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Friday 20 January 2017

Speirs' finefinish aids Olympic hopes

Published 18/10/2011 | 05:00

Camilla Speirs boosted Ireland's chances of having at least four riders at the Olympics in London next year by finishing second in at an event in Boekelo, Netherlands.

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Kildare native Camilla (22) was riding her bay gelding Portersize Just A Jiff, the smallest of the 110 horses in the competition. At just 15.1hh, the Crosskeys Rebel gelding once again proved how big his heart is by out-jumping horses much bigger than himself.

Just a Jiff, bred by Philip White, was bought as a three-year-old and has been produced by Camilla through junior and young rider ranks.

The pair had been lying third overnight but two fences down from New Zealand's multiple Olympic medallist Mark Todd, who had been leading, saw her move up to second behind Germany's Andreas Dibowski.

Meath's Liz Power also jumped clear with September Bliss to climb to ninth place.

Camilla's superb clear saw Ireland move up to third behind Germany and Australia in the team competition, from the 13 teams that started.

Team Ireland Equestrian's high performance manager Ginny Elliot said Camilla's performance was outstanding.

"Camilla and Portersize Just a Jiff have topped off a brilliant season with this result from a huge field of top class riders. This is their third top three finish at three-star level this year on top of a good performance at the European Championships. They really are a dynamic duo," she said.

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"Many of the other Irish riders also performed well and I was delighted that Liz Power finished in the top 10.

"To finish third in the team competition is an unexpected boost, as our target coming here was to secure Olympic ranking points. Camilla's result will have been a big help."

In finishing second, Camilla (right) secured 67 Olympic ranking points, which puts her in a strong position to secure a place for Ireland at the games.

Three other Irish riders are already in a strong position, which gives Ireland a solid chance of having at least four event riders in London.

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