SUPERB performances from the Irish team in the cross country phase of the Eventing Nations’ Cup at Boekelo in the Netherlands saw a dramatic jump from overnight seventh place to fourth at the close of today’s action (Saturday).

Team member Joseph Murphy aboard Alison Schmutz and Andrew Tinkler’s Irish Sport Horse Westwind Hercules also earned the accolade of being the only combination of 88 starters to go clear inside the time today.

Fellow team member Padraig McCarthy with Christopher and Sarita Perkins’s bay gelding Simon Porloe finished the cross country track with just 4.8 faults, and claimed 20th position overall.

Austin O’Connor on Mrs. Wendie Foster’s Irish Sport Horse Kilpatrick Knight came home on 17.6 faults, while fourth team member Jonty Evans and his own gelding Double Dutch had 29.8 faults.

With just the show jumping phase to come on Sunday, Ireland stands on 189.3 penalties, with current leaders New Zealand on 165.20, second-placed Australia fractionally behind on 165.50, while the British team are third with 165.90 faults. A total of ten nations are competing for the three-star trophy.

Amongst the Irish individual combinations at Boekelo, Austin O’Connor and Morning Venture finished the day in 40th place, with Patricia Ryan and Dunrath Eclipse in 58th, and Michael Ryan and Tomgar Rembrandt in 63rd. Michael Ryan also rode Dunlough Striker but withdrew on the cross country phase. All the individual horses were Irish Sport Horses.