The atmosphere around the Show Jumping phase of the Eventing competition at the World Equestrian Games yesterday (Monday) was electric – the fight for podium positions was contested right down to the last competitor when Ingrid Klimke and Horseware Hale Bob OLD, who was in gold medal position going into the arena knocked only the final rail, conceding to bronze position allowing Ireland’s Padraig McCarthy and Mr Chunky (SHBGB) to snatch up silver position climbing from seventh after Cross Country. The gold medal was taken by Rosalind Canter and Allstar B (KWPN) for Great Britain who made her World Equestrian Games debut. Her clear round in the Cross Country and Show Jumping allowed her to finish on her dressage score of 24.6, carrying the Great Britain team into gold position on a score of 88.8.
For Ireland, Sarah Ennis was in individual bronze position after Cross Country and the Irish team were in silver position. Sam Watson with Horseware Ardagh Highlight (ISH) and Padraig McCarthy with Mr Chunky (SHBGB) jumped clear, and Sarah Ennis with Horseware Stellar Rebound (ISH) and Cathal Daniels with Rioghan Rua (ISH) had just one fence down each, the team finished with the silver medal on a score of 93.0, just one fence behind Great Britain. France finished in bronze position on 99.8 points, and Japan finished just outside the medals with 113.9 points.
Flying the flag for the Irish bred horse were three horses on the Irish Eventing team, and two horses on the Great British Eventing team at the Games. For Great Britain, Piggy French competed with Quarrycrest Echo (Clover Echo X Cavalier Royale, bred by John Dooley) finishing 10th individually, and Gemma Tattersall with Arctic Soul (Luso X Roi Danzig) finishing in 30th position individually – two Irish bred horses helping the team into gold position finishing on 31.8 and 44.4 points respectively. Both jumped clear Cross Country and achieved scores of 28.7 and 32.4 in the Dressage phase, and 4 and 12 faults in the Jumping phase respectively.
For Ireland, three out of four team members (as well as Irish individual rider Patricia Ryan with Dunrath Eclipse (Chinook Eclipse X Rame Z, bred by Michael Lynch), finishing 61st individually) competed with Irish Sport Horses. Sarah Ennis with Horseware Stellar Rebound (VDL Ricochet, dam line not recorded) finished in fifth place individually, on a final score of 30.3 after a dressage score of 26.3 and only four faults in the Show Jumping phase. Sam Watson, aboard Horseware Ardagh Highlight (Puissance X Kings Servant) bred by Teresa Walsh finished on their dressage score of 35.5 in 14th position individually after going clear and inside the time in both Cross Country and Show Jumping. Finally, Cathal Daniels with Rioghan Rua (Jack of Diamonds X Flagmount King, bred by Margaret Kinsella) and the smallest horse in the competition at 15.2hh, finished 26th individually on a score of 41.6 with a dressage score of 34.0, only 3.6 time faults Cross Country and four faults Show Jumping.
Team Ireland Equestrian and their Irish bred horses have made history at this year’s FEI World Equestrian Games, Tryon 2018 in a truly nail-biting final Eventing phase, testing the ability, skill and perseverance of horse and rider in circumstances less than ideal with the changing schedule and unpredictable weather. A little wind and rain proved no inconvenience to the Irish horse and rider!
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