Rodrigo Pessoa’s Irish young guns impress on Super League Nations Cup debut in Lummen
- 28 April 2017, 18:38
An inexperienced Irish Show Jumping team that contained three riders making their Super League debut and under the age of 24, finished in sixth place overall in the opening European Division 1 Nations Cup of the season at Lummen in Belgium today (Friday).
Photo: Pictured in Lummen at the opening Division 1 Nations Cup of the season (l-r) Michael Blake (assistant team manager), Dermott Lennon, Michael Duffy, Rodrigo Pessoa (Irish team manager), Paul Kennedy and Richard Howley
Ireland were in joint fifth place at the halfway stage on eight faults. Sligo’s Richard Howley (24) with Chinook, owned by Mr & Mrs Aitkenhead, lowered just a single fence, while Limerick’s Paul Kennedy (23) and The Irish Sport Horse Cartown Danger Mouse (ISH), owned by Jane Kennedy, also came home with just one rail down. Twenty-two year-old Michael Duffy from Co Galway then produced an outstanding clear round with the Alan Burnell-owned Belcanto Z as Ireland’s anchor rider, to leave Ireland tied with Switzerland after the first round.
Howley and Chinook repeated their four fault score second time out, with just a foot in the troublesome water their only error. Paul Kennedy and Cartown Danger Mouse (ISH) then added an outstanding clear round on a memorable afternoon for the Limerick rider. Michael Duffy and Belcanto Z finished with two fences down second time out, to leave Ireland on a 20 fault total in sixth, one fence behind the Swiss and ahead of the teams from Sweden and Spain. Germany took the winners trophy after a three-way jump-off against France who finished in second, while the home team from Belgium took third place on the podium.
Speaking after his first Nations Cup as Irish team manager, a pleased Rodrigo Pessoa said:
“We expected some difficulties with three riders making their first appearance at this level and overall I am very happy with how the riders performed. Dermott Lennon sustained an injury a few weeks ago and was somewhat diminished today in what he could do. Richard [Howley] had two good rounds with just four faults in each. Paul [Kennedy] rode really well and had a really good clear in the second round. Michael [Duffy] had a great clear first time out and really didn’t do anything wrong in the second.”
Ireland were not competing for Nations Cup points in Lummen. A new Nations Cup format for 2017 will see teams guaranteed invitations to six of the eight European Division 1 shows, with their four best results counting towards the league standings. Ireland’s first of six points-scoring Nations Cup rounds will come at La Baule in France on May 12th. This will be followed by rounds at Rome (May 24th-28th), Rotterdam (June 22nd-25th), Falsterbo (July 13th-16th), Hickstead (July 27th-30th), and Ireland’s home Nations Cup at the RDS in Dublin on August 9th-13th, where teams will compete for the Aga Khan trophy.
Lummen Nations Cup – Irish team scores:
Dermott Lennon with Loughview Lou-Lou (ISH) (12)/(8)
Richard Howley with Chinook 4/4
Paul Kennedy with Cartown Danger Mouse (ISH) 4/0
Michael Duffy with Belcanto Z 0/8
Team total 20 faults
Cartown Danger Mouse (ISH) – 2006 mare by Harlequin du Carel (SF) out of Missy Boo (ISH). Breeder: Paul G Kennedy, Co. Limerick. Owner: Jane Kennedy. Rider: Paul Kennedy (IRL)
Loughview Lou Lou (ISH) – 2002 mare by Limmerick (HOLST) out of Loughview Diamond Lucy (ISH), by Jack Of Diamonds (ID C1). Owner/Bred by Judith Sossick, Co. Antrim. Rider: Dermott Lennon (IRL)