UP against a very strong field of international riders and horses, Ireland finished seventh in yesterday’s Nations’ Cup in Aachen, Germany, 11 points ahead of eighth-placed Switzerland, but 20 faults adrift of winners Belgium.
Not part of Ireland’s 2014 Furusiyya Nations’ Cup campaign, Aachen saw team manager Robert Splaine take the opportunity to field three new combinations at five-star team level – Darragh Kenny with Imothep, Shane Breen on Golden Hawk, and Cameron Hanley with Living The Dream. Denis Lynch was anchorman with All Inclusive NRW.
Splaine said afterwards: “Three new combinations have emerged in recent times and it was great that the chance to compete at Aachen arose as this was a good opportunity for them to show their skills at such a high level of team jumping. It was a very tough course, so much so that the German team could only manage a fourth place on their home ground.
“I learned a lot tonight, and it gave me encouragement for both the short and long term. Darragh Kenny and Imothep came over from the US and delivered two very good rounds on the big stage, while Cameron Hanley had an excellent first round with Living the Dream, picking up just one time fault, and Shane Breen and Golden Hawk had a marked improvement in the second round, with just one fence down and two time faults.
“Overall, I’m very pleased that we came here, for it is one of the best testing grounds in the world.”
Earlier in the day, Darragh Kenny won the Young Horse Cup qualifier with Chin Quidam VDL, and yesterday was victorious in the Two Phase competition on Picolo. Shane Breen also took a third place in yesterday’s big jump-off class with Confident of Victory.
AACHEN NATIONS’ CUP SCORES
7th IRELAND 26 faults
Darragh Kenny/Imothep 4/1
Shane Breen/Golden Hawk 13/6
Cameron Hanley/Living The Dream 1/8
Denis Lynch/All Inclusive NRW 6/18