Florida Nations Cup 2020
The Irish Show Jumping team have taken runner-up spot in the $150,000 four-star Nations Cup at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, USA.
It is the third year in succession this has occurred.
First round clears from Offaly's Darragh Kenny with Go Easy De Muze and Limerick’s Paul O’Shea with Skara Glen’s Chancelloress and a five fault score from Clare's David Blake aboard Keoki saw Ireland comfortably among the six teams from the nine starters that made it into the second round.
The second round saw Kenny finish with a single fence down while Cork’s Billy Twomey also had just four faults with Lady Lou.
David Blake jumped a perfect clear second time out with Keoki and with the home team from the USA already guaranteed a win at that stage, and Ireland well clear of third placed Australia, there was no need for Paul O’Shea to jump as last to go.
USA took victory on just four faults ahead of Ireland in second on 13, while Australia took third place on 22 faults.
Canada finished fourth with Israel fifth, Brazil sixth, Colombia seventh, Mexico eighth and Chile in ninth position.
Ireland’s focus now turns to their first points-scoring outing in Europe Division 1 of the Longines FEI Nations Cup series which come at La Baule in France on 15 May.
That will be quickly followed by Ireland’s second opportunity to collect points the following weekend at St Gallen in Switzerland, before Ireland’s third round of action at Rotterdam in The Netherlands in June.
Each team has four points-scoring opportunities in Europe Division 1, with Ireland’s last chance to gain points coming on home soil in the Aga Khan at the Dublin Horse Show
Billy Wins for third year at Liverpool International Horse Show
Billy won the TheraPlate UK Liverpool International Grand Prix for a remarkable third time in five years after an exhibition of world-class showjumpjng at the M&S Bank Arena.
Billy, one of the most consistent Irish riders of his generation, followed Liverpool grand prix wins with Diaghilev in 2015 and 2016 by scooping a £26,000 top prize.
He triumphed in the jump-off on Kimba Flamenco by almost two seconds from 18-year-old British prospect Jack Whitaker, riding Elucar V.E. and British Tokyo 2020 Olympic hopeful Holly Smith, who was third aboard Hearts Destiny.
Course designer Alan Wade's brilliant track tested every combination in a 31-strong field, with just six making it through to the jump-off.
And Billy showcased all his experience to preserve an amazing record of every Liverpool grand prix either being won by himself or fellow Irishman Shane Breen.
"To win the grand prix three times here is amazing," Billy said.
"My horse jumped fantastic. He has been close to doing something in the last couple of shows, and finally it has paid off for me and him here.
"I am delighted for the owner and everyone involved with the horse. A win always helps everything.
"He is an extremely talented horse. He has won a CSIO five-star grand prix in Falsterbo, so he is winning at every level, which is good.
"The course builder is probably the best course builder on the planet. He made it difficult enough that it wasn't a giveaway to anyone. You needed to jump the course. It wasn't a rat-race.
"In the jump-off, I tried to put it up to the rest of the riders. Sometimes, when you go early, you don't really know, but thankfully I held on to clinch the win."
Chat Botte on Form in Norten Hardenberg
Chat Botte ED is returning to form with an impressive double clear to take 4th place in the Grand Prix on the final day after winning the Mattie Brown Stakes at Nottinghamshire County Show the previous weekend.
Je T'aime Flamenco's Youngster Shines at Dublin
SVS Valiant a 3 year old by Je T'aime Flamenco won the Loose Jumping Championships at the Dublin International Horse Show at the RDS this week.
A Great Start To Dublin For Billy
Billy had a great to start to his week at Dublin with a win on Joe Flynn's Ardculumn Duke
What a Weekend!
This weekend I was competing in Falsterbo, Sweden. I had an amazing weekend winning three classes!