It was a difficult task to complete the BMO Nations Cup at the Spruce Meadows Masters. With a great performance the Irish jumping squad eventually jumped to the win!
Defending champions Sweden were first into the International Ring followed by Ireland, Great Britain, Belgium, Canada, Germany and the United States. After a challenging first round with four teams advancing with double-digit scores, the Swedish team failed to advance to the second round with a total of 34 faults.
Very unusual for a five-star Nations’ Cup, there were three riders that came out of their tack and fell on course, including Ireland’s Conor Swail ranked 14th in the world who had a fall at the water jump and was unable to return for the second round leaving Ireland with no drop score.
“It was a real battle today,” said Canada's Chef d’Equipe Ian Millar, who himself won the BMO Nations’ Cup for Canada in both 2006 and 2014. “It showed the difficulty of the course not to mention the difficulty of the sport. Thank goodness no one got hurt today, but it just reminds everyone that our sport is a risky business. When you see great riders doing it, they make it look easy; something could always go wrong and there could be very serious consequences.”
In the end, Ireland won the Nations Cup, with a superb double clear for Bertram Allen and Pacino Amiro. Team member, Daniel Coyle did jump a double clear aboard his Legacy (ex. Chavantele Z), but had to cope with one time penalty in his first round. For Denis Lynch and Brooklyn Heights (ex. Jorden Van de Kruishoeve) there was a 0-4 score.
On stage the German team followed as runner-up with best score for Hans-Dieter Dreher aboard Elysium (VDL Zirocco Blue N.O.P.). Dreher had two time penalties in the first round and did jump a clear second round.
Canada finished third.