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Brave Ireland left floundering after majestic Italian display

By Ruth Loney

Published 23/07/2016

Leap of faith: Ireland’s Cian O’Connor on board Good Luck at the Dublin Horse Show yesterday
Leap of faith: Ireland’s Cian O’Connor on board Good Luck at the Dublin Horse Show yesterday

Italy lifted aloft the Aga Khan Trophy and 64,000 euro at Dublin Horse Show following a blistering performance producing a zero score to steal glory from Ireland after a two man head to head third round.

Despite their second place, Ireland excelled with double clear rounds in stunning exhibitions from Cian O’Connor on his super talented Good Luck and the level headed Greg Broderick on his Irish-bred Olympic mount Mhs Going Global.

Denis Lynch, who finished on one time penalty, saw Ireland, after discard scores, being equal on clear score sheets forcing a third round jump off with Italy in the afternoon.

Robert Splaine selected Lynch on his All Star 5 to take on Italy’s Piergiorgio Bucci on Casallo Z over a 1m 60 track designed by Alan Wade.

Lynch had jumped faultless double rounds with one time penalty and with uber powerful All Star 5 looked set to put Italy under pressure in a third round.

However a mistake at the last fence cost Ireland six penalties which saw Italy’s Bucci free to go for a solid clear which he delivered in 47.85.

The Italians had been foot perfect throughout, and gave an indication of how strong they will be in Rio.

Lorenzo de Luca, who had three international wins in Dublin this week, added to his tally with double clears in the Aga Khan. Piergiorgio Bucci, Emilio Bicocchi and Bruno Chimirri were outstanding.

Ireland equally were brilliant and Bertram Allen delighted his fans with a second round clear on his young stallion Hector Van D’Abdijhoeve, who tipped two in the first round but was on his first major five star Nations Cup outing.

The USA were third equal on 12 penalties with Sweden. GB were fifth equal with the Netherlands ahead of France in seventh and Czech Republic in eighth.

Meanwhile the second six-year-old qualifier at Dublin Horse Show was won again by Peter Smyth from Victoria Bridge, Strabane.

Brother of former Miss Northern Ireland Alison Clarke, and brother-in-law of golf’s Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke, Smyth is a force to be reckoned with on the Irish circuit with his yard of 40 horses making their mark in major events.

CHS Krooze, owned by Kathryn and John O’Hagan from Omagh, had the fastest clear round in the 17 horse jump off, stopping the clock in 43.51 to beat young gun Michael Pender with Curra Clover Flight, clear in 43.58.

Smyth, who won earlier in the week with Templepatrick Welcome Limmerick owned by Robin Bingham, now looks set to win the overall title in the main arena, but with which one of his six-year-olds is now the question.

Kathryn O’Hagan said: “We are delighted with the result. John bought the horse after the loose jumping in Cavan and we are so pleased with the win.”

Also included in the top six were Shane Dalton with Noels Horse, Mervyn Clarke junior with Thomascourt Senna and Richard Kerins on Achonry Carie.

Belfast Telegraph

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