• 26 October 2014, 17:05

JOSEPH Murphy claimed a career best when finishing in fifth place for Ireland at the four-star event in Pau, France this afternoon (Sunday).

The Mullingar rider also took the trophy for best cross country round of the competition.

Murphy, riding the Irish Sport Horse Sportsfield Othello, had three fences down in the final show jumping phase to complete the event on a total penalty score of 68.2, just over 24 points adrift of German winner Ingrid Klimke and Horseware Hale Bob.

The Irish rider had been lying in second place overnight with another Irish Sport Horse, Electric Cruise, but suffered a blow to his hopes this morning when the gelding was withdrawn at the trot up as a result of an injury to its hind leg sustained during the previous day’s challenging cross country course. Though the injury was not deemed a long term problem it was nevertheless sufficient to prevent the horse being entered for the show jumping competition.

Murphy was therefore left with his now third-placed horse, Sportsfield Othello, owned by Jill Murphy, Alison Schmutz and Andrew Tinkler, to take on some of the world’s best combinations for the final leg of the French event, and managed to return one of Ireland’s best scores in recent years at a four-star fixture.

Pau was the opening leg of the 2014/2015 FEI Classics series, and is one of only six four-star events to feature in the world’s eventing calendar.

Joseph Murphy and Sportsfield Othello (ISH) Picture:

Joseph Murphy and Sportsfield Othello (ISH) Picture: