THE IRISH Three- Day Eventing team of Austin O'Connor, Louise Lyons, Capt Geoff Curran, Niall Griffin and Patricia Ryan has finished eighth overall today (Tuesday) after the completion of the show jumping phase in Hong Kong, on a total of 276.10 penalties.
Best of the Irish in this afternoon's show jumping phase was Cork's Austin O'Connor with 'Hobby du Mee', who returned a zero score and qualified for this evening's individual final.
Capt Geoff Curran and the Minister for Defence's 'Kilkishen' returned just two time faults, while Louise Lyons and 'Watership Down' had two fences down and a single time fault.
Patricia Ryan from Bandon in Co Cork with 'Fernhill Clover Mist' ran up 13 faults in total during show jumping, and she and Wexford's Niall Griffin on 'Lorgaine', who had 12 faults this afternoon, were Ireland's discard scores.
"This was a very solid accomplishment from our five riders and horses, who have all finished in the Olympic top 45. I am very proud of all of their performances, particularly in jumping and cross country, and the fact that we added just 11 penalties in the show jumping phase here today tells its own story. I believe we need more work in dressage but we now have something really worthwhile to build on, " said coach Ginny Elliott.
Elliott, who took up her High Performance role with the team last March paid tribute to team vet Marcus Swail and the Irish grooms.
"To get five horses all the way from Ireland to Hong Kong, and then to get them to the finish through a gruelling four days of competition here is a fantastic accomplishment. We could not have done it without them. We also owe a debt to Michael Quirke, who helped us so much with the show jumping."
The Olympic Team Championship was won by Germany on 166.10 penalties, with favourites Australia runners-up.
HONG KONG OLYMPIC THREE-DAY EVENTING FINAL RESULT
Tuesday August 12, 2008.
1) GERMANY 166.10 penalties
2) AUSTRALIA 171.20 penalties
3) GREAT BRITAIN 185.70 penalties
8) IRELAND 276.10 penalties
Patricia Ryan; Fernhill Clover Mist 126.50 (Discard)
Niall Griffin; Lorgaine 109.00 (Discard)
Capt. Geoff Curran; Kilkishen 94.10
Austin O'Connor; Hobby du Mee 87.20
Louise Lyons; Watership Down 94.80