Rio 2016: Ireland slip to ninth after tough cross-country phase

Jonty Evans and Cooley Rorkes Drift best of the Irish on day two

Ireland’s Jonty Evans on Cooley Rorkes Drift during the  cross-country event at the  Olympic Equestrian Centre. Photograph:   David Davies/PA Wire

Ireland’s Jonty Evans on Cooley Rorkes Drift during the cross-country event at the Olympic Equestrian Centre. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire

 

Ireland has slipped to ninth place following Monday’s cross-country phase of the eventing competition at Deodoro Olympic Park.

As anticipated, the course designed by Pierre Michelet of France proved a tough challenge and only three riders came home clear within the time, all of whom are in the medal positions going into Tuesday’s concluding show jumping phase.

Although he dropped down the rankings to 16th, Gloucestershire-based Jonty Evans remains the best-placed Irish rider with the Courage II gelding Cooley Rorkes Drift. Bred in Co Down by William McCarrison out of a Rachelle Comet mare, the 10-year-old was tiring visibly towards the end of the 5,840 metre track and the combination picked up 22.80 time penalties for a two-phase total of 64.60.

Evans couldn’t afford any jumping errors over the 33-fence course following the elimination following a fall of the first Irish pairing, Pádraig McCarthy on Simon Porloe, and the 40 jumping penalties plus 25.60 for time accrued by Clare Abbott with Euro Prince. Among the last group of team riders to compete, Mark Kyle picked up 20 jumping penalties when Jemilla glanced off the second of the two bush corners at 11.

Topping the leaderboard on 37.60 penalties is Australia’s Chris Burton (Santano II). He is followed by the reigning champion, Michael Jung (Sam) of Germany, who is on 40.90, with French rider Nicolas Astier, who was second out on the course, lying third with Piaf de b’Neville (42).

New Zealand’s Mark Todd, the oldest rider in the field at 60 and coach to the fifth-placed Brazilian team, picked up two time penalties to slot into fourth with Leonidas II. He is a place in front of the USA’s Phillip Dutton on the Irish Sport Horse Mighty Nice (46.80), a 12-year-old Ard Ohio gelding which competed here as Over The Vee and was bred in Co Cavan by William Kells.

On a total of 150.30, the Australians hold a narrow lead over their neighbours New Zealand (154.80), who have just three riders remaining in the competition, with France in third (161) ahead of the reigning champions Germany (172.80) who, too, are down to just three riders.

Early on Tuesday morning, those horses still in the competition will be inspected for a second time by the ground jury of the USA’s Marilyn Payne (president), New Zealand’s Andrew Bennie and Sandy Phillips of Britain to see if they are fit to continue.

Ireland needs all three horses – Cooley Rorkes Drift, Jemilla and Euro Prince – to pass if their riders are to continue as a team. After this, the team medals will be decided in the first round of show jumping which, starting at 2pm Irish time, will be conducted in reverse order of merit.

The top 25 will then qualify for the individual final in the afternoon, again competing in reverse order of merit and with only three riders from each nation permitted to make the cut. This is due to commence at 6pm Irish time.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.