OLYMPIC EQUESTRIAN – Ireland off to great start in opening Dressage phase

THE Irish Eventing team are now in fourth position after three riders from each team have competed their Dressage tests, in the Olympic Eventing competition in Rio de Janeiro.
A superb score of 41.80 penalties today from Ireland’s Jonty Evans and The Irish Sport Horse Cooley Rorkes Drift, means he holds provisional sixth place on the individual standings and he has also improved Ireland’s team position.
Horse Sport Ireland Eventing Team Manager Nick Turner, flanked by Dressage coach Ian Woodhead, saw their side make a very competitive start on Saturday, after both Tipperary’s Padraig McCarthy riding Simon Porloe and Clare Abbott riding The Irish Sport Horse Europrince, produced personal best scores to leave Ireland in overnight sixth place.
The team standings will change further before the end of today’s Dressage phase as each team has one more rider to go. Mark Kyle will be the fourth and final Irish rider to compete and he is due in the ring just after 6pm riding Jemilla.
However, with the three best scores out of the four riders counting for each country, and with three string scores already on the board, Ireland look like they will be well in touch with the leading teams ahead oftomorrow’s crucial Cross Country phase.
The top eight nations on the team standings are only separated by a small margin, ahead of the hugely influential Cross Country phase on Monday, which is traditionally one of Ireland’s strongest phases of the Eventing competition
The individual and team Eventing medals will be decided following the final Show Jumping phase on Tuesday.

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