There was a very positive result for the Irish showjumping team in France, where they got on the podium finishing 3rd.
La Baule was Ireland’s first points-scoring round of the Division 1 Nations Cup series, with Irish team manager Rodrigo Pessoa looking to put points on the board early in the season.
Tipperary’s Shane Breen and the Prince Sultan and Breen Equestrian-owned stallion, Golden Hawk, jumped what was one of just four double clear rounds in the competition. Galway 20-year-old Michael Duffy was one of the youngest riders in the competition and he jumped clear in the opening round with just one time fault with Alan Burnell’s Belcanto Z, while a toe in the water was their only mistake second time out.
Denis Lynch and Thomas Straumann’s All Star finished with 5 faults in round one and lowered a single fence in the second, while Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm’s Chaqui Z finished with 5 faults in both rounds, to leave Ireland on a two round total of 14 faults.
Irish team manager Rodrigo Pessoa said:
“The guys jumped very good, we did have some silly mistakes. Shane Breen jumped two excellent rounds and young Michael Duffy was unlucky just to have the water in the second round. Denis Lynch and All Star had the same fault in both rounds but they have not jumped much together since their break after the World Cup. Shane Sweetnam’s horse jumped well. We put up a good fight to take third. I am getting to know the people and the horses better and it’s on now to the next round in Rome.”
The home team from France took the winners trophy following a jump-off against Sweden, after both teams finished the eight nation contest on eight faults apiece.
After securing a superb double clear round with Golden Hawk, Shane Breen mentioned that the French coastal venue has been a lucky show for him:
“I’m delighted with how Golden Hawk jumped. This has been a lucky ground for me, I have jumped a couple of double clears here in the past. This was my first appearance with Rodrigo as team manager and he was very relaxed and focused. The advice and little pointers he gave were very accurate. All the guys on the team today jumped great and the future looks bright.”
The La Baule result means Ireland have 80 league points on the board as they head to Rome in a fortnight’s time on their next points-chasing outing. This will be followed by Rotterdam (June 23rd), Falsterbo (July 14th), Hickstead (July 28th), and Ireland’s home Nations Cup at the RDS in Dublin on August 11th, where teams will compete for the Aga Khan trophy.
Irish team scores
Denis Lynch/All Star 5/4
Shane Breen/ Golden Hawk 0/0
Michael Duffy/Belcanto Z 1/4
Shane Sweetnam/Chaqui Z (5)/(5)
Team total – 14 faults
Full results available HERE