A stunning performance from Michael Blake’s Irish Show Jumping team of Alexander Butler, Eoin Gallagher, Eoin McMahon and David Simpson, has seen them claim a brilliant win in today’s Longines EEF Nations Cup at Peelbergen in The Netherlands.
Ireland were in a five-way tie for the lead at the halfway stage thanks to clear rounds from Alexander Butler with Athene, Eoin Gallagher with Faltic HB, Eoin McMahon with Chakra and David Simpson with Foudre F. Ireland continued to clock up perfect clear rounds second time out with Butler, Gallagher and McMahon all completing double clear performances meaning Ireland has secured a convincing win before their final rider entered the arena. Britain finished as runners up on eight faults, the same score as Spain who took third of the 13 teams that took part on a slightly slower time.
Irish team manager Michael Blake was delighted with his teams performance and said:
“I was confident that we had a good team coming here but they still had to deliver on the day which they did. We had a few horses jumping a Nations Cup for the first time and Eoin Gallagher making his Nations Cup debut. It was very close at the halfway stage and the course builder put up six fences for the second round. That suited our horses as they are all big jumpers and we are really delighted which this win which means we have qualified for the Longines EEF Nations Cup Final in Warsaw. I want to thank all of the riders for their commitment and of course the owners, grooms and support staff for helping to make this win possible.”
Longines EEF Series
The Longines EEF Series is a Show Jumping Nations Cup circuit created by the European Equestrian Federation which replaced the FEI Nations Cup Europe Division 2. Ireland is a Europe Division 1 nation but can field teams in selected EEF Series rounds.
Launched in 2020, but postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19, it is divided into four European regional areas – North, South, Central and West – including the 38 National Federations, which are members of the EEF.
The Longines EEF Series includes a qualifying CSIO3 *, two semi-finals and a final, scheduled at the Warsaw CSIO4*.