Irish riders shine at Badminton Horse Trials with three finishing inside the top 20

  • 7 May 2017, 17:32

Three Irish Eventing riders – all riding Irish Sport Horses, have finished inside the top 20 at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials in the UK, with Joseph Murphy and Sportsfield Othello best of the Irish in 13th place, one spot ahead of Clare Abbott and Euro Prince in 14th, while Jonty Evans and Cooley Rorkes Drift took 20th place overall.

Joseph Murphy and Sportsfield Othello jump the Offset Oxer at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (Photo: Helen Revington)

Joseph Murphy and Sportsfield Othello (ISH) were awarded the Glentrool Trophy, as the Horse and Rider who made the greatest improvement on their dressage placing. They rose an incredible 62 places having been 75th after Dressage to jump clear Cross Country and Show Jumping to take 13th place overall on a score of 68.0.

Speaking afterwards Joseph Murphy said:

“The Dressage didn’t go according to plan, it wasn’t a disaster by any means but I would have liked to have been a little bit further up the leaderboard. I was very happy with how the horse and I performed Cross Country and to have a fresh horse for the final day [Show Jumping] was very important.”

Looking ahead to aims for the season ahead Murphy added,

“The Europeans are later this year in September so that could be a very nice aim or it could be Burghley, one of those could be on the cards.”

Clare Abbott and Euro Prince finished with 8 faults in the final jumping test to take 14th on a total score of 68.1. Just as they did at the 2016 Rio Olympics where they finished ninth, Jonty Evans and Cooley Rorkes Drift (ISH) produced a foot perfect final jumping round to take 20th place on a score of 78.4.

In total, 10 Irish riders managed to complete Badminton’s demanding three phases of competition. Austin O’Connor and Kilpatrick Knight (ISH)(TIH) finished 26th, Sarah Ennis with Horseware Stellor Rebound (ISH) (32nd), Cathal Daniels with Rioghan Rua (ISH) (33rd), Ciaran Glynn with November Night (ISH)(TIH) (36th), Michael Ryan with Dunlough Striker (ISH) (38th), Dominic Furnell with Ballycahane Flower Power (ISH)(TIH) (42nd) and Jim Newsam with Magennis (ISH) (45th).

A dramatic final round saw New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson rise from third place at the start of the day to win at Badminton for the very first time with Nero. Nicholson, who broke his neck just two years ago following a fall at an Event in Britain, jumped clear, adding just a time penalty in the final Show Jumping. He watched on as first Germany’s Michael Jung (La Biosthetique Sam) and then Ingrid Klimke (Horseware Hale Bob) faulted to hand the title to a jubilant Nicholson on a final score of 41.4.

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