Despite two double clear rounds, Ireland's team at the Hickstead Nations' Cup finished fourth on 13 faults, with just a single time penalty denying them a share of the runner-up place behind winners Germany.
The German quartet never looked in danger of yielding their lead from the first round, but a battle for places ensued between the USA, France and Ireland, with Britain and the Ukraine also in the mix.
Irish opener Shane Breen and the Irish Sport Horse Cos I Can delivered a zero score in each round, as did anchorman Billy Twomey with Diaghilev.
And though Capt. Michael Kelly and the Irish Sport Horse Annestown improved from nine faults in the first round to a single mistake in the second, with Niall Talbot and Nicos de la Cense recording a 12 fault round first time out and four faults in the final round, the Irish team narrowly missed a share of second place.
Both the USA and France finished on 12 faults to Ireland's 13, with the Ukraine and Britain both collecting 17 penalties. Germany finished on just four faults.