Irish Show Jumping team claim podium finish in Longines FEI Nations Cup World Final in Barcelona

  • 7 October 2018, 17:20

The Devenish & Underwriting Exchange Irish Show Jumping team have finished the season on a high, taking an impressive third place finish on the podium after a thrilling Longines FEI Nations Cup World Final today (Sunday) in Barcelona (ESP), where the finial result went right down to the wire.

Waterford’s Anthony Condon and SFS Aristio helped Ireland to a third place finish in the Longines FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona (Photo: Sonya Hennessy)

An incredible competition saw the lead change several times over the closing stages, with Belgium eventually being crowned champions, while runners-up France and third-placed Ireland could only be separated by time. As the competition progressed it became clear that the demanding course would take serious jumping, with clear rounds at a premium. In fact just four of the 32 starters would manage to jump clear at the finish.

Rodrigo Pessoa’s Irish team included three horses making their first appearance in a Nations Cup, while 21-year-old Michael G Duffy was jumping in his first ever five-star Nations Cup for Ireland

Cork’s Billy Twomey was first out for Ireland with Kimba Flamenco and finished with just one fence down. Waterford’s Anthony Condon also came home with just four faults with SFS Aristio and Ireland were in a share of the lead at the halfway stage on 4 faults.

Michael G Duffy from Co Mayo looked to be heading for a clear round when third to go with The Irish Sport Horse Lapuccino 2, but just like many others, the last line proved costly as two late poles fell to the floor. The result hang in the balance as Ireland’s last rider, Darragh Kenny, came in with Balou Du Reventon. They were also clear coming to the last line but finished with 8 faults as they crossed the line.

Italy could win with a final clear from last to go Lorenzo de Luca, but two fences down dropped the Italians down the standings and handed victory to Belgium. France finished second with Ireland third, Italy fourth, Netherlands fifth, ahead of Sweden, Austria and Switzerland.

Irish team manager Rodrigo Pessoa said:

“We are pretty pleased, we came close to doing something really special. Clear rounds were hard to come by and we came close to forcing a jump-off but in the end we have to be satisfied with finish third. Many times this year we have come close without finishing the job. We have to now reflect those fences we have down which are the ones which prove costly. All-in-all, the season has been a good one although the World Games in Tryon was of course disappointing. But overall we have introduced a lot of new horses and riders to our our squad which will be really good for the future.”

Horse Sport Ireland CEO Ronan Murphy said:

“I want to congratulate Rodrigo and his team on finishing third in the Nations Cup World Final. Fifteen top teams started the week in Barcelona and to take a podium finish is a very good result. I want to take this opportunity to thank our team sponsors Devenish and The Underwriting Exchange and also our official clothing supplier Equiline, and all our Team Ireland sponsors for their superb support during the season. I would like to especially thank the owners of all the horses who have represented Ireland so well this season on Nations Cup duty around the world.”

The Irish Show Jumping team is sponsored by The Underwriting Exchange and Devenish
Equiline – Official athlete clothing supplier of Team Ireland Equestrian

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