Ireland drawn second to jump at Furusiyya FEI Nations’ Cup
‘With five of the eight teams chasing league points I expect a very tough competition’
Horse Sport Ireland’s show jumping manager Robert Splaine expects a tough competition on Friday evening in Sweden. Photograph: Inpho
Ireland has been drawn second to jump of the eight teams competing in Friday afternoon’s Furusiyya FEI Nations’ Cup competition at Falsterbo in Sweden.
This will be the country’s penultimate points-scoring round of the series with the last chance to collect points coming during the Aga Khan competition at the Dublin Horse Show in a fortnight’s time.
After announcing his starting order on Thursday evening, Horse Sport Ireland’s show jumping manager Robert Splaine said: “With five of the eight teams chasing league points here at Falsterbo I expect this to be a very tough competition.”
Cork’s Shane Sweetnam will be Ireland’s first rider into the arena with Chaqui Z and he will be followed by Offaly’s Darragh Kenny on Go Easy De Muze, Waterford’s Anthony Condon riding Aristio and Tipperary-born Shane Breen with Golden Hawk.
Sweetnam won the first competition at the show on Thursday, the 1.45m speed class, with Cyklon while in the later 1.50m speed competition, Kenny finished second on Catusu behind Switzerland’s Paul Estermann and Lord Pepsi.
Five Irish riders are competing in the para classes at the Hartpury dressage festival in England, the final three-star para dressage show in Europe before the Paralympic Games.
Among the quintet is Wicklow’s Grade 1a rider Helen Kearney who earlier this week was confirmed as Ireland’s representative in the equestrian discipline in Brazil where she will compete on her 12-year-old black Hannovarian stallion Rock And Roll 2. Riding the Irish Sport Horse gelding Mister Cool, Kearney won individual silver and bronze plus team bronze at the 2012 Paralympics in London.
At Hartpury, Kearney’s score of 69.130 per cent in Thursday’s Grade 1a individual test, where she finished fourth on Rock And Roll 2, was bettered only by the 69.585 achieved by Rosemary Gaffney who placed third at Grade III level with her new ride for 2016, the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Bink.