The Irish show-jumping team earned their third podium finish of the season, after taking runner-up spot in the Wellington Nations Cup in Florida, USA in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Ireland were bidding to win the Wellington Nations Cup for the third year in a row but were narrowly beaten for the top prize by Great Britain.

Cork’s Shane Sweetnam was first in for Ireland with Indra Van De Oude Heihoef and they got their team off to the perfect start with a clear round.

Limerick’s Paul O’Shea with Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu then delivered a second clear to put Ireland in a strong position.

Tipperary’s Denis Lynch was the discard score in the first round after picking up eight faults with the Rushy Marsh Farm-owned RMF Cadeau De Muze, while Ireland’s anchor rider, Meath’s Cian O’Connor, finished with five faults aboard Clenur.

This left Ireland in fourth place at the halfway stage on five faults.

The second round saw both Shane Sweetnam and Paul O’Shea again deliver clear rounds, as Ireland kept the pressure on the leaders Great Britain along with Mexico and Brazil, who were sharing second place after round one.

A foot-perfect clear round from Lynch meant Ireland would remain on their first round total of five faults without the need for O’Connor to jump with Clenur.

Great Britain took the winners' prize with a two-round total of zero faults ahead of Ireland in second, while Mexico took third place on the podium with a total of 10 faults.

The result comes on the back of another Nations Cup runner-up finish for Ireland last month in the United Arab Emirates, while Ireland finished third in the Ocala Nations Cup in Florida a fortnight ago.

Ireland’s focus now moves to their all-important first points-scoring Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup in Europe Division 1 at Samorin (SVK) in April, followed by La Baule (FRA), Falsterbo (SWE), Hickstead (GBR) and Ireland’s home Nations Cup at the Dublin Horse Show in August where the Aga Khan trophy will be up for grabs.