Ireland lie in fifth place in the team standings in eventing after the conclusion of the dressage phase following a brilliant personal best for Jonty Evans with Cooley Rorkes Drift this afternoon at the Deodoro equestrian complex in Rio.

The score of 40.80 by Evans sees him in ninth place in the individual standings and within striking distance of the medal positions. In fact it looked even better for Evans initially as he was given a provisional score of 41.20 which had slotted him into fifth, but it was revised to 41.80 and placed him sixth at the time.

On such a momentous day for Evans his elation afterwards reflected what he had been feeling all along. ‘”We arrived here and rode round the arena on the second day and I thought: ‘I love this’ and it’s been a bit like that all week,” he said. “You ride into an arena like this and it lifts you.”

Later Ireland’s Mark Kyle was given a score of 50.40, which puts him 45th overall.  Although it was Ireland’s drop score, Kyle was happy with Jemilla’s handling of the test. ‘She’s only a 10 year-old and this is the biggest stage she’s been on,” Kyle said. “I’m pleased she kept it together and coped with the surroundings.”

With the scores of Evans, Padraig McCarthy and Clare Abbott counting, Ireland finished dressage on a tally of 135.60, in fifth place overall. Evans is ninth in the individual rankings 2.60 penalties off a medal position, with McCarthy 26th and Abbott in a three-way tie for 29th. Kyle lies in 45th place.

“We are doing great and now we just need to keep a lid on it,” said Irish Chef d’Equipe Nick Turner. “They (the Irish team) just need to keep doing what they’re doing. This result is why these four riders were selected.”

Germany head the team standings, fractionally ahead of France, with Australia in 3rd. William Fox-Pitt of Great Britain has a narrow lead over Australia’s Christopher Burton in the individual rankings, with French rider Mathieu Lemoine in third.

The cross-country stage takes place tomorrow, with show jumping completing affairs on Tuesday when the final team and individual places will be decided.  Josh Tobin

Team standings after dressage:
1. Germany 122.00
2. France 122.20
3. Australia 126.40
4. Great Britain 127.70
5. Ireland 135.60
=6. United States 137.50
=6. New Zealand 137.50
8. Italy 140.90
9. Brazil 144.10
10. Sweden 144.20
11. Netherlands 146.60
12. Canada 150.80
13. Russia 174.80

Individual standings after dressage:
1. William Fox-Pitt (GBR) 37.00
2. Christopher Burton (AUS) 37.60
3. Mathieu Lemoine (FRA) 39.20
4. Ingrid Klimke (GER) 39.50
5. Michael Jung (GER) 40.90
6. Thibaut Vallette (FRA) 41.00
7. Karin Donckers (BEL) 41.10
8. Sandra Auffarth (GER) 41.60
9. Jonty Evans (IRL) 41.80
10. Stefano Brecciaroli (ITA) 41.90