McAuley shines in Rome on stricken girlfriend's mount
Irish riders were in flying form with wins and top placings at the prestigious CSIO in Rome, where Mark McAuley finished fourth in the Grand Prix, and at the German Jumping Derby and GCT events in Hamburg over the weekend.
They got off to a great start at the top Italian fixture with a win for McAuley and Miebello on the opening day, and Shane Sweetnam was rarely out of the ribbons, finishing second with the nine-year-old Indra van oude Heihof on Thursday and again yesterday afternoon.
In Saturday's Small Grand Prix, the Corkman steered Main Road into third.
Friday's FEI Nations Cup saw Italy clinch the coveted trophy on home ground for the first time in 32 years and the celebrations were wilt. The hosts pipped the Netherlands by four faults.
Ireland shared third spot with France, with Sweetnam (Chaqui Z) and Shane Breen (Golden Hawk) each contributing important second-round clears.
Yesterday McAuley and the spectacular grey Miebello, normally competed by his Swedish girlfriend Charlotte Mordasini, who is recovering from a spinal injury, jumped a brilliant clear in the first round of the Grand Prix but had to settle for fourth with a fence down in the jump-off.
Jur Vrieling became the first Dutch rider to clinch the title when producing the only double-clear of the competition with Glasgow.
Billy Twomey returned to Hamburg to defend his Derby title with Diagilev and won Thursday's qualifying round but had to settle for fourth in yesterday's Derby with the fastest four faults in the first round. The title went to Slovenia's Pato Muente who produced the only double-clear with Zera in a three-way jump-off.
Bertram Allen galloped to victory with Molly Malone in Friday's Global Champions Speed competition and Denis Lynch was on the winning Global Champions League team alongside Great Britain's Scott Brash.