The World Championships were won by the British team on a score of 139.40, and the Individual Gold Medal went to Germany’s Michael Jung and La Biosthetique-Sam FBW.
Ireland were holding on to sixth place overnight after the dressage and cross country phases, but the elimination of team member Patricia Ryan and Fernhill Clover Mist after an injury on the cross country track yesterday placed tremendous pressure on the three remaining team members.
It meants all of the scores would count in show jumping today without the benefit of being able to drop the penalties of the worst-performing rider.
First man in for Ireland, former Olympian Mark Kyle and Step In Time, went clear on the show jumping course with just one time fault, but Army rider captain Geoff Curran and The Jump Jet picked up 21 faults in all, while the leading Irish rider, 24-year-old Sam Watson and Horseware Bushman had four fences down to finish on 16 jumping faults.
The aggregate Irish score of 236.50 left the team just 9.4 penalties behind Belgium, who claimed the crucial Olympic-qualifying sixth position.
Ireland’s eventers will now have to hope to gain Olympic qualifying points at four-star shows throughout 2011.
Meanwhile, the Irish show jumping team of Dermott Lennon, Denis Lynch, Cian O’Connor and Billy Twomey are warming up for the first of the World Championship competitions which begin on Monday at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.