Top six finish for Ireland in Nations Cup season opener
- 18 February 2016, 16:52
A SUPERB double clear round from Waterford’s Anthony Condon and the John Hales-owned 10-year-old stallion Aristio, led an excellent second round performance by Ireland in a tough opening Nations Cup of the 2016 season, in the United Arab Emirates today (Thursday).
Ireland finished in sixth place but just two fences behind the winners from France.
Eight of the 11 teams that made the halfway cut, with Ireland safely making it through to the second round thanks to a clear from Condon.
Capt Brian Cournane and the Headley Stud-owned Irish Sport Horse Javas Kelic Mist lowered just a single fence as the second round got underway, before Condon produced a second clear, giving him one of just two double clears in the competition with Aristio.
Marion Hughes knocked a single fence and added one time fault with Team Z7’s Can Ya Makan, before an excellent clear round from former world champion Dermott Lennon with Rebecca McGoldrick’s Fleur IV, saw the Irish overtake Egypt to finish sixth overall.
Afterwards Chef d‘Equipe James Tarrant said, “This was a very tough Nations Cup with some strong teams and many of the fences close to maximum height and just two fences separating the top six teams. We were the best team in the second round and our riders and in the owners of our horses deserve a lot of credit for a great effort. Anthony Condon and John Hales stallion Aristio in particular were outstanding, being one of only two double clear rounds.”