Curran boosts London hopes

CAPT. Geoff Curran with Maurice Cassidy and The Minister for Defence’s gelding The Jump Jet finished fourth of 87 starters in the CIC 3 star event in Cameri in Italy today (Sunday) to boost Ireland’s chances of gaining individual places in the London Olympics.

The combination was ninth after dressage on Friday but was one of only two clear cross country rounds on Saturday to move up to third. Two fences down in the show jumping phase today saw them end up fourth, securing 34 Olympic ranking points.

Capt Brian Curran Cournane also performed well, finishing 17th on Dunran Castle.

The Olympic rankings run until March 1st 2012, but the event in Cameri is the last qualifying event of the season in Europe.

Ireland already have four riders in a strong position to qualify and today’s result will move Capt Curran into a competitive position on the rankings, giving Ireland a chance of securing five places and therefore a full team at the games.

Places secured by Irish riders are available to Ireland and do not automatically go to the riders that secured them.

Horse Sport Ireland High Performance Manager Ginny Elliot said that the result was a boost, but that getting five places would still be tough.

“While the season in Europe is now over, competitions will continue in other continents and there are likely to be one or two more qualification events in Europe in February. However, the riders have worked very hard to put themselves in a good position,” she said.

“it really is fantastic that lreland has an institution like the Army Equitation School to go all the way to Italy to pursue Olympic points for Ireland at the end of the season. What’s more, they delivered a very good result when they got there,” she said.

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