Glynn leads Irish challenge in World Cup Qualifier

CIARAN GLYNN took over the best-of-the-Irish mantle in the HSBC World Cup Qualifier at Tattersalls, Co Meath, yesterday, when slotting into eighth at the end of the dressage phase.

Riding his home-bred, Cruising-sired Killossery Kruisita, he goes into today’s cross-country on 49 penalties, a score that proved more than satisfactory.

“My aim at the start of the year was to get below 50 in dressage, so I’m delighted,” said the Swords man.

Glynn, a member of Ireland’s senior eventing squad, lies one place ahead of the defending Tattersalls champion Captain Geoff Curran, who scored 49.4pens on Thursday with The Jump Jet.

The army man from Waterford returned to the ring yesterday on Kilkishen, the horse that carried him to glory last year, but could do no better than 55.4 penalties, to lie overnight equal 25th.

Ireland’s Declan Cullen (Glenhill Gold) and Mike Ryan (Master Mexico) join New Zealand legend Mark Todd (Landvision) in 10th.

Polly Stockton heads a list of seven British riders at the top of the rankings, having received just 42.7 penalties on Westwood Poser, part-owned by Arthur Comyn from Mallow, Co Cork.

“Arthur has been a brilliant owner,” said Stockton. “I have ridden a number of his horses down the years. It is exciting to be in the lead. I just wish the competition would finish now.”

Stockton took over yesterday as leader from Mary King, now in second and third with Imperial Cavalier (44pens) and Fernhill Urco (45.2pens), while 2009 Badminton winner Ollie Townend is well placed in fourth and seventh on Jackson D’Allez and Golden Hue.

In Rome, a poor second-round performance saw Ireland finish equal sixth in the second leg of the Meydan Nations Cup Series.

Clears from Denis Lynch (Nabab’s Son) and Billy Twomey (KEC Maximum Joe) combined with a single error from Shane Sweetnam (Amaretto D’Arco) to leave Ireland on just four faults at the halfway stage, with Kevin Babingon (Caracas) providing the discard score of 23. Lynch and Sweetnam opened Ireland’s second round on four apiece, but Babington’s 12 and Twomey’s eight faults left the all-Munster team in equal sixth place, with victory going to the US on four faults.

Team manager Robert Splaine said afterwards: “We had a very good first round, with solid and encouraging performances from three of the riders, and I was hopeful that we would repeat this performance in the second round, but we just weren’t good enough. We will need to be more consistent. This is a two-round competition and at this very high standard we need four solid riders and horses ready to perform at their best over both rounds.”

The performance earned Ireland their first points of the series — following their last-place in La Baule, France, a fortnight ago — to move them to second last in the league table above Italy.

Earlier, Billy Twomey continued his good form at the Italian fixture when claiming a one-round, 1.45m class with Goldex. Twomey had one-and-a-half seconds to spare over Belgian Dirk Demeersman and Tymoon Caloo Meecchan. On Thursday, Twomey and the stallion were narrowly tipped off by Britain’s Michael Whitaker and Portofina in a two-phase.

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