SHOW JUMPING – IRELAND FINISH EQUAL SIXTH IN DUBLIN’S AGA KHAN TROPHY COMPETITION

DESPITE two superb clear rounds from Aga Khan debutants Darragh Kenny and 19 year-old Bertram Allen, Ireland finished equal sixth in the Dublin Nations’ Cup at the main arena in the RDS.

The team, which also included Cian O’Connor and Dermott Lennon, accumulated 12 faults in the first round but seemed to stage a comeback as the second round started, with Allen and Kenny’s zero scores. However O’Connor, who had faulted only once first time out, ended on eight faults in the final round, and Lennon became one of five riders on the eight teams in the competition to suffer elimination due to double refusals on Alan Wade’s deceptively tricky course.

Victory went to the United States, whose dazzling display over both rounds left them with just four faults, while Great Britain took second on eight faults. The Ukraine, France and Sweden shared third place on 16 faults apiece, while Ireland finished in equal sixth place with the Netherlands on 20 faults. Germany finished last today on a team elimination.

The result in Dublin means that Ireland will not be one of the seven European Division One teams going through to October’s 2014 Furusiyya Series Final in Barcelona.

Team manager Robert Splaine said afterwards: “I’m obviously disappointed in today’s result. I pick the riders, and I’m responsible for getting good results, and though a pretty good result was achievable for us today, it didn’t work out that way. We had a fabulous second round recovery from the two young lads making their debut here, Bertram Allen and Darragh Kenny, but then we had a completely uncharacteristic refusal from Dermott Lennon’s mare at a fence that caused a similar problem for quite a few other riders.

“This week was also a trial for the upcoming World Equestrian Games in Normandy, and some significant facts emerged.”