Equestrian: Greene shines on debut in Irish triumph
A mainly inexperienced Irish side galloped to victory in the Nations Cup at Ypaja, Finland, yesterday, where Limerick rider Joan Greene produced a superb double-clear performance on her senior team debut, having already finished second in the Grand Prix.
Ireland completed with a total of just five faults to pin Belgium into second place by a three-fault margin in the team competition, while Denmark finished third of the nine competing countries.
And it was a fantastic weekend for 22-year-old Alexander Butler, from Kells, who showed his enormous potential when scoring a double of wins before contributing only one time fault to the Irish team tally yesterday.
In the Nations Cup, the clock presented no problem for Greene and Biscaya d'Eversem, who returned a path-finding clear. Butler collected his single fault in the first round with Will Wimble; another first-timer, Tholm Keane, riding Warrenstown You 2, had one fence down, as did Edward Little riding Kalvinretto.
With only three riders returning in round two of this second-division event, Little sat it out as his team-mates wrapped it up when adding nothing more to the Irish scoreline.
Butler's run of form began with victory in the feature class on the opening day riding the nine-year-old Keeford Topcat, which scored again in Saturday's Accumulator; and Greene and Biscaya, second in the International Grand Prix at Balmoral last month, were impressive when producing one of just three double-clears to take runner-up spot in the Finnish equivalent.
Meanwhile, Cork-based husband-and-wife event riders Patricia and Michael Ryan boosted their chances of selection for the World Equestrian Games when finishing 14th and 17th respectively at the 4-Star CCI in Luhmuehlen, Germany, yesterday.
Nations Cup of Finland -- 1 Ireland 5 flts (Biscaya d'Eversem (J Greene) 0/0, Kalvinretto (E Little) 4/-, Will Wimble (A Butler) 1/0, Warrenstown You 2 (T Keane) 4/0); 2 Belgium 8 flts; 3 Denmark 9 flts; 4 Turkey 21 flts; 5 Sweden 25 flts; 6 Norway 27 flts; 7 Austria 30 flts; 8 Finland Elim; 9 Estonia Elim.
Grand Prix - 1 Leo du Prairial (P Le Jeune) Bel 0/0 52.72; 2 Biscaya d'Eversem (J Greene) Irl 0/0 53.84; 3 Luganer (R Haastrup) Den 0/0 57.01; 10 Warrenstown You 2 (T Keane) Irl 0/8 51.33.
Accumulator -- 1 Keeford Topcat (A Butler) Irl 51.39; 2 Mistral (L Fredricson) Swe 55.45; 3 Regino (C Enemark) Den 57.43.
Jump-Off -- 1 Keeford Topcat (A Butler) Irl 0/0 43.04; 2 Boyente (P Le Jeune) Bel 0/0 45.91; 3 Warrenstown You 2 (T Keane) Irl 0/0 489.41; 9 Harristown Princess (P O'Donnell) Irl 0/4 42.73.
Grand Prix Qualifier - 1, Orlanda (H Ruder) Ger 0/0 43.94; 2, Amaretto Darco (S Sweetnam) Irl 0/0 45.69; 3, La Bomba (K Offel) UKR 0/0 47.30.
Pony Individual Qualifier -- 1 Jacknell Street (E O'Dywer) Irl 0/0 47.64; 2 Bella Donna (M Laseur) Ned 0/0 48.13; 3 Patty (J Tebbel) Ger 0/0 52.36; 10 Kalim de Montlieu (E Dwyer) Irl 0/11 61.50.
Pony Two-Phase -- 1 Razorlite (J Mendoza) GBR 0/34.88; 2 Arts-Deilo (M Zell) Ger 0/37.27; 3 Jacknell Street (E O'Dwyer) Irl 0/37.34.