Irish on form as equestrian competitions grind to a halt

International competitions BR Farm
PLACED: Left, Heike Holstein and the Irish-bred mare ‘Sambuca’ took sixth place in Friday’s four-star Grand Prix in Dortmund. (FW12-537NN)

AS with all other sporting events, the Coronavirus outbreak has resulted in unprecedented disruption to the equestrian calendar in Ireland and abroad, with almost all major competitions due to take place over the coming weeks having now either been cancelled or postponed, including the Longines FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, which were due to take place in April.

Show jumping Ireland, Eventing Ireland and Dressage Ireland are just some of the national affiliates, who have announced that all competitions have ceased until March 29 at the earliest.

WINNING ROUND: Right, Stephen Moore and ‘Team de Coquerie’ won the $36,600 CSI2* Bruins Tour Challenge, the final event of the inaugural Sunset Challenge at the 2020 Palm Beach Masters Series in Florida. (FW12-536NN)

The majority of international shows due to take place this weekend have been cancelled or postponed and those who have decided to finish out their planned schedules last weekend did so without spectators.

Jordan Coyle

The Palm Beach Masters in Florida concluded on Sunday, but not before Irish riders recorded some impressive results at the American venue on Friday. Derry’s Jordan Coyle and ‘Eristov’ raced to victory in the five-star $89,500 Palm Beach Masters qualifier, while Cork’s Billy Twomey finished third with ‘Lady Lou’, just ahead of Wexford’s Bertram Allen and ‘Gun Powder’ in fourth.

Stephen Moore

There was also an Irish win for Stephen Moore and ‘Team de Coquerie’ in the $36,600 CSI2* Bruins Tour Challenge, the final event of the inaugural Sunset Challenge at the 2020 Palm Beach Masters Series. Moore and the 13-year-old gelding crossed the timers of Alan Wade’s 1.45m shortened track in 37.24 seconds, beating Eve Jobs (USA) and ‘Valentino Tuiliere’ on 38.37 seconds and Beat Mändli (SUI) and ‘Dibatsja’ on 38.96 seconds.

Meanwhile, the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida has announced the cancellation of the final two weeks of action following the close of competition last Sunday.

Dortmund show in Germany continued until Sunday, but again without spectators. Tipperary’s Denis Lynch and ‘GC Chopin’s Bushi’ took victory in Friday’s three-star 1.50m jump-off, while Co. Clare’s Eoin McMahon was also in the prizes, taking third place with ‘Chacon 2’.

Heike Holstein

Irish Dressage rider Heike Holstein and the Irish-bred mare ‘Sambuca’ took sixth place in Friday’s four-star Grand Prix in Dortmund. Holstein scored 70.571% with victory going to Germany’s Ingrid Klimke with ‘Franziskus’ on a score of 75.217%.

VICTORY: Jordan Coyle and ‘Eristov’ raced to victory in the five-star $89,500 Palm Beach Masters qualifier in Florida. (FW12-535NN)

Further updates on cancellations and postponements can be found on the Horse Sport Ireland website: www.horesportireland.ie

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