Ireland finished fourth in last night’s Wellington Nations’ Cup in Florida, with the USA taking first place on just four faults.
Though lying second at the halfway stage, thanks mainly to a textbook clear round from Olympic bronze medallist Cian O’Connor and Splendor, and a single time fault by Richie Moloney with Ahorn van de Zuuthoeve, the Irish were dealt a blow in the second round with the withdrawal by Shane Sweetnam of his horse Siri, due to injury.
The combination had collected eight faults first time out.
This left the remaining trio of Moloney, O’Connor and Darragh Kerins with no margin for error, and although O’Connor repeated the magic with another clear from Splendor, Moloney duplicated his first round time fault, while Kerins and the Irish Sport Horse Lisona had a fence down and a time fault.
The absence of a discard score therefore left Ireland on a total of 11 faults, two more than Germany, who claimed third place.
The result of Wellington’s four-star competition will not affect Ireland's ranking in the Furusiyya Nations Cup series, with the first Irish participation on European soil due to take place at La Baule, France in May.