Ireland qualify for Barcelona’s €1.5 Million World Final with last gasp clear from Greg Broderick and MHS Going Global (ISH)
- 22 September 2016, 22:00
The Irish Show Jumping team have made it through to Saturday nights €1.5 Million Nations Cup World Final in Barcelona, following a thrilling opening contest at the Real Club De Polo today where several of the sports big guns failed to finish among the top eight teams who will now battle for the overall trophy.
Greg Broderick and The Irish Sport Horse MHS Going Global (Photo Sonya Dempsey)
A brilliant performance from Robert Splaine’s four-man team, saw them finish on just an eight fault total, with last to go Greg Broderick and The Irish Sport Horse MHS Going Global, delivering an all-important clear round, which crucially was also the fastest of the competition, as time became a deciding factor as to which teams would advance.
Shane Breen and Golden Hawk (Photo: Sonya Dempsey)
Tipperary’s Shane Breen and Golden Hawk were first into the ring for the Irish, and looked to be heading for a clear round when approaching the final line. The pair faulted at the troublesome combination and the final planks, two fences which would prove hugely influential as several of the world’s top horses and riders faulted on this difficult line.
Offaly’s Darragh Kenny and Go Easy De Muze (pictured above) lowered just a single rail when second to go, before Denis Lynch and All Star 5 (pictured below) also came home with just four faults and in a real tussle with The Netherlands and Brazil for a place in the lucrative final.
When Ireland’s last rider, Greg Broderick and The Irish Sport Horse MHS Going Global entered the arena, it was clear that not only did the pair need to jump clear, but they also needed to be fast, as either Ireland, Netherlands or Brazil, were set to miss out on a place in the final on the combined times of their riders.
Despite the intense pressure, Broderick and the 10-year-old gelding never looked like touching a pole and finished with the fastest time of the 72 starters that featured many of the world’s top combinations, including Olympic Gold Medallists Nick Skelton and Big Star.
Ireland’s combined time of 228.84 seconds saw them finish over two seconds faster that the Dutch (231.20), with Brazil agonizingly missing out on a place in the final by just over one second.
Speaking afterwards, Horse Sport Ireland Show Jumping Team Manager Robert Splaine said:
“I am absolutely delighted, particularly for the owners and for the riders. We had a very good draw (second last to go) and as anchor man, Greg and MHS Going Global did what was required to perfection. Shane, Darragh and Denis had gotten us to a position where we could qualify but it would require something special from Greg as anchor man, to secure qualification for Saturday’s FEI Furusiyya final. ”
Thurles-born Olympian Greg Broderick explained that a huge team effort played a big role in the Irish result.
“I knew I had to be clear and fast so we did change the plan slightly. I was as tight as I could everywhere and I probably took out a stride on most of the turns. I took out a stride on each of the last two lines too, I’m just delighted for the whole team. We have nothing to lose now, I have a very good feeling about the final. We have four scopey horses which will be needed for Championship Jumping on the night. We have a super team spirit here this week and we can now look forward to the final.”
Ireland can now look forward to what promises to be another thrilling night of jumping in Barcelona, where they will face seven of the world most in-form teams.
Germany, USA, Belgium, Switzerland, Britain, Italy and The Netherlands will join Ireland in a glittering World Final on Saturday night, in what is the richest team Show Jumping competition on the calendar.
Ireland’s achievement in reaching the Nations Cup final is highlighted in the list of countries who failed to make it through after today’s thriller. The home team from Spain, Brazil, Sweden and also Olympic Team Gold Medallists France, must now turn their attention to the Consolation final on Friday night.