DESPITE recording no clear rounds today (Tuesday), the Irish quartet of Darragh Kenny, Bertram Allen, Denis Lynch and Cameron Hanley finished in eighth place of 33 show jumping nations competing at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, and therefore qualify for the final round on Thursday.
Irish opener Kenny with Imothep had one fence down, and was followed by another four-fault round from yesterday’s speed class winner Allen and Molly Malone. Seasoned campaigner Lynch and All Star 5 could not improve on the scores of his team-mates, but anchorman Hanley with Antello Z seemed destined to rack up Ireland’s first zero score until things came unstuck at the final line of fences, where three poles hit the ground to give the Mayo rider a total of 12 as the Irish discard score.
However, Ireland’s team tally after the first two days came in at 18.51 penalties, a low enough score to guarantee a place in Thursday’s final, where the world’s top ten nations will battle it out for medals. At stake also is a qualification for the Rio Olympics, awarded to the teams who finish in the top five.
After Thursday the spotlight turns on the best-placed individual riders, who will then fight an elimination battle through Saturday and Sunday to decide the top four who must compete for the World Champion title at the d’Ornano Stadium in Caen on Sunday afternoon.
Darragh Kenny and Imothep in action at Caen today. Picture: Sportsfile