Thursday 23 February 2017

Speirs gives boost to Olympic bid

EQUESTRIAN

Louise Parkes

Irish chances of securing Olympic eventing spots at Greenwich Park in London next summer got a boost when Camilla Speirs and the brilliant little Portersize Just a Jiff stormed into second at the CCI 3-Star in Boekolo, Holland, yesterday.

With Olympic ranking points up for grabs, Speirs was lying 20th after dressage, and the 22-year-old Kildare rider and her Irish-bred gelding rocketed up to third when clear over Saturday's cross-country track.

Yesterday, they moved into runner-up spot when Kiwi star Mark Todd (NZB Campino) lost his grip on pole position with two show jumping fences down while Speirs produced another copybook performance to slot in behind German winner Andreas Dibowski (Butts Avedon). Ireland's Capt Brian Curran-Cournane (Balintogher) dropped from seventh after dressage to finish 23rd.

Meanwhile, in Chevenez, Switzerland, Ireland's pony show jumpers followed their victory in Friday's Nations Cup by dominating yesterday's Grand Prix line-up. Bertram Allen and Cassandra vh Roelof clinched the honours ahead of Belgium's Evy Morssinkhof, who was riding the Connemara mare Ballyowen Maybell Molly which won European gold for Ireland's Kelly Allen in 2009. Molly O'Shea (Gragghouse Griff) and Tom Foley (Crown Jewel) finished fourth and fifth.

At the Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham, Ireland's senior riders continued their run of good placings, with Billy Twomey slotting Romanov into third in Friday night's Zinc Management Trophy, Denis Lynch steering Contiflex into sixth in Saturday's Sky Sports Trophy and Cian O'Connor third in yesterday's Speed Horse of the Year competition.

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Irish Independent

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