THE Irish Show Jumping team of Daniel Coyle, Alexander Butler, Eoin McMahon and Paul O’Shea, managed by Michael Blake, took third place on the podium in Sunday’s Longines FEI Nations Cup of Poland in Sopot.
Ireland were in a share of the lead on a zero score at the halfway stage following clear rounds from Daniel Coyle with the Ariel Grange-owned ‘Legacy’, Alexander Butler with ‘Athene’, owned by Ger Poels and from Paul O’Shea with ‘Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu’, who is owned by Frank Cunniffe and Machu Picchu Partners. They were joined at the top of the leaderboard by Germany, Belgium and Norway, who also were faultless in the opening round.
Coyle and ‘Legacy’ picked up eight faults at the start of the second round and that score had to be counted, when Butler took the decision to retire midway through his second round when on 12 faults. Eoin McMahon
then jumped an excellent clear round with ‘Chakra 9’, who is owned by Madeleine Winter-Schulze, following on from
a single fence down first time out.
Riding the anchor leg for Ireland, Paul O’Shea and ‘Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu’ finished with eight faults to leave Ireland on a two round total of 16 faults.
Germany took victory on a zero score, ahead of Belgium in second on four faults. Norway and Britain finished on the same score as Ireland, with Michael Blake’s team taking third place thanks to their faster combined times.
As a mark of respect to Irish equestrian athlete Tiggy Hancock, who tragically passed away on Wednesday following an accident while training, the Irish team and manager Michael Blake wore arm bands in Tiggy’s favourite colour yellow during the competition, as did winning German rider Marcus Ehning, who was Tiggy’s idol. A minute’s silence was also held
before the competition.
The last round of the 2021 Longines FEI Nations Cup Series will take place at Rotterdam in The Netherlands in a fortnight’s time, before Ireland travel to October’s Nations Cup final in Barcelona as defending champions.
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