Twomey, Lynch bid for Rio cash
Billy Twomey and Denis Lynch head to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil this weekend for the ninth leg of the lucrative Global Champions Tour (GCT), WRITES Louise Parkes.
Lynch lies fourth on the series table, having placed consistently since the tournament began at Doha in Qatar back in March, while Twomey lies 11th, his position boosted by victory in Valencia, Spain in May.
With just under €100,000 going to the winner at each round of the series and a massive bonus pot on offer at the final in Abu Dhabi in November, the GCT attracts the top riders from all around the world.
Rio staged the 2010 final at which German winner Marcus Ehning scooped €460,000 for his weekend's work.
A week after they return from Rio, Lynch and Twomey will be preparing for the crunch European Championships in Madrid which provide Ireland's final opportunity to qualify a show jumping team for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Meanwhile, the SJI National Championships kicked off in Ennis yesterday with victory for Gemma Drennan and God's Gift in the first leg of the Ladies Championship.
In the opening Speed Championship competition, Gabriel Slattery steered Castlelawn Kannan home to win by a narrow margin ahead of defending National champion Eddie Moloney riding Fox Cleopatra.
Irish hopefuls back
in the World frame
Ireland's Olympic hopefuls lifted themselves right back into the frame at the World Championships in Slovenia yesterday.
Lisa Dilleen and Sanita Puspure qualified for the semi-finals of the women's doubles with an aggressive and mature race that blew away some of the more experienced opposition.
After the first 500m, the USA's Sarah Trowbridge and Kathleen Bertko forged into the lead, while Ireland fought for the second slot alongside the Swiss.
As the second half unfolded the Danish Jakobsen sisters, Lisbet and Lea, dragged themselves back into the race, eclipsing the tiring Swiss and challenging Ireland for the vital second place.
As Denmark and Ireland upped their rate in a dash for the line, Dilleen and Puspure held their nerve to cross the line 0.84 seconds ahead, with the USA winning.