IN a nail-biting single round contest involving the world’s top 19 show jumping teams at Barcelona today (Thursday), Ireland qualified as one of the eight elite teams who will go through to Saturday’s Nations’ Cup Final.
At one stage lying 14th, the Irish quartet of Bertram Allen, Greg Broderick, Cian O’Connor and Denis Lynch held their nerve, with no rider dropping more than a single pole, to finish in seventh place in the qualifier on a team total of 13 faults.
Several fancied nations like Brazil, France and Venezuela fell by the wayside as the competition progressed today over a world-class course, with only seven riders from a total of 76 managing to come home with no jumping faults inside the time.
Ireland’s opener, Bertram Allen with the grey mare Molly Malone, had one fence down and one time fault for a total of five penalties, while Greg Broderick and the Irish Sport Horse MHS Going Global delivering the same result.
Third man in, Cian O’Connor on the nine year-old Good Luck, finished within the time for a score of four faults, while anchorman Denis Lynch and All Star also produced a four-fault round, to give Ireland a team total of 13 faults, more than enough to secure a place in the hugely-anticipated world Nations’ Cup Final on Saturday.
All eight teams will start on Saturday evening with a zero score.
The qualified nations for Saturday are Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Great Britain, United States, Netherlands, Ireland and Switzerland.