Olympic Equestrian final: Irish team finish 8th, O’Connor through to final

Heike Holstein on Sambuca during the Dressage Team and Individual Qualifier at the Equestrian Park in Tokyo. Credit: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile. Photo provided by Horse Sport Ireland.

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Team Ireland reached the Olympic eventing team final, they were in eighth after the cross country. Now they had the jumping event with high hopes of a good finish

The Ireland team is made of four riders and horses; Sam Watson on Flamenco, Austin O’Connor on Colorado Blue, Sarah Ennis on Woodcourt Garrison and Cathal Daniels riding Rioghan Rua.

This Irish team came to the Equestrian Park in high spirits after posting a penalty score of 161.00 landing them in eighth. In the jumping category they planned to improve to outscore Italy and Germany ahead of them.

This competition looked to be a battle between Great Britain, Australia and France for the medals after the first day of riding.

The top 25 riders would also qualify for the Equestrian eventing individual final tonight at 12:45.

 

Sarah Ennis was up first for Ireland riding Woodcourt Garrison. The Howth woman received a disappointing total penalties score of 79.70 after four faults.

She performed perfectly over the first five fences and again rode well over a tough triple jump later on.

Next up an hour later was Carlow’s Sam Watson riding the Irish-bred Flamenco. He got 55.30 in penalty scores with the team positions remaining the same as the last round.

He was in 20th overall, after being frustrated in the cross country event but finished strong.

Last up for Ireland was Austin O’Connor riding the 2009 gelding Colorado Blue. He stood a chance of making the individual final after doing well in the cross country.

He ended his run with four faults with an individual total of 42.00. That put him as Ireland’s best competitor with a chance of the Eventing Jumping finals.

After 10 more riders, O’Connor finished in 18th, giving him another day of riding Colorado Blue at the Equestrian Park.

Team Ireland ended up finishing in eighth place sandwiched between Italy and China.

After Oliver Townsends last run, he guaranteed Team GB’s spot on the top of the podium. Australia took silver while France won bronze.

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