We're there! Two Irish horses make it into Olympic Show Jumping Final

Unfortunately for Ireland, the horses will be under the control of a Swiss and an American.

Paul Estermann of Switzerland rides his horse Castlefield Eclipse.
Paul Estermann of Switzerland rides his horse Castlefield Eclipse.
Image: AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

BILLY TWOMEY WILL not be there and Cian O’Connor is crossing his fingers at the top of the reserves list but Ireland has two horses in the Show Jumping Final.

O’Connor narrowly failed to qualify for the final when his gelding, Blue Loyd, had three fences down on the tough Nations’ Cup course, giving the 32 year-old rider a total of 20 penalties over three qualifying rounds, leaving him as the first reserve for the final.

As first reserve, according to Horse Sport Ireland, he still has a chance of making the Olympic Final if any of Monday’s qualifying horses fail to pass the vet check before Wednesday.

O’Connor took to his Facebook page after his round to thank all the supporters that cheered him on before and during the games. He wrote:

One fence too many! Overall I’m pleased enough and you never know as I’m next in line should a qualified horse be withdrawn, so I still could be back in the final. Blue Loyd was fantastic again but just had the lightest of rubs behind on the fences he knocked.

“I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your support in the build-up and during this games and I look forward to giving you something to cheer about at the Dublin Horse Show next week!”

Definite qualifiers include the Cruising stallion Flexible, ridden by the USA’s Rich Fellers, finishing on an accumulated penalty total of eight faults, in equal 11th place.

The mare Castlefield Eclipse, ridden by Switzerland’s Paul Estermann, also finished in equal 11th on a combined total of eight faults over three rounds, making it two Irish horses in the final at Greenwich Park.

Today’s 45 riders were bidding for a place in Wednesday’s last two rounds, when the best 35 will start on a zero score, and with only 20 on the lowest penalties from the first round taking part in the medal-deciding last round.

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