A brilliant performance from Sally Corscadden’s Irish Eventing team of Fred Scala, Sarah Ennis, Brian Morrison and Sam Watson, saw them take a runner-up finish in their home leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup series at Camphire International Horse Trials in Co. Waterford.
Ireland had risen from fifth place after Friday’s Dressage, to second place after Saturday’s Cross-Country, when all four Irish riders jumped clear. Clear Show Jumping rounds in Sunday’s final phase from Sarah Ennis (‘Woodcourt Garrison’ (ISH)), Brian Morrison (‘Global Orchid’ (ISH)) and Sam Watson with ‘Imperial Sky’ (ISH), saw Ireland finish on a final score of 104.90 to take second place overall behind New Zealand, who took victory with a score of 98.90. Italy finished third on 108.0, ahead of Sweden in fourth, Britain in fifth, followed by Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland.
The individual CCIO4*-S competition, sponsored by Cahervillahow, saw Carlow’s Sam Watson take a superb victory with ‘Imperial Sky’ (ISH), who is owned by Hannah Watson, along with Tom and Cathy Byrne. Just as they had done in Saturday’s Cross-Country, Watson and ‘Imperial Sky’ jumped clear inside the time in the final Show Jumping phase, despite being under huge pressure from New Zealand’s Tim Price, who finished less than one fence behind in second with ‘Bango’ (ISH). Meath’s Sarah Ennis also took sixth place with ‘BLM Diamond Delux’ (ISH), while Cork’s Brian Morrison finished 10th individually with ‘Global Orchid’ (ISH).
The Gain Equine Nutrition CCI3*-L at Camphire saw Sian Coleman take the winner’s prize with ‘Lady Baton Rouge’ (ISH), while Patrick Whelan finished eighth with ‘Denis Finch Hatton’. In the House of Waterford Crystal CCI3*-S, Sarah Ennis and ‘Tullabeg Tango’ (ISH) finished best of the Irish in fifth, while Steven Smith and ‘Galwaybay Echo’ (ISH) took eighth place. The Eventing Ireland CCI2*-S saw Cathal Daniels take runner-up spot with ‘Cappog Tomy’ (ISH), while in the Sema Lease CCI4*-L, Robbie Kearns finished 14th with ‘Master McCormack’ (ISH). Cathal Daniels was also best of the Irish in the Blarney Castle CCI2*-L, taking sixth place with ‘Full Of Mischief’ (ISH).
In an emotional moment at Camphire, one of the greatest riders in the history of Equestrian Sport, New Zealand’s Sir Mark Todd, announced his retirement from the sport, having helped New Zealand to victory in the FEI Nations Cup.
Todd won gold medals at Los Angeles (1984) and Seoul (1988) Olympics, the Badminton Horse Trials on four occasions, the Burghley Horse Trials five times and, as a member of New Zealand’s Eventing team, he won gold medals at the World Championships in 1990 and 1998, plus 20 or more other international events, and numerous other international individual and team titles.
Meanwhile at at Burgham International in the UK, Ireland’s Tony Kennedy and Westeria Lane recorded a 9th place finish in the CCI 4*-S. They were the only combination to jump clear Cross-Country inside the time.