Ireland wins Spruce Meadows Nations Cup leg
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Ireland wins Spruce Meadows Nations Cup leg

Contributed by Jasmine on Jun 16, 2014 - 04:06 PM

Ireland won the five-star Spruce Meadows Nationsǽ?????? Cup competition for the second year running at the famous Canadian venue.

The team of Shane Sweetnam (Eregast vant Klezelhof), Richie Moloney (Slieveanorra), Darragh Kenny (San Souci Z) and Conor Swail (Lansdowne) beat six other competing teams from the US, Canada and Mexico by coming home at the end of two rounds with just three faults.

Swail and Lansdowne received an unusual eight faults in the first round as the disreguard score, so Irelandǽ??????s penalties were only time faults, with the other three riders completing clear rounds.

ǽ?????This is very special for us,ǽ????? said Irish show jumping manager Robert Splaine. ǽ?????This is a great team of riders. I think it was tougher than last year. I think if you jump good here, you can jump wherever you want.ǽ?????

Swail was also a member of last yearǽ??????s winning Irish side, and he said ǽ?????itǽ??????s a slightly different team this year, we have a few new guys in and I have to say the three guys on my left were outstanding. The Americans were pressing us very hard, but you know we just kept pulling out the clear rounds so it was a fantastic achievement for all of usǽ?????.

They were neck and nect all the way by the USA Stars who eventually lined up second ahead of their American colleagues from the USA Stripes team in third. It was a disappointing night from a Canadian perspective as their crack side, reduced to just three team members when anchorman Eric Lamaze withdrew Zigali PS, had to settle for fourth place ahead of the only other finishers, the Canada Two selection.

After mounting up in the warm-up ring, anchor rider Lamaze, 45, felt that Zigali P S, was not sound and required further assessment.

Laskin spoke to losing his anchor rider, noting, ǽ?????Zigali took a few bad steps in the schooling area, and itǽ??????s too good of a horse to risk. Our scores were not so competitive early on, and it just seemed like we were out of the game before we could even get started.ǽ?????

Fences at the Canadian fixture included the Mount Rushmore Wall from the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996 which made up the third on the 12-fence track.

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