Ireland win the first stage of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup.

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The first stage of the 2015 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup began yesterday in Ocala, Florida. There were six teams present, Canada, USA, Mexico, Ireland, Venezuela and Colombia, but only the first 3 nations were battling for qualification points for the big final in Barcelona.
It was the Irish team however that brought home the win as well as the 60.000 dollars in prize money assigned for the winners. The Europeans collected just 4 penalties and the team was made up as follows: Kenny Darragh & Picolo (0 – 8 penalties, but discarded), Lorcan Gallagher & Diktator v/d Boslandhoeve (0-4), Kevin Babington & Shorapur (0-0) and Conor Swail & Grafton (0-0).
Kenny Darragh with 13 year-old selle française Picolo (Diamant de Semilly) was the best performer amongst the Irish team in the first round with a time of  69.79 around the course designed by Germany’s Martin Otto. The best over two rounds though was Kevin Babington with the 10 year-old Hannover Shorapur (Stakkato Gold) scoring the second fastest clear in the first round and repeated the feat in the second.
The host nation came in second after a total of 8 penalties. The US fielded an all-female team and the best performers were the experienced Beezie Madden and KWPN Simon and the debutant Georgina Bloomberg with Juvina. Both scored double clears and a special mention goes to the young Bloomberg with the third fastest clear of the first round behind the Irish riders Darragh Kenny and Kevin Babington.
The other young rider in the US team Lauren Hough on the other hand collected 8 penalties over the two rounds (4 and 4) with her mount Ohlala. Laura Kraut’s day was one to forget with 6 penalties in round one and 15 in the second with the mount Cedric. Needless to say the score wasn’t kept.
In joint third we find Colombia and Canada. Both nations ended up with 12 penalties each. Colombia’s Daniel Bluman amassed 8 penalties in the first run (discarded) and 4 in the second. Roberto Teran Tafur performed better for the Colombians and with Woklahoma was the only one in his team to score a double clear. Ilan Bluman with Exacto LS scored a clear in the first run, but then 9 in the second and the score was not kept. Juan Pablo Betancourt with Troya Retiro had a fairly good day with a clear in the first round and just 2 errors in the second.
As for Canada no rider managed a double clear, although Ian Miller with Dixson, Eric Lamaze on Zigali PS and Yann Candele with Showgirl were faultless in the first run. Tiffany Foster with Verdi III on the other hand collected 4 penalties which were discarded by the coach Laskin. In round two, the Canadians weren’t as precise: 4 penalties each for Lamaze, Millar and Candele while there were 12 for Tiffany Foster. This latter result was discarded by the coach.
Venezuela came fifth after a total of 16 penalties and Mexico in sixth with 28.
Click here for a full breakdown of the results:

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