Ireland finishes sixth in Lisbon Nations’ Cup

  • 30 May 2015, 01:03

WITH two horses making their debut at senior team level, Ireland finished sixth of nine teams at tonight’s (Friday) Portuguese Nations’ Cup at Lisbon.

The most experienced member of the Irish quartet, Trevor Breen, was tonight’s pathfinder with the first debutant mount, Oldtown KC, and delivered an encouraging clear round. The second horse new to Nations’ Cup jumping, Balzac, had just one fence down with Anthony Condon first time out, while Michael Duffy from Galway also recorded a clear on Cortina 200, making its second appearance at this level.

The team’s youngest member, 18 year-old Michael G. Duffy, was the first round discard score, with an unfortunate 16 faults on Felix XXVIII.

Though lying joint second with Britain and the USA at the end of the first round, all three teams dropped down the rankings as the second round unfolded, with only the Spanish leaders holding their position. As with Ireland, time faults dogged most nations in the challenging second stage of the contest.

Breen returned nine faults on his second attempt, with Condon adding a time fault to two jumping mistakes to finish the round on five penalties. Twenty year-old Michael Duffy had nine faults, though his Galway namesake recovered from his first round problems to come home with just five faults.

The Irish total of 23 faults over two rounds left them in sixth position overall, with Spain retaining their lead to win the competition on eight penalties.

Irish show jumping team manager Robert Splaine said afterwards: “The second round of this Nations’ Cup was run at night under lights. This can and did affect inexperienced horses as ours are. As a result the time allowed became an issue with all teams, bar the winners, falling foul of the clock. All combinations will have learnt a lot from this experience. Once again, we are indebted to the owners, whose support for the squad made our participation in this team competition possible.”

Lisbon was not a points-scoring event for Ireland, as it is a Division Two competition. Ireland gains Furusiyya league points only in its Division One Nations’ Cups.

Irish Scores:

Trevor Breen with Oldtown KC (ISH)(TIH) 0/9
Anthony Condon with Balzac 4/5
Michael Duffy with Cortina 200 0/9
Michael G Duffy with Felix XXVIII 16/5