Friday 15 December 2017

Equestrian: Twomey misses out on Olympia payday

Louise Parkes

Billy Twomey was out of luck when a single first-round time fault kept the in-form Irish rider out of the money in the Grand Prix at Olympia on Monday night.

The Cork-born rider finished a close second in Sunday's Rolex FEI World Cup qualifier with the mare Tinka's Serenade, but had to settle for 10th with Sue Davies' stallion Flamenco in Monday's feature class when he was one of the two starters in the 33-strong field who came out on the wrong side of the time allowed in the opening round.

Cian O'Connor retired with Splendor, and it was left to the French to dominate the winner's podium, with Penelope Leprevost (Myss Valette) scooping the €18,000 first prize ahead of team-mate Simon Delestre (Oslo du Chalet), and Sweden's Malin Baryard-Johnsonn (H&M Reveur).

Irish show jumping has, however, finished 2010 on a high note with Twomey's rise into the world top 10 and, with three of his compatriots in the top 14, it is a considerable achievement for a country with such limited resources and a relatively small number of competitors.

Denis Lynch completes the year as world No 7, Twomey lies ninth and Jessica Kuerten is in 14th position.

Meanwhile, Irish eventing was boosted by the confirmation of new classes at next year's Tattersalls International Horse Trials, which will take place at Fairyhouse from May 26 to 29.

The introduction of CIC 3-Star and CCI 3-Star competitions has added an extra edge and made the event more attractive to visiting riders.

Kiwi star Andrew Nicholson commented: "I love the way Tattersalls think, it's always about improving, upgrading and giving competitors what they need."

Tattersalls Ireland managing director George Mernagh said: "By also running a CIC 3-Star in 2011 we are giving our Irish riders, as well as our large contingent of international competitors, every possibility to achieve the qualifications needed for the 2012 Olympics."

Irish rider Joseph Murphy added: "The new format of two days of cross-country will attract overseas competitors.

"And it's a great opportunity for home riders to gain qualifications without the expense of travelling abroad."

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