Michael Blake’s Irish Show Jumping team of Daniel Coyle, Denis Lynch, Trevor Breen and Shane Sweetnam took third place in today’s Longines FEI Nations Cup of The Netherlands in Rotterdam.
The Dutch city was Ireland’s second of four opportunities to gain points in Europe’s top division. The result moves Ireland up to fifth place on the league table with 150 points. They are well-positioned in the race to see which teams will qualify for September’s Nations Cup World Final in Barcelona.Ireland were drawn first to jump in the opening round and Daniel Coyle with Legacy was the pathfinder. The Derry man and Legacy came home clear and well inside the time.
Denis Lynch and Brooklyn Heightsstrom looked to be heading for another Irish clear when second to go. They picked up four faults, however, at the very last double.
Cashel’s Trevor Breen was third in with Highland President. They were also clear towards the end of their round but had a fence down on the troublesome last line to finish on four faults.Shane Sweetnam was last to go for Ireland in the first round with The Irish Sport Horse James Kann Cruz. The combination delivered a brilliant clear round to keep Ireland well in the hunt. Ireland finished the first round in equal second as one of four teams on a four fault score. The home team from The Netherlands held the lead on zero.
Daniel Coyle produced his second brilliant clear at the start of the second round to keep the pressure on the leaders.
Denis Lynch and Brooklyn Heights repeated their four fault score from the first round. It looked as though Trevor Breen was going to deliver a clear second round with Highland President but the very last fence fell after a slight rub to leave them with four faults.
Shane Sweetnam and the nine-year-old James Kann Cruz (ISH) completed a hugely impressive double clear round as last to go for Ireland. This left Ireland on a final score of eight faults.The result hung in the balance until the very last horse left the arena, but it was the Dutch team that took victory. They were the only team to finish on a zero score. France finished second on the same score as Ireland but in a slightly faster time.
EEF Nations Cup
In Deauville, France, Taylor Vard’s Irish team of Thomas Ryan, Jessica Burke, Kevin Gallagher and Jenny Rankin took third place overall in the three-star Longines EEF Nations Cup semi-final.
The result means Ireland comfortably qualify for the Longines EEF Nations Cup Final in September in Warsaw.