Ireland finishes fourth in Hickstead Nations’ Cup

  • 2 August 2013, 12:10

DESPITE scoring the only two double clear rounds of the competition, Ireland’s team at the Hickstead Nations’ Cup in England today finished fourth on 13 faults, with just a single time penalty denying them a share of the runner-up place behind winners Germany.

The German quartet never looked in danger of yielding their lead from the first round, but a battle for places ensued between the USA, France and Ireland, with Britain and the Ukraine also in the mix.

Irish opener Shane Breen and the Irish Sport Horse Cos I Can delivered a zero score in each round, as did anchorman Billy Twomey with Diaghilev.
And though Capt. Michael Kelly and the Irish Sport Horse Annestown improved from nine faults in the first round to a single mistake in the second, with Niall Talbot and Nicos de la Cense recording a 12 fault round first time out and four faults in the final round, the Irish team narrowly missed a share of second place.

Both the USA and France finished on 12 faults to Ireland’s 13, with the Ukraine and Britain both collecting 17 penalties. Germany finished on just four faults.

Afterwards Irish team manager Robert Splaine said: “Despite two clears in the first round, we left ourselves with too much to do for the second round. Overall I am pleased with the performance, with Billy Twomey and Shane Breen jumping double clears.This is extremely encouraging for the future. Ultimately one time fault cost us a share of second place today.

“I’d like to again thank the owners, who played a major role in today’s result.”

Final Irish scores were as follows:
Shane Breen/Cos I Can (ISH) 0/0
Capt. Michael Kelly/Annestown (ISH) 9/4
Niall Talbot/Nicos de la Cense 12/4
Billy Twomey/Diaghilev 0/0

Eight nations took part today.

Shane Breen was later awarded the trophy for winning Furusiyya Rider of the Day, Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup, Hickstead.

Hickstead is not one of the four Nations’ Cups this year in which Ireland has elected to obtain points for the 2013 Furusiyya Series, but points gained by other nations today means that Ireland is now sixth on the leaderboard.

Ireland will, however, be hoping to improve its position in the last of the series, the Aga Khan Trophy competition at the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show on Friday August 9.

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