Irish Show Jumping team finish season on a high with victory in Portuguese Nations Cup
- 21 November 2021, 19:04
A brilliant performance from Michael Blake’s Irish Show Jumping team of Waterford’s Anthony Condon, Kilkenny’s Jack Ryan, and Tipperary brothers Shane and Trevor Breen, saw them finish best of 17 teams to win today’s (Sunday) three-star FEI Nations Cup at Vilamoura in Portugal.
It was a fantastic way to finish the 2021 Nations Cup season for the Irish, with Trevor Breen’s double clear round with Highland President proving the decisive performance in a tough and exciting competition.
Ireland were in a five-way share of the lead at the halfway stage with Condon aboard SFS Vincomte and Ryan with BBS McGregor (ISH) both finishing with four faults apiece, added to Trevor Breen’s clear which left Ireland on eight faults at the end of the first round. The second round saw Condon get Ireland off to a great start with a clear round. Kilkenny’s Jack Ryan was making his senior Nations Cup debut with The Irish Sport Horse BBS McGregor who is owned and bred by Marguerite Ryan. He delivered an excellent second round clear to leave Ireland in a battle with Italy for the winners prize as the last line riders took to the arena.
When Trover Breen completed his flawless display with the Heather Black owned and bred Highland President, Ireland could not be beaten on a final score of eight faults, with Italy and Switzerland sharing runner-up spot on 12 faults each.
A delighted Irish team manager Michael Blake said:
“It was a very good performance from our team. To win any Nations Cup is very difficult but with 17 teams this was always going to be a tough battle. Trevor Breen was fantastic once again. His strike rate in Nations Cup competitions is really impressive. It was an excellent Nations Cup debut for Jack Ryan and Anthony Condon jumped a very important clear at the start of the second round and Shane Breen had a good second round. It is a very good way to finish the Nations Cup season with a team that included two 9-year-old horses. I want to thank all our riders, owners and everyone involved today and during the past year and we can now look forward and plan for next year.”
Horse Sport Ireland acting CEO Joe Reynolds added:
Congratulations to Michael Blake and all his team on a fantastic win in the Portuguese Nations Cup in Vilamoura. To come out on top in a 17 team competition is a great achievement and the perfect way to finish the season. On behalf of Horse Sport Ireland I want to thank all the owners, riders, breeders, grooms and support staff that have contributed to the Irish team over the past year.”
BBS McGregor (ISH) 2012 gelding by Cardento (HOLST) out of Random Chance (ISH) by Mark Twain (TB) bred and owned by Marguerite Ryan ridden by Jack Ryan.
Offaly’s Darragh Kenny completed an excellent weekend at the lucrative GC Playoffs in Prague, by helping his Paris Panthers team to runner-up finish in Sunday afternoon’s Global Champions League Super Cup Final. Riding the Heathman Farm-owned VDL Cartello, Kenny delivered a perfect clear in the final round with victory going to the London Knights team of Olivier Philippaerts (BEL), Emily Moffitt (GBR) and Nicola Philippaerts.
On Saturday night, Darragh Kenny, again riding VDL Cartelo, took fourth place in the Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix Final in Prague. One of just five clears in the first round, Kenny picked up four faults in the second round in a very fast time to finish fourth and collect a massive €125,000. The winners prize of €300,000 went to Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann with King Edward.
The Irish Show Jumping team is sponsored by Devenish & The Underwriting Exchange
Equiline – Official athlete clothing supplier of Horse Sport Ireland