The addition of just 6.8 time penalties saw Ireland's Tim Bourke climb from 44th after dressage to lie 17th overnight on a score of 62.3 following Saturday's cross-country phase of the Rolex Kentucky four-star event.
Riding his own 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Luckaun Quality (by OBOS Quality 004), Co Mayo-born Bourke gave his supporters a bit of a fright at the second fence, a table, but otherwise had a good round and afterwards said he was “super, super happy” with his mount.
Germany’s Olympic and European champion Michael Jung looks set to record back-to-back victories in the event with fischerRocana FST as he has three fences in hand going into today’s final show jumping phase. In Saturday’s driving wind and rain, he was only two seconds over the optimum time of 11 minutes 15 seconds, picking up 0.8 of a time penalty to finish the day on 35.2.
The USA’s Phillip Dutton is in second place on 43.1 with the 11-year-old ISH gelding, Fernhill Fugitive (a son of Lux Z), and occupies the third spot on 45 with another ISH, the 12-year-old Ard Ohio gelding Mighty Nice. There are three other ISH geldings and one mare in the top 25 of the 71-strong competition.
In dressage, Ireland’s Roland Tong placed third in the Grand Prix kür (freestyle to music) at the three-star show in Saumur, France on Saturday evening. Tong scored 72.175 per cent to finish behind Britain’s Michael Eilberg on Marakov (76.050) and Luxembourg’s Veronique Henschen riding Fontalero (72.950).
Riding Quite Cassini, Co Down's Conor Swail had a fence down in the jump-off of the 1.50m FEM Cup in Coapexpan, Mexico to finish third behind Canada's Keenan White and For Freedom.