Great Britain took victory in the latest round of the FEI Nations Cup eventing held at Ballindenisk in Ireland – making it three wins in a row at this event.
The British team was made up of Oliver Townend (Cooley SRS), Franky Warrilow Reid (Dolley Whisper), Wills Oakden (Merikano) and Izzy Taylor (Briarlands Birdsong). Having led from the start, the team finished on a combined score of 162.8 – a decisive victory.
It was a British One, Two Three in the individual rankings for the CIC3*, with Pippa Funnell taking victory with Mirage D’Elle with team members Oliver (who led after dressage and was a last minute addition to the squad) and Franky taking second and third. Izzy dropped down the order after incurring 11 penalties for breaking a frangible pin on the cross country.
The Irish team (Michael Ryan/Ballylynch Adventure, Joseph Murphy/Sportsfield Othello, Cathal Daniels/Barnaboy Freeman, Nicola Ennis/Jack Of Hearts) took second on home soil, holding off a strong challenge from France who had to settle for third. Lying in third after the Dressage phase, Ireland moved up to second after Sunday mornings Show Jumping. Despite being reduced to just three team members for the final phase, Ireland produced a superb cross country performance, where all three Irish team members jumped clear, adding just time penalties to finish on a combined total of 182.5 penalties.
Irish Eventing Team Manager Nick Turner said: “I’m delighted with the whole squad. Nicola’s horse lost a shoe Show Jumping in the morning and was a bit sore so didn’t go Cross Country. We had three very solid Cross Country rounds and it was great to finish second. The organisers here at Ballindenisk as always did a very good job and the Nations Cup course in particular had a very good balance, asked the right questions and was a credit to all involved.”
After two rounds of the FEI Nations Cup Eventing France and Ireland hold the joint lead (170 points) with Britain lying in third (155 points). The next round of the series will be held at Houghton Hall (GBR) on 26-29 May.
Ballindenisk proved extremely successful for British riders. Pippa Funnell also took victory in the CCI3* with Billy The Biz. They completed on their dressage score of 38.8, ahead of Ireland’s Padraig McCarthy and Bernadette Utopia in second (43.0) and Izzy Taylor and Be Touchable in third (44.3).
Francis Whittington was the winner in the CCI2* with Cavalier Venture. Again, they added nothing to their dressage score of 42.8 penalties to finish ahead of Oliver Townend and Colonel Joe who was second. Sweden’s Ludwig Svennerstall took third with Paramount Importance.
Oliver Townend was the winner in the CIC2* with Ballaghmor Class ahead of British teammate Holly Woodhead and GI Master Caster in second and Brian Morrison and Cloonacauneen Black Beauty. John O Keefe was the winner of the CIC1*, with Brian Morrison in second (Ballymolloy Rogan) in third and Britain’s Camilla Hope and Fernhill For Sure in third.
The CCI1* was won by Nations Cup team member Wills Oakden, a class in which he took a One, Two. Ballbreaker SD was his winning ride – on a score of 48.7, with Enzo Van De Nethe in second. Francis Whittington picked up third place with Evento, and fifth with Hope Over Experience.
Of his success Francis said on his Facebook page that all three horses were pure class.