The Irish Nations' Cup team were expected to struggle on their return to the Samsung Super League after a year's absence, but managed to finish a very creditable equal second at La Baule, France this afternoon.
Ireland recovered from equal sixth position at the halfway stage when a zero score from Tipperary's Denis Lynch, who was last man to go in the final round with Flaminia Straumann's 11 year-old gelding 'Lantinus', and a recovery by Cian O'Connor and the Irish-bred 'Irish Independent Echo Beach' on four faults, held the Irish score at 20 penalties, enough to share runner-up honours with Switzerland and the United States.
Belgium, with just eight faults in the first round, won the competition on a total of 12 penalties.
Afterwards Irish Team Manager Robert Splaine said: "The boys did a great job. That was a very encouraging result. Edward Doyle was solid with just four faults in each round, and both Shane Carey and Cian O'Connor had one very good round and one not-so-good round. I thought
Denis Lynch was extremely unlucky to have a fence down first time out and of course his final clear round clinched it for us. Overall, I am very happy with this performance at La Baule."
Nine nations competed today. The Samsung Super League runs over a total of eight legs, including Dublin, and finishes in Barcelona in September.
Ireland re-entered the Super League this year after winning the FEI Nations' Cup Series in 2007.
SHOW JUMPING RESULT: CSIO5* LA BAULE FRANCE MAY 8 – 11 2008
SAMSUNG SUPER LEAGUE OF FRANCE - FEI
Nations' Cup in Two Rounds
Friday, May 9, 2008
1) BELGIUM 12 faults
=2) IRELAND 20 faults
Sequoyah Farms Utopia; Edward Doyle 4.00/4.00
River Foyle (ISH); Capt. Shane Carey 4.00/16.00
Irish Independent Echo Beach (ISH); Cian O'Connor 12.00/4.00 Lantinus; Denis Lynch 4.00/0.00
=2) SWITZERLAND 20 faults
=2) UNITED STATES 20 faults
=5) NETHERLANDS 21 faults
=5) FRANCE 21 faults
7) GREAT BRITAIN 23 faults
8) GERMANY 28 faults
9) SWEDEN 32 faults
Nine nations competed