Both Great Britain and Ireland are through to Sunday’s final 8 in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup in Barcelona, Spain.
Brazil finished top on a score of just 1pen, despite a fall from their 2nd rider Eduardo Menezes, with the Netherlands 2nd with 5 faults. 4 teams tied with 8 faults so placings were determined by time which put Belgium in 3rd, followed by Ireland (4th), France (5th) and Great Britain 6th.
23-year-old British reserve Louise Saywell was drafted in just 2hrs before the start of the competition when Billy Congo appeared slightly sore. She finished on 4 faults with Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham’s Hello Winner, as did her team-mates Ben Maher (Tripple X III) and Michael Whitaker (Viking).
“It was pretty nerve-racking!” said Louise. “I was happy to finish on 4 faults but disappointed at the same time not to go clear. But she’s so brave and gives her all every time.”
Anchorman Scott Brash’s final clear on Ursula XII was just enough to secure a spot in the 8-team decider, when every nation starts again on a zero score.
Ireland’s Cameron Hanley (Antello Z), Denis Lynch (All Star 5) and Shane Breen (Balloon) collected 4 faults each, while Billy Twomey and the great mare Tinka’s Serenade provided a crucial clear.
“We’re all happy with the way our horses jumped today and I think we’ve got a good shot on Sunday,” said Shane. “The course-designer did a fantastic job today — 10 clears and no overly big scores.”
Canada and Ukraine took the remaining spots in the final while the remaining 10 teams compete again tomorrow in a consolation class.
1, Brazil (1)
2, Netherlands (5)
3, Belgium (8)
4, Ireland (8)
5, France (8)
6, Great Britain (8)
7, Canada (9)
8, Ukraine (9)
9, USA (9), 10, SWE (12), 11, COL (15), 12, ESP (18), 13, SUI (21), 14, KSA (35), 15, AUT (37), 16, QAT (39), 17, JAP (43), 18, AUS (47)
Don’t miss the full report from the CSIO Barcelona in 3 October issue of Horse & Hound magazine