Four Irish equestrian riders set for Olympics

Ireland now seems certain to have two show jumping riders and two eventing riders in unassailable to secure qualification slots for the 2012 Olympics in London.

More eventing riders could also make the cut, depending upon the result of the three-star event finishing in Vladikavkaz, Russia later today (Sunday).

Billy Twomey and Denis Lynch have secured two Olympic show jumping places for Ireland following the World Cup show in Gothenburg, Sweden this weekend, while in Ballindenisk in Cork, Ireland’s Camilla Speirs and Mark Kyle secured enough points to leave them in the top 13 eventing places, which guarantee qualification.

Michael Ryan is well placed to secure a third slot for Ireland, depending on the result in Russia. This would give Ireland an eventing team of three at the games. Following their results at Ballindenisk, Jayne Doherty and Capt. Geoff Curran will be highly placed on the reserve list should any qualified countries not be able to field full teams. The maximum any country can qualify for the games in eventing is five riders.

Twenty-two year-old Camilla Speirs and the Irish-bred Portersize Just a Jiff won the CIC competition in Cork yesterday evening, with Michael Ryan in second and Jayne Doherty in fourth.

In the higher-ranked CCI class today (Sunday), Elizabeth Power and September Bliss were best of the Irish in second place, while Army rider Capt. Geoff Curran and the Irish-bred The Jump Jet finished fourth, with Mark Kyle and another Irish-bred gelding, Step In Time, taking sixth place.

The final Olympic equestrian places will be officially announced by the World Governing body, the FEI, on March 1st.


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