Ireland won its second Nations’ Cup in a week when claiming victory at Copenhagen in Denmark on Friday, beating 14 other nations to the trophy.
With two Irish-bred horses in the line-up, Ireland finished the first round of the Promotional League Cup on a completely clear score and went on to dominate the competition, finishing on a total of 12 faults.
Capt. David O’Brien and the Minister for Defence’s Irish-bred gelding ‘Annestown’ went as pathfinder, but recorded the only double clear round, while US-based Jennifer Crooks and ‘SF Uryadi’ had a clear first round, with two fences down in the second.
Alexander Butler with Harold McGahern’s Touchdown gelding ‘Will Wimble’ went clear first time out and had one fence down in the second, while Dermott Lennon and ‘Kalvinretto’ also took a zero score in the first round.
Afterwards, Team Ireland Equestrian’s show jumping manager Robert Splaine said: ” This was another superb performance from an Irish team, and to finish on zero in the first round is very significant indeed. The purpose of these Promotional League Nations’ Cups is to produce horses for the top level – and while today was not at the very top level, it wasn’t very far off it, and to win was a special bonus. It was a marathon competition, with 15 nations competing, but the team held its nerve and prevailed in the end.”
Ireland won the first leg of the FEI Nations’ Cup Superleague in La Baule last week, with the team of Cameron Hanley, Cian O’Connor, Billy Twomey and Shane Sweetnam snatching the trophy from Belgium in the closing minutes of the two-round contest.
NATIONS CUP OF DENMARK
International Jumping Competition
FEI Art. 264
Friday May 20 2011
1) IRELAND 12 faults
Capt. David O’Brien/Annestown (ISH) 0/0
Jennifer Crooks/SF Uryadi 0/8
Alexander Butler/Will Wimble (ISH) 0/4
Dermott Lennon/Kalvinretto 0/-
=2) BELGIUM 24 faults
=2) NETHERLANDS 24 faults
4) SPAIN 29 faults
5) AUSTRALIA 33 faults
15 nations competed