). The winner, on a penalty score of 34.50, was the host nation’s Ingrid Klimke with Horseware Hale Bob.
Following Cian O’Connor’s two wins at the German venue earlier in the week, the Co Meath rider disappointingly missed out on the big money on Sunday when €1 million was on offer for the Rolex Grand Prix. Although Good Luck had a fence down in the first round, the combination qualified along with 17 others for the second where a clear left O’Connor in 10th place, picking up €10,000 for his efforts.
There was a four-horse jump-off where three further clears were recorded, Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet landing the €330,000 first prize when fastest on the 11-year-old mare Coree.
In dressage at Aachen, Co Kildare’s Judy Reynolds posted an Irish record score of 75.784% when fifth on Vancouver K in Saturday’s Grand Prix Special.
Across the Atlantic in Ottawa, Canada-based Daniel Coyle finished first and second in Sunday’s 1.40m Jumper Classic on Susan and Ariel Grange’s Tienna and Grafton. This week, the Co Derry rider will be competing as a member of the Irish squad at Hickstead, England.
At home, the main show jumping action at the weekend took place at the two-day Tattersalls July Show in Co Meath and it proved a successful fixture for the Army Equitation School whose Captain Geoff Curran recorded a double
On Saturday, the Co Waterford-born rider won the 60-runner Show Jumping Ireland national 1.40m Grand Prix on the nine-year-old Prince Des Vaux gelding Galway Bay Easy Touch while, on Sunday, he completed his brace on the 11-year-old Shannondale Sarco St Ghyvan gelding mare, Shannondale Rahona in the TRM/Horseware Ireland New Heights Champions Series 1.50m Grand Prix in which there were 34 starters.
In the sixth leg of the Irish Sport Horse Studbook young horses classes, Ger O’Neill won the seven-year-old class on the Cassino gelding Castlefield Vegas, which is owned by the rider and Martin Egan, while Tim McDonagh landed the six-year-old division with Clare Hughes’s home-bred Heritage Fortunus gelding Hollypark Boom Boom.