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Meath’s Sarah Ennis moves up to seventh place at European Eventing Championships

Ireland’s Sarah Ennis and The Irish Sport Horse Horseware Stellor Rebound have climbed to seventh place individually, just over a fence off bronze medal position, following a brilliant Cross Country performance today (Saturday) at the 2017 European Eventing Championships at Strzegom in Poland.

Meath-based Ennis (pictured above) and the 13-year-old gelding made light work of what was a demanding Cross Country course and crossed the line with no jumping penalties and just two seconds over the optimum time. They lie on a score of 39.40 in seventh – just over a fence off Sweden’s Sara Algotsson Ostholt in bronze medal position on 35.00. Germany’s Ingrid Klimke and Horseware Hale Bob hold the lead going into the final day (30.30), with another German rider, Michael Jung in second with Fischer Rocana. Overnight leaders, Germany’s Bettina Hoy and her horse Seigneur Medicott were eliminated after a fall less than 24 hours after they produced a record-breaking Dressage score of 24.60.

Sally’s Corscadden’s Irish team remain in seventh place on the team standings following a hugely influential Cross Country phase which saw just four combinations finish clear inside the time.

First out for Ireland was Michael Ryan with Dunlough Striker (ISH) and they finished with 20 jumping penalties towards the end of the course at fence 25 along with 18.80 time penalties. This puts them on a score of 90.20 in 40th place. Joseph Murphy with Sportsfield Othello (ISH) finished with 40 jumping and 24.8 time penalties for a score of 119.60, in 54th place. Irish individual rider Patricia Ryan with Dunrath Eclipse (ISH) produced an excellent clear jumping round, adding just 24.8 time penalties, putting them on 75.20 and now in 29th place. Ireland’s third team rider, Austin O’Connor with Kilpatrick Knight (ISH)(TIH) unfortunately were eliminated after a fall at fence 13a. Thankfully both horse and rider walked away uninjured.

Britain have moved into gold medal position on a score of 113.90 ahead of overnight leaders Germany who are now on 123.00. Sweden are in bronze medal position on 128.50 with Italy fourth, Belgium fifth, Poland sixth and Ireland seventh of the 13 team competing.

Irish team manager Sally Corscadden (pictured above) was over the moon for Sarah Ennis after her excellent round,

“I am really thrilled for Sarah, she had a brilliant round. We made the decision that if she was clear after fence 4, which caused so many problems, that she should push on and have a go. She really prepared well for this, her husband made two angled hedges to train over and all their work has really paid off. There were a lot of high profile eliminations. Some horses found it hard to read some of the fences,  particularly at fence 4. The tractor fence at the third last was also influential as the horses got tired.

“Austin’s horse had a bit of a change of mind at the fence that they had a fall at but thankfully they are both fine. Mike [Ryan] did good job as first to go for us. The plan with Joseph [Murphy] was for him to have a real go as they are an experienced combination. Trish [Ryan] had a really great round, to jump clear over this Championship course is a super achievement. The course was very intense and the angles were unbelievable. It was a very continental type course and much different to what we are used to in Ireland or the UK. Fingers crossed that we all come through the trot-up and we are looking forward to finishing as high as possible.”

The European Championship team and individual medals will be decided on Sunday following the final Show Jumping phase in Strzegom.

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