IRELAND FINISH TEAM SEVENTH AT WORLD EQUESTRIAN GAMES
THE Irish show jumping team came tantalisingly close to obtaining automatic qualification for the Rio Olympics when finishing seventh at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy this afternoon.
Ireland’s quartet of Darragh Kenny, Bertram Allen, Denis Lynch and Cameron Hanley moved up one place from their overnight position, but because Olympic host nation Brazil were ahead in today’s table, Ireland needed at least a sixth place to ensure qualification.
Nevertheless the top ten finish at Normandy was one of Ireland’s strongest performances this year, with just a single fence denying them a qualification place.
Irish team manager Robert Splaine said: “Some of the performances were world class, as evidenced by our having three riders in the top thirty. The competition is intense at this level but we have riders well capable of competing with the best. We appreciate the generosity of the owners and the efforts of the riders. This level of support augurs well for the future.”
Ireland’s next opportunity to book a ticket to Rio will come at the European Jumping Championships at Aachen, Germany in 2015.