For the third year in-a-row, the Irish Show Jumping team have taken runner-up spot in the $150,000 four-star Nations Cup at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, USA.
Teams from Ireland, USA an Australia stand on the podium following the Wellington Nations Cup in Florida
First round clears from Offaly’s Darragh Kenny with Go Easy De Muze and Limerick’s Paul O’Shea with Skara Glen’s Chancelloress and a five fault score from RED MILLS rider David Blake aboard Keoki, saw Ireland comfortably among the six teams from the nine starters that made it into the second round.
The second round saw Kenny finish with a single fence down while RED MILLS rider Billy Twomey also had just four faults with Lady Lou. David Blake jumped a perfect clear second time out with Keoki and with the home team from the USA already guaranteed a win at that stage, and Ireland well clear of third placed Australia, there was no need for Paul O’Shea to jump as last to go.
USA took victory on just four faults ahead of Ireland in second on 13, while Australia took third place on 22 faults. Canada finished fourth with Israel fifth, Brazil sixth, Colombia seventh, Mexico eighth and Chile in ninth position.
Ireland’s focus now turns to their first points-scoring outing in Europe Division 1 of the Longines FEI Nations Cup series which come at La Baule in France on May 15th. That will be quickly followed by Ireland’s second opportunity to collect points the following weekend at St Gallen in Switzerland, before Ireland’s third round of action at Rotterdam in The Netherlands in June. Each team has four points-scoring opportunities in Europe Division 1, with Ireland’s last chance to gain points coming on home soil in the Aga Khan at the Dublin Horse Show, which this year takes place on the much earlier dates of July 15th to 19th.