A classy clear round from Cork’s Billy Twomey at Barcelona on Friday afternoon ensured that Ireland will take its place amongst the world’s top eight show jumping teams in the 1.5 million euro Furusiyya Nations’ Cup Final on Sunday afternoon.
With 18 teams competing in Spain, Ireland had to finish with the lowest possible penalty score in order to qualify for the final round, and with three riders gone had eight accumulated faults on the board.
Last man in Twomey, aboard Sue Davies’s mare Tinka’s Serenade, could not afford to have a single fence down if Ireland was to remain in contention, and under that substantial pressure still managed to return a zero score to bring Ireland home in fourth place overall.
Brazil won today’s qualifying round on one time fault.
Sunday’s third and last leg of the Final offers a massive €1,500,000 in prize money and is a one-round competition with a jump-off, if required, to decide first place. All nations start on a zero score. Twomey’s clear round today will also earn him a share of the 200,000 euro prize pot which will be divided amongst those riders achieving a clear round during this epic show jumping weekend.
Irish team scores:
Cameron Hanley/Antello Z 4 faults
Denis Lynch/All Star 5 4 faults
Shane Breen/Balloon 4 faults
Billy Twomey/Tinka’s Serenade 0 faults