Thursday 19 October 2017

Equestrian: Young Irish riders star in Belgium

Young Irish showjumping horses have given a good account of themselves on the opening day of the World Breeding Jumping Championships at Lanaken, Belgium, WRITES Louise Parkes.

In the 5-Year-Old qualifier, Castlefield Denver and Dino W (Bertram Allen), Arraghbeg Clover (Greg Broderick), Talks Cheap (Alexander Butler), Future Storm (Joseph Owens) and Sumas Duiske (Billie Jean O'Neill) all jumped clear to share equal-first place.

Allen also slotted into sixth with Ballywalter Farms' Barnike in the opening 6-year-old Two-Phase in which Greg Broderick lined up 14th with MHS Shamrock. Broderick was also best of the Irish in the 7-year-old division when slotting into 20th with MHS Going Global. The top 30 from each division go into Sunday's Championship deciders.

At Ballindenisk International Horse Trials in Cork, Ireland's Jodie O'Keeffe (Kachemire le Beau) and Sam Watson (Imperial Sky) hold the top two places after first-day dressage.

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray is to have minor surgery on a long-standing back problem and is likely to miss the rest of the season.

"The aim is to be fully fit for the new season," said a statement released by Murray's management company.

The third-ranked Murray is set to miss the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London on November 4-11, as well as the Masters events in Shanghai and Paris in October. There are 13 tournaments left on this year's schedule.

Jenson Button and Sergio Perez have both claimed that their deals for next year were more or less signed and that they would remain with McLaren for 2014.

This being F1, however, their careful choice of words only added to the intrigue swirling around the Woking team rather than killing it dead, as was their intention.

Kimi Raikkonen's unveiling by Ferrari last week was meant to have ended this silly season. But the air in the Singapore paddock last night was thick with rumours that McLaren may have delayed making a decision on their driver line-up for next year in an audacious late bid to sign Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

If that appears fanciful, then McLaren's desire to make it happen at least has some logic.

The team have endured a disastrous season on the track. They are fifth in the constructors' championship, just ahead of Force India, without so much as a podium place.

Irish Independent

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