Cian O’Connor and PSG Final will be Ireland’s pathfinders on the second day of the European Show Jumping Championships.
Ireland are in sixth place on 10.36 penalties after the opening speed competition with Germany leading on 4.22.
Importantly though Ireland are occupying the third of the three Olympic places that are to be won at the championships, behind France and Great Britain. The other main contenders for the Olympic places are Belgium, who are less than one penalty behind Ireland in 8th place, and Italy, who didn’t have the best start and are in 11th place, 6.38 penalties behind Ireland.
Denmark have worked themselves into the picture in 10th place, 6.29 penalties behind the Irish. (full standings below).
In a switch in rider order from the opening day, O’Connor will be first in for Ireland, followed by Shane Sweetnam on Alejandro, Peter Moloney on Chianti’s Champion, and Darragh Kenny who retains the anchor role with Balou Du Reventon.
All four Irish combinations had one fence down to add four penalties to their times in the first round on Wednesday. Three of them (Moloney, Sweetnam and Kenny) had been clear until the final line of three fences, with Sweetnam coming closest to getting home intact when downing the second-last.
Kenny, meanwhile, posted the fastest time of the Irish riders and is in 11th place in the individual standings. on 1.78 penalties.
Ireland must finish in the top ten or in a share of tenth on Thursday to progress to the team final on Friday.
Team standings after Wednesday (teams already qualified for the next Olympics are in bold type – the top three among the rest at the conclusion of the team competition will qualify): 1. Germany 4.22; 2. France 5.39; 3. Sweden 6.81; 4. Great Britain 9.41; 5. Switzerland 9.83; 6. Ireland 10.36; 7. Israel 10.63; 8. Belgium 11.07; 9. Netherlands 13.90; 10. Denmark 16.65; 11. Italy 16.74; 12. Portugal 22.56; 13. Norway 22.70; 14. Austria 25.53; 15. Spain 28.86.