Friday 19 January 2018

O'Connor best of Irish in Trials

Equestrian

Austin O'Connor riding Ringwood Mississippi during the Show Jumping on day five of the Badminton Horse Trials
Austin O'Connor riding Ringwood Mississippi during the Show Jumping on day five of the Badminton Horse Trials

Louise Parkes

Australia's Sam Griffiths steered Paulank Brockagh, bred by Paula Cullen, mother of Irish rugby star Leo, to win one of the most drama-filled events in the history of Badminton Horse Trials in England.

Austin O'Connor (Ringwood Mississippi) finished best of the Irish in 15th place, while armyman Capt Geoff Curran (Shanaclough Crecora) lined up in 20th, Clare Abbot (Euro Prince) 24th and Joseph Murphy (Sportsfield Othello) 30th.

Just 35 horse-and-rider partnerships survived the notoriously difficult Badminton cross-country phase on Saturday. Heavy rain ensured they all collected time faults over the new track designed by Italy's Giuseppe della Chiesa.

In yesterday's final show jumping phase the leading partnership of Australia's Paul Tapner and another Irish-bred, Kilronan, lost their grip and slipped to fourth, while fellow-countryman Griffiths clinched it despite a fence down. Ireland's O'Connor added four faults, but Curran collected 24, while Abbott and Murphy each picked up 16.

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