Impressive Ireland score runner-up finish in Longines FEI Nations Cup of Britain at Hickstead ahead of Aga Khan in Dublin

  • 26 July 2019, 19:07

The Irish Show Jumping team of Anthony Condon, Capt Brian Cournane, Michael Duffy and Paul O’Shea, have claimed an excellent runner-up finish in today’s (Friday) penultimate round of the Longines FEI Nations Cup Series at Hickstead in Great Britain – a result which boosts Irish hopes of securing a place in October’s Nations Cup World Final.

A tough competition saw many fancied teams rack up high scores, but it was Sweden who emerged as winners for the second leg in-a-row, finishing one fence ahead of defending champions Ireland, while Italy finished third. Belgium finished fourth ahead of the USA in fifth and Brazil in sixth. Germany took seventh place while it was a disappointing day for the home team Britain who finished eighth.

The Irish performance included two excellent double clear rounds – from Waterford’s Anthony Condon with the John Hales-owned SFS Aristio (pictured), and by Limerick’s Paul O’Shea with the Tequestrian Farms-owned Imerald Van’t Voorhof.

Kerry’s Capt. Brian Cournane finished with one fence down in each round with the Bob & Christine Stiller-owned Armik, while
Galway’s Michael Duffy also had one fence down in each round with The Irish Sport Horse Mullaghdrin Touch The Stars, who is owned by Jessie Drea & Lynne Humphries. That left Ireland in second at the finish on a two round total of eight faults, one fence behind the in-form Swedish team who finished on four faults to take victory.

Irish team manager Rodrigo Pessoa was really please with his team’s performance and said:

“It was a good day for us. Usually we would say that we need to jump fifty percent clear rounds to win and we did that today but came up against Sweden who were just a bit stronger than us. But I think all-in-all it was a really good result. We fought very well and the worst score we had was 4 faults and I think that shows that we have depth [in the squad] and is encouraging for the future.”

The result has moved Ireland up to fifth place on the Longines FEI Nations Cup league table ahead of the last leg of the series at the Dublin Horse Show. Following the Aga Khan in a fortnight’s time, the top seven teams on the table will qualify for October’s FEI Nations Cup World Final in Barcelona, where one final team qualifying place will be on offer for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Irish Show Jumping team is sponsored by Devenish and The Underwriting Exchange
Equiline – Official athlete clothing supplier of Team Ireland Equestrian

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