Brilliant clear from Austin O’Connor & Colorado Blue sees Ireland move up to 8th place

Austin O'Connor riding Colorado Blue during the eventing cross country team and individual session in Tokyo. Credit: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile. Photo provided by Horse Sport Ireland.

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The Irish Eventing team have risen five places to eighth overall following the Cross Country phase of the Olympic Eventing competition at Sea Forest Island in Tokyo.

Sam Watson and Tullabeg Flamenco

Carlow’s Sam Watson and Tullabeg Flamenco (ISH) were pathfinders for the Irish in the Cross Country. A fast round saw them pick up just two time penalties. Unfortunately, they also picked up 11 penalties when a slight rub broke a frangible pin at fence 14C. That put Watson on a total score 47.3 after Dressage and Cross Country and they now lie in 31st place individually.

Austin O’Connor & Colorado Blue go clear

Cork native Austin O’Connor and Colorado Blue were second to go for the Sally Corscadden managed Irish team. They produced a stunning round to jump clear inside the time to stay on their Dressage score of 38.0.

O’Connor and Colorado Blue’s  brilliant round, one of just six clears inside the time, saw him shoot up the leaderboard and having been in 49th place after Dressage, they are now in 20th position.

“I am delighted with my horse’s performance, the horse was great,” admitted a delighted Austin O’Connor.

“He seems to have recovered really well. He is a class horse. We will all enjoy the next phase now. We will get the horse recovered and myself recovered and hopefully come out and finish on a good note.”

Sarah Ennis & Horseware Woodcourt Garrison

The last member of the Irish trio to take on the Cross Country course was Meath’s Sarah Ennis with Horseware Woodcourt Garrison (ISH). They picked up 20 penalties for a refusal at fence 16C and 17.6 time penalties for a total score after Dressage and Cross Country of 75.70 in 39th position.

That leaves Ireland on a team total of 161.0 heading into the final Show Jumping phase.

Britain remain in the gold medal position in the team competition after they added no penalties to their Dressage score of 78.30.  Australia are in silver with France currently in bronze.

Irish Sport Horse Ballaghmore Class leads

Britain’s Oliver Townend and The Irish Sport Horse Ballaghmor Class (ISH) are in the gold medal position on the individual standings with a score of 23.6.

The Olympic Eventing team and individual medals will be decided following the final Show Jumping phase which takes place on Bank Holiday Monday.

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