Equestrian: Speirs and Portersize 'fine' after horror fall
On a drama-filled day at Greenwich Park, only three of the five-strong Irish team managed to survive the Eventing cross-country challenge. Ireland go into today's final show-jumping phase lying eighth of the 13 competing nations and with Aoife Clark leading the challenge in 21st place.
Things didn't start well when Corkman Michael Ryan and Pathfinder made it all the way to the penultimate fence where a sudden loss of symmetry between horse and rider led to a fall.
But 31-year-old Cotswolds-based Clark and the 11-year-old Master Crusoe lifted Irish hopes with a superb run that saw them collect just 3.6 time faults. And when Mullingar man Joseph Murphy breezed round with Electric Cruise to pick up just 4.80 time faults, things were looking up.
Camilla Speirs and Portersize Just a Jiff might have secured a strong team placing but the pair took a crashing fall at the corner at 24, just three fences out.
When the screens went up around horse and rider, and both were removed by ambulance, there was grave concern. But both were reported to be 'fine' last night -- the horse in his stable and the rider back on her feet after several hours in the on-site Olympic clinic.
Last man out was Mark Kyle with Coolio, and, riding to orders, he produced his usual clean jumping round but picked up 7.20 in time to leave Ireland on a second-phase total of 179.80.
Clark lies more than 12 points off the joint-leaders, Ingrid Klimke and Sara Algotsson Ostholt, as the final show jumping phase kicks off this morning.
Clark described her ride as "pretty amazing -- he tried so hard for me. I have my horse for six years now and we know each other really well. I don't interfere with him, I just let him get on with his job. He was brilliant at it."