Sunday 4 December 2016

Irish riders in fine form at home and abroad ahead of Games

Equestrian

Louise Parkes

Published 04/06/2016 | 02:30

Austin O’Connor (pictured), Jonty Evans and Padraig McCarthy hold the top three places going into today’s showjumping phase. Photo credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE
Austin O’Connor (pictured), Jonty Evans and Padraig McCarthy hold the top three places going into today’s showjumping phase. Photo credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

It was a red-letter day all round for Irish riders yesterday with host nation dominance at the CIC3* at Tattersalls International Horse Trials in Meath, the showjumping team thrashing the opposition in the Nations Cup at St Gallen in Switzerland and dressage rider Judy Reynolds setting a new Irish Grand Prix record at Achleiten in Austria.

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Austin O'Connor (Kilpatrick Knight), Jonty Evans (Cooley Rorkes Drift) and Padraig McCarthy (Bernadette Utopia) hold the top three places going into today's showjumping phase at the Meath venue where Olympic fever is rife amongst the leading contenders, all vying for a place on the Irish eventing squad for Rio.

And at St Gallen the four riders battling for the single show Olympic jumping slot pipped world-class opposition.

Bertram Allen, who earned the Irish ticket for Rio, had an uncharacteristic blip in the opening round with Molly Malone but returned to put on a jumping exhibition second time out. Denis Lynch (All Star) faulted once in both rounds, Cian O'Connor (Good Luck) jumped clear at his second attempt and Greg Broderick (MHS Going Global) was the star turn when producing a double-clear performance.

Reynolds and Vancouver K are already confirmed for Rio, and their winning score of 75.240 is a major boost just eight weeks ahead of the Games.

Irish Independent

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