THE Irish team of Eilish Byrne, Rosemary Gaffney, Helen Kearney and James O’Dwyer recorded Ireland’s best ever result in Para Equestrian competition when they finished second in the team competition at Hartpury in the UK yesterday (Thursday) behind Great Britain.
The result moves Ireland up to fifth in the world rankings and puts them in a good position to qualify a team for the Paralympic Games in London next year. This would be the first time Ireland would have qualified a team for the games. In order to guarantee qualification Ireland will need to be ranked in the top 11 at the end of 2012.
Team Ireland Equestrian’s para equestrian chef d’equipe Naomi Donoghue said the result was excellent and that the riders deserved great credit.
“We came third in Deauville in our last competition, which was fantastic. To build on that with a second place here is a huge credit to the riders and I am confident we can continue to improve. All our individual athletes also exceeded minimum FEI criteria here at Hartpury. The European Championships will be our next team event in Belguim in September,” she said.
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