• 1 August 2014, 19:52

DESPITE an almost perfect first round, the Irish show jumping team of Darragh Kenny, Shane Breen, Bertram Allen and Cameron Hanley failed to maintain their momentum at the Hickstead Nations’ Cup in England today, slipping from equal second to equal fourth at the end of the two-round competition.

Facing a daunting USA team that barely put a foot wrong to claim the trophy on just four faults, Ireland also battled against ever-improving Dutch and German teams, whose tally of clear second rounds helped them to take second and third places, respectively.

Highlight of the Irish effort was Offaly’s Darragh Kenny, who opened for Ireland with Imothep and recorded the first double clear round of the competition. However, Shane Breen and Golden Hawk left two poles down in their second round after a four-fault first attempt, while 19 year-old Wexford rider Bertram Allen, making his Hickstead Nations’ Cup debut on Molly Malone, failed to repeat his opening clear round, incurring eight faults.

Mayo anchorman Cameron Hanley, however, who initially had one fence down with Antello Z, came back in the final round with a zero score. Despite this, Ireland finished on a team total of 12 faults, equal with Belgium.

Ireland’s show jumping manager Robert Splaine said after the Nations’ Cup: “We almost did everything right in the first round, but we failed to repeat the performances in the second round, which was somewhat frustrating. With Darragh Kenny’s great double clear on Imothep, we had it within our grasp to deliver a better result. However, this now lays down a marker for Dublin. We know where we stand now, and we’ll have to be good in Dublin.

“As always, I want to thank the owners for making it possible for us to bring such a strong team to Hickstead today.”

The Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show hosts the last of the eight legs of the 2014 Furusiyya Nations’ Cup League Division One on August 8th.

Irish team scores
Darragh Kenny/Imothep 0/0
Shane Breen/Golden Hawk 4/8
Bertram Allen/Molly Malone V 0/8
Cameron Hanley/Antello Z 4/0
TOTAL 12 faults