Ireland Showjumping team third in Spanish Nations Cup

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Ireland finished on the podium in today's Nations Cup competition in Spain. Credit: Horse Sport Ireland.

The Irish Showjumping team finished in third place in FEI Nations Cup at Vejer De La Frontera in Spain today.

Seventeen teams competed at the Spanish venue with the Irish side managed by Michael Blake.

Ireland started brilliantly and shared the lead at the halfway stage. Three clear rounds from Mark McAuley with Jasco VD Bisschop, Michael G Duffy with Lapuccino 2 (ISH) and Cameron Hanley with his own ESI Toulouse (ISH) meant Denis Lynch didn’t need to jump in the first round with Cristello.

The top eight teams at the end of round one advanced to round two.

Ireland and Egypt started the second round on zero faults, with Denmark on 2 faults, and Germany and Sweden on four faults. Morocco, Portugal and Brazil also make it through to the second round on five faults.

Britain, The Netherlands, France, Italy and the home team from Spain all missed out on the second round of the competition.

Ireland’s lead slips in round two

In round two, Mark McAuley completed an excellent double clear and it looked at that stage that Ireland could be set for victory.

Four fault rounds from both Michael G Duffy and Cameron Hanley, along with three clear rounds from the Germany team, put the pressure on Ireland’s anchor rider Denis Lynch.

The Tipperary native needed to jump clear to force a jump-off and he left all the fences standing with Cristello, however a foot in the water ended Ireland’s hopes of a win.

It was a second victory in the space of a week for the Germans after they had also won at Vilamoura in Portugal.

They finished on a score of four faults while Denmark finished as runners-up on six faults and Ireland third on eight faults.

Ireland team manager Michael Blake said of today’s competition:

“We again tried out a couple of new horses and a completely different team to the one from last week in Portugal. It was disappointing that our lead ebbed away in the second round.”

Blake continued:

“We again finished on the podium and that means we have finished on the podium five times from the six Nations Cups during a year in which we had huge disruption to the Nations Cup calendar.”

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