Michael Blake’s Irish Show Jumping team finished among the top 8 qualifying teams for Sunday’s 2021 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final in Barcelona last night.
A thrilling competition over a demanding course saw the result hang in the balance right to the finish, with several of the world’s top jumping nations missing out on a place in the final.
Galway’s Michael Duffy with Zilton SL Z picked up four faults at the water and was one of several riders who finished over the time allowed for a five fault score.
Mayo’s Michael G Duffy and The Irish Sport Horse Lapuccino 2 also finished with five faults and it was up to anchor rider Darragh Kenny to deliver a clear to earn the team a place in the final.
Riding his Olympic mount VDL Cartello, Offaly-born Kenny was cool under pressure, delivering a perfect clear to leave Ireland on a final score of 10 faults, while Denis Lynch was the discard score on this occasion with Cristello.
On Sunday, Ireland will now defend the title against Germany, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, Brazil, Belgium and USA, with all teams starting on a zero score.