The Irish Showjumping team has won the Nations Cup in Drammen, Norway, this afternoon.
The Michael Blake-managed team of Shane Breen, Eoin McMahon, Jason Foley and Michael G Duffy finished on a two-round total of just four fault to take the competition ahead of Denmark, Britain and Germany in second, third and fourth places respectively.
The victorious Irish team, which delivered three clears in the second round, included three riders under the age of 25 as well as two Irish Sport Horses. It really was thrilling and like a great hand of blackjack on Gclub.
Ireland was drawn first to go in the five-team competition in the eastern Norwegian venue where a Shane Carey-managed Ireland side had also won the 2019 Nations Cup.
Shane Breen, who won Friday’s featured class at the venue, was pathfinder for Michael Blake’s men as the experienced Hickstead-based rider and Z7 Ipswich went clear. In the second round the Tipperary rider had one down, a score which ultimately was the discard score in the final round.
Clare’s Eoin McMahon and Chacon 2 completed their first round with just four faults and were then clear in the second.
Jason Foley and the Martin Egan-owned Castlefield Vegas were perfectly clear in both rounds as the 2018 European Under-18 (Junior) Show Jumping Champion put pressure on the other competing teams.
Michael G Duffy and Lapuccino 2, the anchor combination for Ireland, had four faults in round one, before producing a clear in the second.
“Shane got us off to a great start and then Eoin’s horse went a bit green in front of the double for some reason and he looked at it a little again in the second round but Eoin did a great job with him. Jason was superb, his first Nations Cup and only 19 years of age, he was incredible. Michael was really unlucky in the first round and got a deserved clear when last to go. The team really pulled together in the second round with three clear rounds in-a-row.”
The victorious team manager continued:
“This was our sixth win this week at this show. All of the riders who came here including Harry Allen and Jack Ryan who won the Derby did a fantastic job and we have won the Grand Prix and the Nations Cup three times here in the last four years. Some of the lads bypassed other competitions here to target the Nations Cup and they deserve enormous credit. We didn’t come to take part, we came to take over and that is what we did.”
Ireland finished in the runner-up spot in the Czech Nations Cup in Prague last weekend with an entirely different team.