A thrilling finish to the 2021 Longines FEI Nations Cup Final at Real Club de Polo in Barcelona, Spain, saw defending champions Ireland come up one point short of retaining the title against eight of the world’s best teams.

The Irish quartet of Denis Lynch, Eoin McMahon, Michael Duffy and Darragh Kenny finished the competition on just one time fault, with victory going to The Netherlands as the only team to complete on a zero score, while Belgium finished third on four faults.

Tipperary’s Denis Lynch got Ireland off to the perfect start with the Onyx Consulting-owned Cristello, when they jumped an impressive clear inside the time when first to go for Michael Blake’s team.

Co Clare’s Eoin McMahon, who had a hugely impressive performance at the 2021 European Championships, was second to go with Chacon 2 owned by Madeleine Winter-Schulze. They also left all the fences standing but picked up one time fault when 0.21 over the time allowed.

Galway’s Michael Duffy, another who enjoyed an excellent Europeans, was next to jump with Zilton SL Z and were the discard score with one fence down and the smallest of touches on the tape at the water.

Ireland needed a clear from anchor rider Darragh Kenny to keep the pressure on the remaining teams and the Offaly rider delivered in style, crossing the line clear with the Heathman Farm-owned VDL Cartello to leave Ireland on a final score of just one time fault. Anything less than a clear from the final Dutch rider Harrie Smolders would leave Ireland as winners. Smolders though kept his cool to give victory to the Dutch for the third time in the history of the competition.

Ireland’s Darragh Kenny was one of three riders who shared a €100,000 bonus the having jumped clear in Friday’s qualifying round and today’s final.

The Irish Show Jumping team is sponsored by Devenish and The Underwriting Exchange.

 

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