Irish Show Jumping team sit in Olympic qualifying place after opening day at European Championships in Rotterdam

Horse Sport Ireland
BJS 0538 760 Chiantis Champion Peter Moloney

Rodrigo Pessoa's Irish Show Jumping team of Peter Moloney, Cian O'Connor, Shane Sweetnam and Darragh Kenny, are in sixth place of 15 teams following today's (Thursday) opening competition at the Longines FEI European Championships which are taking place this week at Rotterdam in the Netherlands, where three Olympic team places are up for grabs.

The leaderboard following the opening day of action is extremely tight, with less than a fence separating many of the top teams.

In the crucial Olympic qualification battle, France hold pole position with Britain in second while Ireland currently occupy the third and final Olympic qualifying place. Belgium, who are also chasing Olympic qualification are less than a fence behind this group while Denmark and Italy are just two fences off the Olympic places.

Offaly’s Darragh Kenny with the Ann Thompson-owned Balou du Reventon produced one of the fastest times of the day (69.82) and even with four seconds to add for one fence down they finished the day in 11th place individually on 73.82. Cork’s Shane Sweetnam with Alejandro, owned by Seabrook LLC, also had a fence down in a time of 73.91 and their total of 77.91 leaves them in 22nd place.

Waterford’s Peter Moloney and the Team Harmony-owned Chianti’s Champion were the second combination into the arena and they finished the day in 31st place with a total of 79.76 which included a fence down on the final line. Meath’s Cian O’Connor with PSG Final, owned by Ronnoco Jump Ltd, also had one fence down and are in 44th place at this early stage on 82.77.

All 15 teams go forward to tomorrow's second day of competition, after which only the top 10 teams will go forward to Friday's final to decide the European team medals and Olympic places.

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