Monday 19 March 2018

Equestrian: Lynch goes clear as Irish recover from early wobble

Louise Parkes

Ireland finished joint-second in the opening leg of the 2008 Samsung Super League series in La Baule, France, yesterday, where Belgium came out on top in the eight-nation battle.

It wasn't a smooth ride for Robert Splaine's side but solid performances from Edward Doyle and Denis Lynch kept the equilibrium after shaky moments for Cian O'Connor in the opening round and Capt Shane Carey second time out.

Doyle kicked off with a four-fault result from Sequoyah Farms Utopia and Carey and River Foyle followed suit, but O'Connor's Irish Independent Echo Beach picked up 12 faults at her first effort and this proved the drop score when anchor-man Lynch left one on the floor with Lantinus.

Carrying 12 faults Ireland were equal-fifth going into the second round but when Doyle held firm with another four-fault result and O'Connor dramatically improved to do likewise, hopes were high Carey's four fences down could be discarded by a good run from Lynch.

And the German-based Irishman came up trumps with a clear round to secure the score total of 20 which leaves Ireland in joint-second on the leaderboard at this early stage of the series.

Meanwhile, Jessica Kuerten will take her case to the CAS following the FEI's decision to hand her a two-month ban.

Castle Forbes Maike, the mare with which she won the Grand Prix at La Baule in May 2007, tested positive for the banned drug Etoricoxib, but the Irish rider continues to plead not guilty of any wrongdoing.

In a statement issued yesterday the No 2-ranked rider in the world said: "I am not aware that I have done anything wrong, that's why I will continue legal action."

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