THE Irish Show Jumping team scored a fantastic victory in Friday night’s three-star Longines EEF Nations Cup at Lisbon in Portugal, overtaking halfway leaders France with a flawless second round performance.
Chef d’Equipe Taylor Vard’s team of Richard Howley, Jessica Burke, Kevin Gallagher and Jenny Rankin, lifted the winners trophy on a two-round total of just four faults.
Ireland were in second place at the halfway stage thanks to clear rounds from Richard Howley with ‘Consulent De Prelet Z’ and from Jessica Burke with ‘Namamia’. Kevin Gallagher with ‘Ballypatrick Flamenco’ (ISH) and Jenny Rankin with ‘Carmela Z’ both had just one fence down apiece.
Richard Howley completed his brilliant double clear with a faultless second round, while another Irish clear from Kevin Gallagher with ‘Ballypatrick Flamenco’ (ISH) kept the pressure on midway leaders France. Another excellent clear from anchor rider Jessica Burke meant Ireland would finish on a two-round total of four faults. When the final French rider crossed the line with eight faults, Ireland secured victory, France took second, while Spain finished third of the nine teams who competed.
Ireland were also in five-star Nations Cup action on Friday afternoon at Rome in Italy, with Michael Blake’s team of Bertram Allen (‘Pacino Amiro’ (ISH)), Denis Lynch (‘Cristello’), Cian O’Connor (‘C Vier 2’) and Darragh Kenny (‘VDL Cartello’), finishing eighth of 10 teams. Ireland finished on a two-round total of 20 faults, with the highlight being a clear first round from O’Connor with ‘C Vier 2’ and a clear second round from Lynch and ‘Cristello’. France took victory as the only team to finish on a zero score.
Earlier in the day, Offaly’s Darragh Kenny and ‘Volnay du Boisdeville’ scored their second win in the space of 24 hours. The pair took the top prize in Thursday’s 1.55m speed class and again proved unbeatable in another 1.55m speed class on Friday morning. Alexander Butler also took fourth place for Ireland with ‘Eindhoven GH’.
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