MURPHY HOLDS TWO TOP FIVE PLACES AT PAU AFTER CROSS COUNTRY
- 25 October 2014, 16:36
JOSEPH Murphy and his Cruising gelding Electric Cruise are on the verge of making Irish equestrian history after securing second place following the cross country phase of the four-star event in Pau, France today (Saturday). Murphy, for good measure, is also in fourth place with Sportsfield Othello.
The Pau three-day event is one of only six four-star events in the world and Murphy went clear this afternoon with Electric Cruise to pull himself up from tenth place after dressage and into serious contention for a win, with just 6.2 penalties now between the Irish combination and overnight German leader Ingrid Klimke on Horseware Hale Bob. Murphy was the only rider on the course to go clear inside the time.
No Irish rider has won a top level three-day event since 1965 when Eddie Boylan took victory in the Badminton Horse Trials in England.
Mullingar-born Murphy finished eighth at Pau last year and 14th in the London Olympics with the same Irish Sport Horse, which is owned by Noel Good, Jill Andrews and Annette O’Callaghan.
Murphy picked up time faults on cross-country with his second horse, the Irish-bred Sportsfield Othello, but still claimed fourth place before Sunday’s final phase of the competition in the show jumping arena at the southern French venue.
Murphy will bid to make history by becoming the first Irish rider ever to win France’s biggest three day event.
Speaking from the event, Horse Sport Ireland’s Eventing High Performance Manager Nick Turner said: ”This was a phenomenal performance from Joseph. He was last to go with Electric Cruise and achieved something which looked almost impossible when finishing inside the time, having been the pathfinder round the testing four star track today on Sportsfield Othello with just 2.4 time faults. The horses both finished well and we are hopeful for a good result in the final show jumping phase tomorrow.”
Pau is the opening leg of the 2014/2015 FEI Classics series in Eventing.
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