The Irish squad got their European Eventing Championships dressage campaign underway in Avenches, Switzerland today (23 September), with individual rider Joseph Murphy their highest placed rider after the first day. Joseph scored 30.8 with The Way Forward syndicate’s Cesar V, for equal 13th place
“I was actually pleased with our test – I probably didn’t get exactly the same feeling as it was getting outside as the ground is a little bit deeper in the main arena,” Joseph explained afterwards. “I made one mistake in the first flying-change and that was very costly, but in general I’m really pleased – he’s a lovely horse and Tracie Robinson has done a great job training the Irish.”
Cathal Daniels, who is on the team, is close behind Joseph in 16th riding Jo Breheny’s 11-year-old mare, LEB Lias Jewel, on a score of 31.1 after their test during day one of the European Eventing Championships dressage phase.
“There was one major mistake in the walk – she was a little bit tense and a little bit stressed in there,” Cathal said. “I think the rest of it was quite well presented and I think she did a very good job.”
Sam Watson, first to go for the Irish team, was pleased with his test on Ballybolger Talisman, even though their score of 33.5 leaves them in 24th after the first day of dressage.
“I’m happy with that, to be honest, because he’s a ‘Covid baby’ in that last week was the first time he’s left Ireland, when he competed in Aachen,” Sam said of the 10-year-old by Puissance. “He’s electric, he’s so blood and he so wants to explode, but he didn’t and I’m really proud of them when they do that, when they kind of hold it together on the big stage. Now I can’t wait to go cross-country, because that’s his forté.”
The Irish team is in sixth place after the first day of competition. The remaining Irish riders, Clare Abbott (Jewelent) and Padraig McCarthy (Leonidas II) will complete their dressage tests tomorrow at 9.37am and 1.15pm (BST) respectively.
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