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Show Jumping - Marshall Takes Fifth In Portuguese Grand Prix

16/03/08 ONLY one double clear round distinguished this evening's Grand Prix at Comporta, Portugal, and that went to British winner Graham Lovegrove. But Ireland's Harry Marshall took a fifth place on Dawn Marshall's 14 year-old grey mare 'Audi's Morningstar' when achieving the fastest time in the nine-horse jump-off, but unluckily dropping two poles in the process. The Ulster-born rider also had a fifth place in the 1m45 speed class at Comporta on Friday with his own Irish-bred mare 'Mandarin Smoke'. Marshall recorded two wins at the Portuguese venue on the same horses over the last three weeks.

Show Jumping - Ryan Takes Fourth In German Speed Class

15/03/08 SWISS-based Thomas Ryan, a former Irish Young Rider team member, took fourth place in the main senior Dortmund speed class in Germany today (Saturday). Ryan, who celebrates his 23rd birthday next month, was riding the talented 11 year-old 'Urleven van de Helle', but was just over three seconds off the pace of victorious German Philipp Weishaupt. Ireland's Denis Lynch also featured in the class, taking tenth with 'Schneesturm'.

Show Jumping - Howley Third In Austria

15/03/08 IRELAND'S Ciaran Howley had his best result of the week when finishing third in today's 1m45 class at Stadl Paura in Austria with 'Suomi Fortuna'. Twenty-nine year-old Howley, an Irish Nations' Cup star and a prominent member of the Irish Young Riders squads in his youth, went clear in a time of 32.48, but this was not good enough to catch the eventual winner, Sweden's Niklas Arvidsson, who pushed 'VDL Empire 1115' across the line in 31.73. Howley was eighth in the Austrian Grand Prix at the two-star venue last weekend, also with 'Suomi Fortuna'.

Show Jumping - Twomey Continues Sunshine Dominance

15/03/08 THIRTY year-old Billy Twomey maintained his remarkable run of good form at the Spanish Sunshine Tour in Jerez today (Saturday) with two top five places. In the Big Tour D, Twomey slotted Sue Davies's 'Tinka's Serenade' into fourth in a tightly fought finish where just over a second separated the top four combinations, with Germany's Holger Wulschner taking a narrow victory. Earlier, Twomey was runner-up to Wulschner in the Big Tour C, this time riding Michael Connaughton's Irish-bred 'Cavinem'. The Cork-born rider has now racked up a dozen top five places in the three-star venue during the tour.

Show Jumping - Twomey Fifth In Sunshine Grand Prix

14/03/08 AS THE four-week Spanish Sunshine Tour enters its last weekend, Cork's Billy Twomey once again today (Friday) showed his consistency with a fifth place in the Grand Prix, to add to ten other prize money results at Jerez since February. Riding his own 'Goldex', Twomey dropped a single pole in the final round to pick up four faults in a tough class that saw only three double clear rounds in a field of 73 starters. Meath-based Cian O'Connor and 'Irish Independent Echo Beach' finished in 12th place overall, recording 15 faults second time out.

Breeding - Flexible (Ish) Wins $50,000 World Cup Grand Prix

11/03/08 FLEXIBLE (ISH) and Rich Fellers (USA) won their third major Grand Prix of the year, when taking home the top prize in the $50,000 FEI World Cup class at Thermal last Friday. On the Sunshine Tour, Francis Connors (Irl) and Merlins Magic (ISH) also saw success, placing fifth in the Volvo Grand Prix. In eventing, Patricia Ryan (Irl) and Fernhill Clover Mist (ISH) and Michael Ryan (Irl) & Old Road (ISH) were the best of the Irish, finishing in tenth place respectively in the CIC*** and CCI*** at Barroca d'Alva. Irish Sport Horses were well placed in the CCI** and CCI* at the same event in Portugal.

Show Jumping - Hanley Takes Eighth In German Grand Prix

09/03/08 IRELAND'S Cameron Hanley, who now rides out of the Turkish S-Equestrian centre in Istanbul, took eighth place in the Grand Prix at Braunschweig, Germany this afternoon (Sunday). The Mayo-born rider and Sevil Sabanci's nine year-old 'SIEC Livello' made it through to the ten-horse jump-off, but a single mistake cost them four faults, though they remained in the prize money bracket, picking up 2,500 euro for an eighth position on the score sheet. Ireland's only other Grand Prix competitor, Jessica Kurten, had a single fence down with 'Castle Forbes Cadeau Z' first time out, and settled for 17th place overall. The Grand Prix was won by Germany's Otto Becker and 'ECL Lunatic' on one of only four double clear rounds recorded.

Eventing - Pemble Finishes Second At Barroca

09/03/08 IRELAND'S 31 year-old Sacha Pemble took second place this evening (Sunday) in the main CCI three-star competition at Barroca d'Alva, Portugal with Caroline Richardson's 'Hyanie d'Aubrie', holding her overnight position after cross-country and dressage. In today's show jumping phase Pemble had the last fence down to finish just behind Swiss winner Tiziana Realini. Ireland's Michael Ryan and 'Old Road' placed tenth overall. Chairman of Horse Sport Ireland's Eventing High Performance Committee Brian Mangan said tonight from Barroca d'Alva: ''It was a magnificent performance from Sacha. She was unfortunate to have the last fence down, but it was a tough course and there were some cricket scores from other competitors. It was an outstanding performance over the three days.''

Show Jumping - Connors Fifth In Sunshine Grand Prix

9/03/08 ONE fence separated Waterford's Francis Connors from victory in tonight's (Sunday) Grand Prix at the Sunshine Tour in Jerez, Spain. Piloting Highfort Stud's 'Merlin's Magic', the 45 year-old Irish rider had two fences down in the final round, but French winner Michel Robert collected four faults in a slower time than Connors on a tough course that yielded no double clear rounds from the seven-horse jump-off. Connors has had several Grand Prix top five placings with 'Merlin's Magic' at Jerez during the last month.

Show Jumping - Ireland Fourth In Us Nations' Cup

08/03/08 TWO refusals by Kevin Babington's horse 'Coronette Z' and a high-scoring second round left Ireland in fourth place overall at the end of the five-star Nations' Cup in Wellington, Florida last night (Friday). Jumping under lights, and in front of a capacity crowd, Ireland lay in runner-up spot behind USA at the mid-way point, but had to battle through the second round with just three horses after Babington's elimination. Chef d'Equipe Robert Splaine said afterwards: ''I was in general delighted with the first round, but we had concerns about Kevin's horse from the start, as it was certainly lacklustre in tonight's warm-up. He had two refusals at the combination, and I took the decision to withdraw the horse after that, as it did not look well.

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