Ireland climb league table with fourth place finish in Hickstead Nations Cup

  • 28 July 2017, 23:01

Rodrigo Pessoa’s Irish Show Jumping team, sponsored by The Underwriting Exchange and Devenish, have finished fourth in today’s (Friday) five-star FEI Nations Cup Jumping at Hickstead in Britain.

Ireland were in fifth place at the halfway stage on 13 faults and made a good recovery in the second round when their first two riders jumped clear. Derry’s Daniel Coyle with the 11-year-old mare Cita had one fence down in the opening round before jumping a perfect clear second time out. Sligo’s Richard Howley with the 10-year-old gelding Chinook picked up eight faults in round one and improved brilliantly to jump clear on their second attempt. Kilkenny’s Richie Moloney with the 10-year-old stallion Ypaja Yando had just a time fault in round one and knocked a single fence in round two. Cork’s Shane Sweetnam and the nine-year-old gelding Main Road came home with nine faults at their first attempt and improved to finish with just one fence down in the second round.

This left Ireland on a total on 17 faults in fourth. Brazil stormed to a commanding victory on just four faults with Netherlands second on 14 and Switzerland third on 16 faults – one fault ahead of Ireland.

Irish team manager Rodrigo Pessoa said:

“It is always tough when you don’t get off to a good start. The last double was very costly for us. That fence accounted for 16 of our 17 faults alone. Everyone made a really big effort and we fought back in the second round and the points gained today moves us a step closer to the finals. We tried out some new combinations which is good. Conditions were tough but it was the same for everyone and they moved the fences to give us fresh ground in the second round. I am of course delighted for Brazil to win if it wasn’t going to be Ireland, they put in some really good rounds. Our two biggest events of the season now come over the next few weeks. The Aga Khan in Dublin and the European Championships. We will try to do well on home soil in Dublin and hope we can clinch a win there.”

The result in Hickstead moves Ireland up one place to sixth on the league table with just one round remaining in the Aga Khan competition at the Dublin Horse Show on Friday August 11th.

Irish scores:

Daniel Coyle with Cita – owned by Susan & Ariel Grange 4/0
Richard Howley with Chinook – owned by Mr & Mrs Aitkenhead 8/0
Richie Moloney with Ypaja Yando – owned by Equinimity LLC 1/4
Shane Sweetnam with Main Road – owned by Sweet Oak Farm & Seabrook LLC (9)/(4)

Team total 17 faults

Full results available HERE


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