Equestrian: Irish World Cup challenge hots up

Irish show jumpers will line out on both sides of the Atlantic this week as the 2019/2020 FEI World Cup series gathers momentum.

Equestrian: Irish World Cup challenge hots up

Irish show jumpers will line out on both sides of the Atlantic this week as the 2019/2020 FEI World Cup series gathers momentum. The European round takes place in Helsinki, while Washington International Horse Show hosts the North American division equivalent.

The larger Irish presence will be at the Washington round. Among those competing will be Bertram Allen, who had a successful start to his current tour in the US when scoring two wins at the weekend on recent mount Lafayette Van Overis at the five-star meeting at Tryon in North Carolina.

Allen won both Friday’s and Sunday’s main events but was out of luck in Saturday’s $384,000 Grand Prix when missing the jump-off after four faults on GK Casper. Captain Brian Cournane, who finished fifth in that event having earlier taken the lead in the jump-off on Armik, will also route to Washington for this week’s showpiece.

Also representing Irish interest will be Jonathan Corrigan, Darragh Kenny, Cormac Hanley, Shane Sweetnam, Michael Pender, and Jordan Coyle. For the European round in Finland, David Simpson brings his HOYS winner Gentlemen VH Veldhof following on from last weekend’s Oslo round where the pairing missed the jump-off with a time fault and finished 17th, one place shy of the points cut-off.

One who did scrape in (to the points, not the jump-off) though was Eoin McMahon, who also had a time fault with Chacon but was faster than Simpson and so took 16th, netting one world cup point for the effort. Chacon and McMahon will be in action in this week’s round as well.

Away from the World Cup series, two of Ireland’s Nations Cup Final-winning team will be in action in Slovakia for the four-star event at Samorin. Cian O’Connor brings his two leading mounts Irenice Horta and PSG Final, while Moloney takes Ornellaia and Sassicaia Ares. Also there for Ireland will be Edward Doyle Jnr. competing with Billy Guilder and Carlotta Silver.

Elsewhere this week action continues in Vilamoura as the Portuguese venue continues with its Champions Tour series. The three-star event will see Ireland’s Greg Broderick, Sean Monaghan, Carol Gee and Harry Marshall lining out. The Irish Sport Horse Studbook was narrowly pipped for top honours at the FEI WBFSH World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses at La Lion d’Angers in France at the weekend.

The best three performing horses from across both age categories combined to give the final totals and it was the Selle Français Studbook which had the winning penalty score of 93.8, ousting the Irish book which totalled 95.1. The Dutch KWPN book took third with 97.7 penalties.

It was in the 7 year-old category that the ISH studbook got two of its best three scores. American rider Elizabeth Halliday-Sharp rode Cooley Moonshine to second place after being one of the few who came home clear in the show jumping phase. The same pairing had been third in the younger-age category a year ago.

British rider Tom McEwen placed Irish-bred Brookfield Benjamin Bounce in third having led the contest before four late jumping faults cost the paring the win and what would have been overall victory for the ISH studbook. The best Irish horse/rider combination in this class came from Jewelent with Clare Abbott who placed 12th in the class.

In the 6 year-old contest the best ISH standing came from Global Candy Boy ridden into 7th place by New Zealander Jesse Campbell, one notch ahead of Ireland’s Elizabeth Power on Irish-bred Shannondale Mari. At Cavan International Equestrian Centre this past weekend Olive Clarke netted the latest round of the SJI Autumn series on Clonguish Vivaro, while Kenneth Graham won the 1.35 contest with Beir Bua.

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