Belfast Telegraph

Nations Cup winners are all born in the USA

By Ruth Loney

The USA held aloft the Aga Khan trophy in the RDS yesterday as a young team, including Jessica Springsteen, claimed victory with a total score of just four faults.

The crowd had long forgotten that Ireland finished equal sixth as they cheered Jessica and her USA team mates as her parents, rock stars Bruce and Patti Springsteen, watched on from the stands.

It was the turn of Jessica though to take centre stage, with her two clear rounds on Vindicaat helping to give the USA the gold trophy, while Charlie Jayne, on Chill R Z, also produced stunning double clear rounds.

"It has been amazing," said Springsteen, who also won on Thursday with Davendy in the Anglesea Stakes.

Standing on the podium with her team mates, Jayne and Katherine A Dinan, seemed to be all in a day's work for the talented humble rider trained by Laura Kraut.

Despite Ireland producing two brilliant clear rounds from Darragh Kenny and Bertram Allen (19), Ireland finished equal sixth in the competition.

Great Britain finished second on a team total of eight faults with a double clear from Roe Spencer on Wonder Why and Brash Scott having a single clear on Hello Sanctos.

The Irish team, which also included Cian O'Connor and Dermott Lennon, accumulated 12 faults in the first round, but seemed to stage a comeback as the second round started, with Allen and Kenny's zero scores.

O'Connor, who had faulted only once first time out, ended on eight faults in the final round and Lennon became one of five riders on the eight teams in the competition to suffer elimination due to double refusals on Alan Wade's deceptively tricky course.

The result means that Ireland will not be one of the seven European Division One teams going through to October's Furusiyya Series Final in Barcelona.

Team manager Robert Splaine said: "I'm obviously disappointed in today's result.

"I pick the riders and I'm responsible for getting good results, and though a pretty good result was achievable for us today, it didn't work out that way.

"We had a fabulous second round recovery from the two young lads making their debut here, but then we had a completely uncharacteristic refusal from Dermott Lennon's mare at a fence that caused a similar problem for quite a few other riders.

"This week was also a trial for the upcoming World Equestrian Games in Normandy and some significant facts emerged."

NATIONS' CUP: 1 USA (4 faults), 2 Great Britain (8 faults), Joint 3: Ukraine, France, Sweden (16 faults), Joint 6: Ireland, Netherlands (20 faults), 8 Germany (Elimination).

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