Ireland finishes third in Aga Khan, qualifies for final

  • 9 August 2013, 11:53

IRELAND’S Aga Khan Trophy team finished equal third with the USA in today’s Nations’ Cup competition at the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show, but their accumulated points after eight legs of the Furusiyya FEI league has ensured Irish qualification for the Barcelona final next month.

The Aga Khan trophy was won by Great Britain today for the 26th time in its history, with the Netherlands in second place and Ireland sharing third with the US team.

Despite two clear rounds from the Northern Ireland members of the team – Conor Swail and Dermott Lennon – the Irish quartet could not improve upon eight faults in each round, and their final 16 penalty points left them two fences off the British leaders and on a par with the USA.

However, only the best six teams in the Europe Division One qualify for September’s Spanish final, and today’s result shifted Ireland up to fifth place overall.

Afterwards Irish Team manager Robert Splaine said: “I’m terribly disappointed that we didn’t finish first today. The team so much wanted to win, especially for the huge crowd who turned out to cheer us on. The lads worked hard, but in the end the British team, which included three of their Olympic Gold medallists, was just too good. Today’s competition was also very important for Ireland in the context of next month’s European championships, and I will be spending the next few days analysing the performances here today.”

The final Irish scores were:
Dermott Lennon/Loughview Lou Lou (ISH) 4/0
Shane Breen/Balloon 8/8
Conor Swail/Lansdowne 0/4
Cian O’Connor/Blue Loyd 4/4.

The Barcelona final of the 2013 league will be between the qualified nations of Switzerland, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, the Ukraine and Ireland.

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