Rio 2016: Ireland lie in sixth position after opening day

Pádraig McCarthy and Clare Abbott placed 12th and 13th on first day of dressage

Ireland’s Pádraig McCarthy riding Simon Porloe  on day one of the  individual and team dressage event  at the Olympic Equestrian Centre on August 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photograph: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Ireland’s Pádraig McCarthy riding Simon Porloe on day one of the individual and team dressage event at the Olympic Equestrian Centre on August 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photograph: Rob Carr/Getty Images

 

Ireland is lying in sixth place following Saturday’s first session of dressage in the Olympic eventing competition at Deodora Park where both Irish riders recorded personal best scores.

Third to enter the arena before the ground jury of the USA’s Marilyn Payne (president), New Zealand’s Andrew Bennie and Britain’s Sandy Phillips, Co Tipperary native Pádraig McCarthy achieved a score of 46.80 penalties riding Simon Porloe.

At the end of the day, this mark left Devon-based McCarthy in 12th place with the 16-year-old Polish-bred gelding which is owned by the rider, his wife Lucy and Christopher and Sarita Perkins.

Competing in the afternoon, Hillsborough’s Clare Abbott finished a place behind McCarthy when scoring 47 penalties with the Irish Sport Horse gelding Euro Prince, a 13-year-old gelding by Lougheries Quiet Man. The chestnut is owned by his breeder, Cormac McKay.

Two riders from 12 of the 13 competing nations rode their dressage tests on Saturday with the defending champions, Germany, leading on 82.50 penalties from Australia (83.90), t Britain (84.20), France (85.40), New Zealand (91) and Ireland (93.80).

Britain’s William Fox-Pitt, who was very seriously injured in a fall in France last October and only returned to competition at the beginning of April, tops the individual standings with Chilli Morning (37 penalties). He is followed by Australia’s Chris Burton on Santano II (37.60) and Germany’s reigning individual champion Michael Jung with his London 2012 partner Sam (40.90).

The dressage phase of the eventing competition continues on Sunday when Ireland’s Jonty Evans (Cooley Rorke’s Drift) and Mark Kyle (Jemilla) compete at 2.32pm and 6.10pm Irish time. The cross-country phase takes place on Monday and the individual and team eventing medals will be decided following the final show jumping phase on Tuesday.

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