Irish riders scored two top three finishes at opposite ends of the globe over the last 12 hours, with Shane Sweetnam claiming third place in Calgary, Canada last night, and Cian O’Connor a runner-up position in Falsterbo, Sweden on Thursday morning.
Cork-born Sweetnam, like O’Connor an Irish Nations’ Cup veteran, took Spy Coast Farm’s Swedish Warmblood stallion ‘Traffic Boy’ into the six horse jump-off at Canada’s five star Spruce Meadows show, finishing in third and conceding first place to the Irish-bred Cruising stallion ‘Flexible’, ridden by the USA’s Rich Fellers.
Sweetnam was also beaten by Fellers in last week’s Spruce Meadows World Cup Qualifier, but last night shortened the gap by two places.
In Sweden, meanwhile, Meath-based Cian O’Connor was a runner-up in the Falsterbo Derby Qualifier today riding his new Dutch-bred mount, the 10 year-old gelding ‘Phin Phin’s Shooting Star’.
O’Connor was just under half a second off the pace of Saudi Arabian winner Ramzy al Duhami, with ‘Vivaldi T’.
Falsterbo’s Nations’ Cup takes place tomorrow (Friday), and Team Ireland Equestrian’s show jumping manager Robert Splaine will announce his final four-strong team later this evening.
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