A brilliant performance from Carlow’s Sam Watson and the rest of the Irish eventing team of Fred Scala, Sarah Ennis and Brian Morrison saw them clinch silver in their home leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup series at Camphire International Horse Trials in Co Waterford at the weekend.
Ireland had risen from fifth place after Friday’s dressage, to second place after Saturday’s cross-country, when all four Irish riders jumped clear.
Clear show-jumping rounds in Sunday’s final phase from Watson on Imperial Sky, Sarah Ennis (Woodcourt Garrison) and Brian Morrison (Global Orchid) saw Ireland finish on a final score of 104.90 to take second place overall behind New Zealand who took victory with a score of 98.90. Italy finished third on 108.0 ahead of Sweden in fourth, Britain in fifth, followed by Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland.
There was also an excellent individual success for Sam who took victory in the individual CCIO4*-S competition with Imperial Sky, who is owned by Sam’s wife Hannah Watson along with Tom and Cathy Byrne.
Just as they had done in Saturday’s cross-country, the Ballybolger man and Imperial Sky jumped clear inside the time in the final show-jumping phase despite being under huge pressure from New Zealand’s Tim Price who finished less than one fence behind in second with Bango (ISH).