New Zealander Tim Price on top of the world

New Zealander Tim Price has topped the latest FEI world eventing rankings just days after winning the George Mernagh Memorial CCI4*-S at Tattersalls International Horse Trials in Co Meath, while Ireland’s Elizabeth Power has made a significant climb following her fourth-place finish in the Irish Field CCI4*-L at the same meeting.

New Zealander Tim Price on top of the world

New Zealander Tim Price has topped the latest FEI world eventing rankings just days after winning the George Mernagh Memorial CCI4*-S at Tattersalls International Horse Trials in Co Meath, while Ireland’s Elizabeth Power has made a significant climb following her fourth-place finish in the Irish Field CCI4*-L at the same meeting.

The rankings, released yesterday, see Price displacing British rider Ros Canter, who had held the top spot for the past month. It’s the first time Price has headed the world standings, and while his Tattersalls win with Ascona M didn’t materially affect his rise (it was his Badminton result in early May that clinched it), his weekend performance could come into the reckoning in future months.

Sam Wattson remains the highest-ranked Irish eventer in ninth position, a drop of two places, while Cathal Daniels dips one notch but remains in the top 20 in 17th. Sarah Ennis is up one place to 22nd, but Padraig McCarthy drops to 42nd. Ciaran Glynn’s Badminton effort with November Night sees him enter the top 100 at 87th, while Power’s Tattesalls fourth on Samuel Thomas sees the Meath rider move up to 120th — a rise of 113 places.

The FEI has also released the latest Dressage rankings, which show Judy Reynolds climbing one place to 18th, with Heike Holstein being the next-highest Irish rider in 148th, an upward move of 59 slots. Dane Rawlins, James Connor, and Anna Merveldt remain outside the top 200, but all have made upward moves in the standings.

The showjumping rankings are due to be released today and one who should be making a positive move is Shane Breen, who heads to the Mediterranean coast this week for the seventh round of the Global Champions Tour circuit being staged in the French city of Cannes.

The Irish rider was in brilliant form at the weekend when scoring a double-clear for the Miami Celtics team which helped them finish as runners-up in the Hamburg round and place third in the overall league standings. Breen also had a good weekend with his Hickstead Derby winner Can Ya Makan, winning Friday’s Hamburg Derby qualifier and going close in the Derby proper on Sunday. In the packed sunny German venue, spectators waited almost all afternoon for the first clear round, and it was Breen who gave it to them with a superb ride as Can Ya Makan proved up to every challenge.

Breen raised his helmet in salute as he became the toast of the venue, and, with the course foiling all 27 riders who had gone before, it looked as if it might be the winning round.

There were only four riders to follow, but there were a few heavyweights left and Germany’s Nisse Lüneburg, a former winner of the event, managed to equal the Irish rider’s effort, coming home intact on Cordillo to force a jump-off. Breen and Can Ya Makan went clear again in the decider but the German then secured the home win when doing the same in a time that was over a second faster.

Cian O’Connor, Peter Moloney and Billy Twomey head for the four-star German affair at Wiesbaden, while a host of Irish will be in action at Spruce Meadows in Canada for the first of the venue’s big summer fixtures. Capt Brian Cournane, Darragh Kenny, Conor Swail, Daniel Coyle, Jordan Coyle, and Cormac Hanley are among those involved.

Mullingar’s international meeting came to a close on Monday, with Michael Pender coming out on top with HHS Burnchurch in the Grand Prix after a 16-way jump-off in which 10 combinations produced second clears.

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