Belfast Telegraph

Rankin thrilled to lead the way as Ireland aces taste success around globe

Fintona ace Jenny Rankin
Fintona ace Jenny Rankin

By Ruth Loney

It was a weekend to remember for Irish showjumping after successes in Denmark, Italy, Canada and Ballinasloe.

Fintona ace Jenny Rankin jumped a superb clear in a third-round jump-off in the Uggerhaine Danish Nations Cup against Poland to win her second nations event in 10 days with the Irish squad of Aidan Killeen, Susan Fitzpatrick and Ger O'Neill.

Rankin kept her cool and delivered the result required to take the podium.

Rankin said: "My horse was super for all three rounds. I never doubted that he would jump clear to take the win in the third round against Poland.

"I am glad I could jump clear for all of the team members, as everyone put in a solid performance."

Team chief Taylor Vard said: "I am delighted for all four of our riders, they were amazing.

"I thought that maybe it was slipping away in the first round, but in fairness they really fought back in the second round to take the win."

Ireland's senior Nations Cup team were second in the Rome Nations Cup, and on Sunday, Cian O'Connor was runner-up in the Rolex Rome Grand Prix with his new horse Irenice Horta.

The team of Peter Maloney, O'Connor, Darragh Kenny and Mark McAuley were outstanding in the Piazza di Siena.

Saintfield rider Conor Swail excelled in the Caledon Park Show, Ontario with two successes and won the $36,000 Open Welcome on Koss Van Heiste, owned by Eadaoin Collins.

He then took double victory in the $40,000 Speed Class by tying with both his horses Koss Van Heiste and Pin Up De Muz, stopping the clock in an identical time of 65.54.

Earlier, James Chawke, who has joined Swail in Canada as part of the Vanessa Mannix team, won the $100,000 Grand Prix with Skara's Glen Presence and was third on Grasshopper.

Jonathan Smyth, the Strabane rider who excelled at the Balmoral Show as reserve champion international rider, was consistent again to win the New Heights Grand Prix in Ballinasloe.

Smyth crossed the line in 41.37 seconds to take a commanding win by over four seconds, beating Kilkenny's Seamus Hughes Kennedy and Louis D'Or in 45.58.

Meanwhile, all roads lead to Tattersalls International Horse Trials this weekend.

The best Northern Region riders will take on the cream of international faces from home and abroad.

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