Splaine names Irish Team for Saturday’s Canadian Nations Cup

  • 6 September 2013, 10:57

IRISH show jumping team manager Robert Splaine tonight (Friday) announced his team that will take part in Saturday’s Nations’ Cup clash at Spruce Meadows in Canada.

The Nations’ Cup is part of the Spruce Meadows “Masters’ Tournament” that runs until Sunday and will yield in total over two million dollars (1.5 million euro) in prize money, attracting some of the world’s top riders and horses.

Drawn fifth of eight teams competing at the five-star Calgary venue, Ireland will line out as:
Shane Breen/Balloon
Shane Sweetnam/Eregast Van’t Kiezelhof
Conor Swail/Lansdowne
Billy Twomey/Tinka’s Serenade.

Ireland has already tasted success at Spruce Meadows this weekend, with Co. Down’s Conor Swail taking first and second places in Thursday night’s jump-off competition and Dermott Lennon placing third.

At Arezzo in Italy, meanwhile, today’s last qualifying leg of the 2013 Europe Division Two Nations’ Cups saw a new Irish team finishing in ninth place of 12 competing countries after failing to make the final round cut by just .83 of a second.

Ireland’s chances were badly affected when opening rider Capt. Michael Kelly was forced to retire midway through his round on the Minister for Defence’s Irish Sport Horse Drumiller Lough after the horse threw a shoe that caused injury to the hoof.

Left with three counting scores, Irish hopes were raised when Alex Duffy and Cameron Hanley’s eight year-old gelding Living The Dream went clear, but 20 year-old Hayley Dunne, making a senior Nations’ Cup debut on her own Flinstone de Tiji, lowered three fences for a total of 12 faults.

Experienced Nations’ Cup anchorman Niall Talbot and Nicos de la Cense produced a textbook clear round, but this left Ireland tying with Colombia in eighth place on a 12 fault total, and with accumulated times deciding which nation progressed to the second round, Ireland found itself adrift by a fraction of a second.

Brazil were the eventual winners of the competition, finishing on a total of eight faults.

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