Monday 26 September 2016

Watson and Ryan survive cross-country ordeal

Published 14/09/2015 | 02:30

Irelands' Sam Watson and Michael Ryan survived the war of attrition that ensued in Saturday's cross-country phase to finish 12th and 14th respectively at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships at Blair Castle in Scotland yesterday.

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The Irish team was eliminated when Joseph Murphy (Sportsfield Othello), Padraig McCarthy (Simon Porloe) and Austin O'Connor (Balham Houdini) all fell at various stages as the rain wreaked havoc with the going.

Ryan was the only team survivor, bringing Ballylynch Adventure home with just 9.2 time penalties to add to his dressage mark and staying clear in yesterday's showjumping.

Individual competitor Watson also produced a really gritty performance from the 10-year-old Horseware Lukeswell on cross-country day, and finished two places ahead of Ryan. Ireland's other individual contender, Camilla Speirs, finished 29th with Portersize Just a Jiff.

Just six of 11 teams finished the competition, and Germany took the team title along with individual gold and silver.

Michael Jung clinched the individual title on his dressage score with fischerTakinou.

Reigning world champion Sandra Auffarth (Opgun Louvo) took silver ahead of French team member Thibaut Valette (Qing du Briot) in bronze.

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