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The Irish storm to victory in Norwegian Nations Cup for second year in-a-row

Sunday, 30 August 2020
CSIO3* Drammen 2020

Photo © Laurence Dunne/ Jason Foley and Castlefied Vegas. Photo © Laurence Dunne/


Edited press release from Horse Sport Ireland



An outstanding performance from Michael Blake’s Irish showjumping team of Shane Breen, Eoin McMahon, Jason Foley and Michael G Duffy, has seen them take victory in today’s CSIO3* 1.45m Nations Cup in Drammen, Norway. The Irish team included three riders under the age of 25 along with two Irish Sport Horses and at the finish they ran out comfortable winners after jumping no less than five clear rounds.

One of the stand-out performances came from Jason Foley, who jumped double clear in his Nations Cup debut with the Martin Egan-owned Irish Sport Horse Castlefield Vegas – one of just two double clear rounds in the competition. Great Britain's young talent Georgia Tame delivered the second double clear of the Nations Cup, aboard Z7 Ascot (Non Stop x Voltaire).

Drammen has proved a lucky venue for Ireland over the years, with no less than five Irish Nations Cup victories recorded there over the last 30 years, including three wins since 2017.

Ireland were in a share of the lead with Britain at the halfway stage with both teams on just four faults. Shane Breen gave Ireland the perfect start when he jumped clear with the Team Z7-owned Z7 Ipswich (Carembar de Muze x Quick Star). Eoin McMahon with Chacon 2 (Chacco-Blue x Aventyno), owned by Madeleine Winter-Schulze, finished with a single fence down before Jason Foley jumped an excellent clear round with Castlefield Vegas (Cassino x Lux Z). Michael G Duffy was last to go for the Irish in round one and finished with one fence down aboard Lapuccino 2 (Livello x breeding unknown)  – an Irish Sport Horse owned by Carl Hanley Sporthorses.

The second round saw Breen and Ipswich finish with one fence down, while a perfect clear from Eoin McMahon and Chacon left Ireland still tied with Britain in the lead with two riders remaining. When Foley completed his flawless performance with Castlefield Vegas, Ireland pulled clear of Britain after their third rider had a fence down. Duffy’s clear when last to go with Lapuccino 2 confirmed Ireland as winners, finishing with two fences in hand over Britain and Denmark who shared second place. Germany would finish fourth, while the home team from Norway took fifth.

Speaking afterwards, Irish manager Michael Blake was delighted with how his team performed:
“Shane got us off to a great start and then Eoin’s horse went a bit green in front of the double for some reason and he looked at it a little again in the second round but Eoin did a great job with him. Jason was superb, his first Nations Cup and only 19 years of age, he was incredible. Michael was really unlucky in the first round and got a deserved clear when last to go. The team really pulled together in the second round with three clear rounds in-a-row.

“This was our sixth win this week at this show. All of the riders who came here including Harry Allen and Jack Ryan who won the Derby did a fantastic job and we have won the Grand Prix and the Nations Cup three times here in the last four years. Some of the lads bypassed other competitions here to target the Nations Cup and they deserve enormous credit. We didn’t come to take part, we came to take over and that is what we did. I want to thank all our riders, the show organiser in Drammen and thank our owners, grooms and all the support staff at Horse Sport Ireland.”

The win in Friday's CSIO3* 1.60m Grand Prix in Drammen also went to Ireland, as Shane Breen and Compelling Z (Chellano Z x Carthago Z) took the top honours ahead of Denmark's Andreas Schou on Afghan (Arpeggio x Weinberg) in second and Michael G Duffy with Chappo Chey (Carell x Cornet Obolensky) in third. 


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