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A large crowd enjoyed the international equestrian action in the Co Meath countryside at Tattersalls today. Ground and weather conditions were ideal for the horse and rider combinations as equestrian fans were treated with the start of the challenging and visually spectacular cross-country action in cool conditions with the jumping at the popular water fences being the most prestige vantage points to view the leading horses and riders.

Olympic gold, silver and bronze medallists, World Champions and medal winners, 17 Olympians, 328 entries (383) with riders from fourteen countries are amongst the competitors lining out for the 14th renewal of the Tattersalls International Horse Trials outside Ratoath in Co Meath. The ultimate and toughest test of all equestrian sports which is effectively a triathlon for horse and rider combinations will be closely watched and assessed by many experts and team managers with an eye toward qualification for the European Championships later this year as well as the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 where Ireland already have their eventing team qualified.

Advance ticket sales are already up 12% on last year and at least 15,000 spectators are expected for tomorrow to see the best and most skilful riders take on the biggest and daunting fences seen in Ireland this year, all around the historic 100-acre Tattersalls estate which is just outside Dublin in Ratoath. Well known current and former Irish jockeys Robbie Power, Paul Carberry, Jody McGarvey, Jamie Codd and Rory Cleary and Charlie Swan were all present enjoying the equestrian action with their families.

The George Mernagh Memorial CIC4*- S got underway with the Dressage element of the competition and it was New Zealand’s Tim Price who went into the lead riding Ascona M finishing their test on a score of 25.90, 3.9 points clear of second place, Japan’s Kazuma Tomoto riding Vinci de la Vigne JRA on a score of 29.80. Best of the Irish is Sam Watson currently lying in 7th position with Imperial Sky on a score of 33.80.

The Eventing Ireland CCI3*-L is currently being led by Great Britain’s William Fox-Pitt and Georgisaurous on an impressive score of 20.5 with best of the Irish being Brian Morrison in eighth place on Global Orchid and a score of 27.90.

The Land Rover CCI2* – L saw its second cross country phase completed today and over night Team GB’s John Paul Sheffield with his Woodlander Wesuvio leads with a score of 27.8 with Irish interest placed in 5th and 6th positions; Molly Evans and Wellan Graffiti with no faults today on 29.6 after cross-country and June Burgess on Galwaybay Echo on 30.6.

Lucy Glynn (Ire) retained her lead after the cross-country phase today on her Bramblebrough Eoghan in the Berney Bros CCI2*L for ponies with a faultless round and stying on her dressage score of 30.8.

William Fox-Pitt his lead in the Cooley Farm CCIYH2*-L after cross-country completing a faultless round and maintaining his dressage score of 24.60 with Grafennacht. Ireland’s Sarah Ennis is in fourth position after cross-country with Shanbo Sky Fall on 29.00.

In similar fashion Chloe Fagan for Ireland retained her lead in the Horseware CCIJ2*-L after cross country today on her Versace Biscuit with another faultless round over the big fences and finishing on her overnight score of 24.8.

The Connolly’s RED MILLS CCIU25-3*Long format also continues tomorrow with Irelands Cathal Daniels leading the field on his OLS King Aragon.

The feature class, The Irish Field CCI4* Long format continues tomorrow with legendary Team GB rider Pippa Funnell in the lead with her MGH Grafton Street.

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