Irish Para Dressage team score podium finish

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The Irish Para Dressage team claimed third place on the podium following the conclusion of the Para Dressage team competition at the spectacular Al Shaqab arena in Doha, Qatar, last week.

Kate Kerr-Horan with the Broomfield Farm-owned Serafina T were Ireland’s top performers. They finished second in the Grade III competition on Thursday with a score of 68.186% and finished fourth in Friday’s second competition with a score of 66.520%.

Michael Murphy with the Sue Murphy-owned Rohan scored 59.286% to finish fourth in the Grade I on the opening day and improved to 64.940% to again finish fourth in the second competition.

Tamsin Addison with her own gelding Fahrenheit, finished fourth in the Grade V competition on Thursday scoring 62.209% and added a 61.071% score second time out to again finish fourth.

Rosemary Gaffney with the Susan Smallman and Crea English-owned Bink, scored 59.958% to finish sixth in Thursday’s Grade IV competition and improved their score to 60.163% when finishing sixth on Friday.

Ireland finished on a team total of 382.212 with Belgium taking victory on 418.738 and Netherlands second on 407.930. The Para Dressage second individual competition will take place on Saturday.

A delighted Kate Kerr-Horan said: “The whole experience has been amazing and the venue is incredible. The first two days have gone very well for me, my mare is still young and inexperienced so I am thrilled with how she has coped with everything. I was pleased with my scores but I know there is more to come once we cement our partnership and she gets more experience in big, electric atmospheres like this.”

Irish Chef d’Equipe Dara Kearney added: “Overall I am pleased with how riders handled conditions here. It is the first time any of them were here and it is very different to anything they have experienced in the past, very atmospheric. I am particularly pleased with Kate in only her second international on Serafino. It has been a fantastic learning curve for all our riders.”

CHI Al Shaqab is the Irish Para-Equestrian Dressage team’s first international event of 2019 and their first qualifying event for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. There are seven qualification places remaining and these places will be awarded to the seven highest-ranked teams on the FEI Paralympic team ranking list on January 31st 2020.