There are two Irish riders in the top six of the featured Sema Lease CCI3* class ahead of Sunday’s concluding show jumping phase at the Camphire international horse trials, but they are outnumbered two to one by their Britain-based New Zealand rivals.
Tim Price, who is competing at the Co Waterford event for the first time, is lying in first place with Ascona M on a penalty score of 27.6 following the dressage and cross-country phases, and in fourth with the Irish Sport Horse mare Kincooley Cruising (31.1), a nine-year-old mare by S Creevagh Ferro. Compatriot Jesse Campbell is in third spot with Cleveland (29.1), on which he finished third in the CCI2* here last year, while Blyth Tait is in sixth with the ISH gelding Dassett Courage (34.8), a 14-year-old gelding by Courage II.
Galway native Cathal Daniels is best of the Irish in second on Margaret Kinsella’s nine-year-old Imperial Hights gelding Sammy Davis Junior (28.8) with Wexford’s Michelle Kenny in fifth with the Holstein mare RLE Aspe (31.1). China’s Alex Hua Tian, who led following the dressage phase on 22.8, was eliminated when Don Geniro fell at the 22nd of the 29 fences.
In the other long format classes, New Zealand's James Avery leads the Castleacre CCI2* on Mr Sneezy (26.8 penalties) ahead of Ireland's Padraig McCarthy on MGH Annaghmore (32.8) while French rider Baptiste Salaun tops the leaderboard in the Eventing Ireland CCI1* class on Api du Libaire (31.3) with Kildare's Camilla Speirs right on his heels in second on Lexington (31.9).
In show jumping, Ireland have been drawn last of the seven teams competing in Sunday's Longines FEI Nations' Cup in Hickstead and will jump in the following order: Tipperary's Trevor Breen on Willy Matton's Bombay, Kilkenny's Richie Moloney with Equinimity LLC's Freestyle de Muze, Galway's Michael Duffy with Graham and Ben Dalton's EFS Top Contender and Waterford's Anthony Condon riding his own and John Hales's SFS Aristio.
Hickstead-based Tipperary native Shane Breen won Saturday's 1.45m speed class on Team Z7's Can Ya Makan having earlier finished sixth in the 1.50m jump-off class on Brian Cassidy's ISH mare CSF Vendi Cruz, a 10-year-old grey by Ars Vivendi. Britain's James Whitaker won this on the ISH gelding Glenavadra Brilliant, a 15-year-old chesnut by Brilliant Lad.
At Zuidwolde in The Netherlands, Derry's Daniel Coyle landed Saturday's 1.45m jump-off class with Ariel Grange's Legacy.
The main jumping action at home this weekend is taking place at Maryville Stables in Co Cork where, on Saturday, north Co Dublin's Matt Garrigan won the 1.40m national Grand Prix with his own Contino 56.