Equestrian: Ireland chase Nations’ Cup success in Poland

Billy Twomey enjoyed individual success in Sopot on Saturday night

Ireland has been drawn first of the eight teams competing in Sunday’s Longines FEI Nations’ Cup at Sopot in Poland.

The quartet selected by Horse Sport Ireland's show jumping team manager Rodrigo Pessoa will line out as follows: Limerick's Paul O'Shea (Skara Glen's Machu Picchu), Cork's Shane Sweetnam (Alejandro), Waterford's Peter Moloney (Chianti's Champion) and Wexford Bertram Allen (Harley BD Bissshop).

“This is a very important round after our fourth-place finish in La Baule,” said Pessoa. “This is only our second round but we need to score big here and everyone is aware of that. We are testing Harley VD Bisschop and Alejandro for the first time – these are horses we have seen a bit of. We are looking for a good result and will give it a go.”

There was success for Ireland in the individual competitions in Sopot on Saturday evening when Cork's Billy Twomey partnered his own and Sue Davis's Chat Botte E.D to victory in the 1.50m two-phase competition while, earlier in the day, the Cork native finished second in the 1.60m on Lady Lou which he also jointly-owns with Davis.


Mayo's Michael G Duffy finished sixth in Saturday evening's €340,000 Longines Global Champions Tour 1.60m Grand Prix at Stockholm when going double clear with Carl Hanley Sporthorses' 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Lapuccino (38.58). The home crowd had plenty to cheer about here as Sweden's Peder Fredricson, riding H&M All In (33.95), won ahead of his compatriot, Malin Baryard-Johnsson, on H&M Indiana (35.36).

Staying in Europe, Co Westmeath’s Franno Derwin, who was a member of the Irish team who won the ponies’ Nations’ Cup in Hagen on Friday, won Saturday’s pony Grand Prix on the family’s great Connemara mare Cul Ban Mistress, an 11-year-old grey by Silver Shadow.

Across the Atlantic, Offaly's Kevin Mealiff recorded his second Grand Prix win when landing Saturday night's $50,000 Ox Ridge Grand Prix in Connecticut with BKS Horse Farms LLC's Viper Vrombautshoeve Z.

At home on Saturday, Co Tipperary’s Liam O’Meara won The Underwriting Exchange national 1.40m Grand Prix in Claregalway with the 15-year-old Cruising stallion, Oldtown KC.

In eventing, heavy rain in the north of Germany caused a delay to the start of cross-country at Lehmühlen on Saturday and the altered ground conditions resulted in major changes to the leaderboard in the top-rated CCI5*-L competition.

Among the five combinations who retired across the country were the overnight leaders, Japan's Kazuma Tomoto riding Brookpark Vikenti, while the fifth-placed pairing of Germany's Andreas Dibowski on FRH Butts Avedon were among the six that were eliminated.

Despite the addition of two time penalties, the World No 1 rider, New Zealand's Tim Price moved up to first with Ascona M to lead on 27.8 ahead of Britain's Alexander Bragg who, home within the time allowed, climbed two places to second on Zagreb (29.7). Moving up from 10th and 11th to lie third and fourth after the cross-country phase were British riders Sarah Bullimore and Tom McEwen with Reve du Rouet (32.1) and Figaro van het Broekxhof (32.3).

Carlow's Sam Watson, who was a member of Ireland's silver medal-winning team at last year's World Equestrian Games in North Carolina, picked up 9.6 time penalties to move up two places to 11th with Vahe Bogossian's 10-year-old dun Tullabeg Fusion gelding, Tullabeg Flamenco (42.1) while Co Meath's Tony Kennedy climbed nine places to 13th with his father Con's one-eyed Rantis Diamond gelding Westeria Lane (43.1).

In the short format CCI4* competition, Watson is in 31 place with Imperial Sky (44 penalties) as the host nation's Julia Krajewski continues to occupy first place with Samourai du Thot (24.70).