Podium finish for Irish Pony team at French Nations Cup
- 16 April 2016, 18:23
THE Irish Pony Show Jumping team scored a podium finish in the French Nations Cup at Fontainebleau today (Saturday), with a brilliant second round zero score cementing third place.
Under the guidance of Team Manager Gary Marshall. the Irish quartet of Cian Harrison (Knockeroghery Prince), Abbie Sweetnam (Dynamite Spartacus), Kate Derwin (Vales Blue Melody) and Ciaran Nallon (Dibidoe), were in third place after a tough first round on a team total of 24 faults.
A superb second round performance saw Ireland’s first three riders all jump clear, meaning their last line rider did not need to jump, as they held off the challenge from fourth placed Denmark while Germany had to settle for fifth.
France took victory in front of an ecstatic home crowd, with The Netherlands in second ahead of the Irish.
Earlier, Irish riders continued their amazing winning form in the individual classes at Fontainebleau, adding to five wins already recorded on Thursday and Friday.
Robbie Clancy took victory in this morning’s opening class with The Irish Sport Horse, I’m A Tom Boy, just ahead of Beth Doherty in second with Springhill Cosmo. Abbie Sweetnam then won the six-year-old pony class aboard Perseus Spartacus, while Sean Monaghan then claimed the seven-year-old competition with Shirsheen Cruiser. There were also podium finishes for Cian Harrison, Sean Monaghan, Ruairi Aylward and Lucy Shanahan, as the Irish dominance at the French venue continued.
Meanwhile at Eschweiler in Germany, Limerick’s Paul Kennedy finished fourth in a six-year-old class with Destiny Second Life Z, before Michael Duffy scored a runner-up finish in a seven-year-old class with the Irish Sport Horse, Castleforbes Violette.
In Eventing, Ireland’s Aoife Clark and The Irish Sport Horse Fernhill Adventure produced an outstanding Dressage test, to hold provisional third place at the three-star Event at Belton Park International in the UK. The final Show Jumping and Cross Country phases will take place at Belton tomorrow (Sunday), with Patricia Ryan, Claire Abbott, Mark Kyle, Sam Watson and Sarah Ennis all currently inside the top 50.
Photo (l-r) Kate Derwin, Cian Harrison, Ciaran Nallon and Abbie Sweetnam with Irish Pony Team Manager Gary Marshall