Ireland back on top with stunning Spruce Meadows Nations Cup win

  • 10 September 2023, 09:33

Ireland Team Manager Michael Blake with his team of Bertram Allen, Denis Lynch, Conor Swail and Daniel Coyle after the win

The Underwriting Exchange Irish Show Jumping Team have added another Nations Cup victory to the 2023 roll of honour after winning the CSIO5* BMO Nations Cup in Spruce Meadows last night.

The team of Daniel Coyle with Legacy, Conor Swail with Calciet EB Z, Denis Lynch with Brooklyn Heights and Bertram Allen with Pacino Amiro (ISH) were imperious in landing yet another five-star Nations Cup, with Allen keeping calm under pressure in the final round to deliver the victory.

Wexford’s Allen, the anchor man for Michael Blake’s team, knew exactly what was needed as he entered the arena as the final combination.

Clear within the time of 78 seconds and Ireland would add to their tally of Cup wins for the season.

Allen was ice cool, confidently manoeuvring Pacino Amiro around what had proved a difficult course throughout, jumping a perfect round with 0.18 seconds to spare and leave Ireland on a winning score of five points.

Germany finished in the runner-up position on 10 points, with hosts Canada in third on 16 points.

“That was superb,” a Horse Sport Ireland High Performance Show Jumping Director Blake said.

“We were brilliant throughout, and showed why we’re the best team in the world. The lads jumped out of their skin, especially as a trio in round two after Conor’s elimination. There was literally no room for error at the end there and Bertram got the job done.”

World number 14 Swail was eliminated in round one having come off his mount, Calciet EB Z, after the water jump, leaving Ireland with no second round discard score.

It mattered little – Coyle, who had jumped clear on Legacy in the first round but picked up a single time penalty, was perfect second time around.

Lynch added just four faults to his first round clear on Brooklyn Heights to set Allen up to bring it home.

It ends a consistent run of fantastic, yet frustrating form for Blake, who added: “I said it after the European Championship – I was getting a bit sick of finishing second!

“Hickstead, Dublin, Milano – we were due a win and we did it in style there today.

“It’s never easy to win a Nations Cup, but to do it without one of the best riders in the world for the second round made it that bit more difficult – the lads were just brilliant, though, I’m very proud.”

Attention will now switch to the final of the FEI Longines Nations Cup in Barcelona, with Blake hopeful of another positive result.

“This will fill us with confidence, and obviously it will be very tough. The best of the best will be there but we’re up there with the very best,” he added.

“Whatever squad we send there will be more than capable of doing the business – we have some of the best horses and riders in the world and hopefully we can show that again in Barcelona.”

BREEDING: Pacino Amiro (ISH) – 2012 gelding by Pacino (BWP) out of Carnone Dancing Queen (ISH) by NC Amiro (AES). Breeder: Simon Scott, Co. Donegal. Owner: Aiden McGrory. Rider: Bertram Allen (IRL).

The Irish Show Jumping team is sponsored by The Underwriting Exchange 

The Irish High Performance Show Jumping Programme is exclusively funded by Sport Ireland

Bucas – Official supplier to Ireland’s High Performance programmes

Charles Ancona – Official athlete clothing supplier to HSI’s Senior Olympic programmes