MICHAEL Blake’s Irish Show Jumping team of Alexander Butler, David Simpson, Thomas Ryan and Trevor Breen finished as runners-up in last Friday’s (May 20) Longines EEF Nations Cup at Bratislava in Slovakia, where Germany took the winner’s prize following a jump-off.
The opening round saw Irish clears from David Simpson with ‘Medoc De Toxandria’ and Thomas Ryan with ‘Springfield 21’, along with a four-fault round from Trevor Breen with ‘Germaine W’. Ireland were one of five teams on a four-fault score at the halfway stage, while the lead was held by Germany, Belgium and Switzerland, who were all on a zero score.
Having been the discard score in the opening round, Alexander Butler and ‘Eindhoven G.H’ recovered brilliantly to post a clear second round. Butler’s clear set the tone for a flawless second round performance from the Irish. David Simpson and Thomas Ryan completed double clear rounds, before Trevor Breen also jumped a clear second round to leave Ireland on a two round total of four faults.
As the competition progressed, Germany were to be the only team that could finish on a zero score, but when their final rider knocked a fence, a jump-off against Ireland was to be the decider. Alexander Butler and ‘Eindhoven G.H’ were selected to go in the jump-off for Ireland, however, they finished with nine faults. German rider Sophie Hinners clinched victory for her team with a four-fault round aboard ‘Million Dollar’, while Switzerland finished third of the 11 teams that took part.
Longines EEF Series
The Longines EEF Series is a Show Jumping Nations Cup circuit created by the European Equestrian Federation, which replaced the FEI Nations Cup Europe Division 2. Ireland is a Europe Division 1 nation, but can field teams in selected EEF Series rounds.
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