Ireland finish second of point-scoring teams at St. Gallen Nations’ Cup
- 31 May 2013, 14:40
TEAM Ireland finished fourth on the leaderboard of the St. Gallen Nations’ Cup in Switzerland today, but second of the point-scoring teams, with only Switzerland ahead.
Torrential rain and deteriorating ground conditions forced the show organisers to abandon a second team round in the Nations’ Cup, but in the subsequent single rider jump-off Shane Breen and Balloon had four faults, to finish in fourth place.
Ireland tied for first place with Switzerland, Belgium and Great Britain after round one, with Cian O’Connor and his bronze medal Olympic mount Blue Loyd going clear, Capt. Michael Kelly and the Irish Sport Horse Annestown taking one fence down, Shane Carey and Ballymore Eustace incurring the team discard score of 12, and Breen with Balloon having just the last fence down to leave Ireland on eight faults.
However, under the 2013 Furusiyya Division One rules, just four teams at St. Gallen today could earn league points, and so when the jump off was complete, only the point-scoring team from Switzerland came out ahead of the Irish quartet.
Afterwards, Ireland’s show jumping manager Robert Splaine said: “This was a great result, giving us second of the teams here for league points. All the riders went very well, and it was great to see Cian O’Connor, reunited with his Olympic horse Blue Loyd, going clear. I thought Shane Breen was superb in the jump off, and extremely unlucky to rub a rail.”
The German team at St. Gallen, who were also one of the four point-scoring nations, withdrew before the competition due to the weather conditions.
Ireland’s next Nations’ Cup in Europe Division One will be at Aachen in Germany at the end of June, with Dublin’s Aga Khan competition in August their last opportunity to add to their points total.