The Irish Three Day Eventing team finished fifth in today’s European Championships at Luhmuhlen in Germany on a total penalty score of 206.70.
However they missed out on Olympic qualification by 7.5 penalties to Sweden, who finished fourth on 199.20. The other remaining qualification place went to France, who finished second.
The competition was won by Germany, who had already qualified for the Games, while third-placed Great Britain qualify for the games as host country.
Ireland still has a chance to qualify a team for the games through the Olympic rider rankings.
Today’s final show jumping phase at Luhmuhlen saw clear rounds from Irish riders Jayne Doherty and Joseph Murphy, while Mark Kyle added four penalties and Sam Watson six.
Joseph Murphy finished best of the Irish in 18th, with Mark Kyle 21st, Camilla Speirs 25th, Sam Watson 30th, Capt. Geoff Curran 35th and Jayne Doherty 40th.
Speaking after the competition Team Ireland Equestrian’s High Performance Manager Ginny Elliot said it was heartbreaking to miss out so narrowly, but there was positives to take from the performance at Luhmuhlen.
She said: “I believe we can still get a team to London and we are building a strong new team who will be competitive if we get there.
“I want to thank the riders, their owners and all the support staff here.
“In particular I want to acknowledge the contribution of Jean Mitchell and Jessica Harrington, who came on board this year as voluntary advisors. Their input had been fantastic.
“We have been monitoring the Olympic rider rankings carefully and we are reasonably well placed and today’s results will help. We will of course also be looking at upcoming opportunities to increase the riders’ ranking points.”
Competition in this event is extremely high in Europe, but if as expected Ireland qualify a team through individual rankings and can continue to improve in identified areas of performance they will still be strong contenders in London 2012.
Mark Kyle; Coolio After Dressage and X-Country 60.4 SJ 4.00 TOTAL 64.40
Jayne Doherty; The Only One After Dressage and X-Country 95.8 SJ 0.00 TOTAL 95.80
Joseph Murphy; Electric Cruise After Dressage and X-Country SJ 0.00 TOTAL 60.90
Sam Watson; Horseware Bushman After Dressage and X-Country 75.40 SJ 6.00 TOTAL 81.40
Capt Geoff Curran; The Jump Jet After Dressage and X-Country 60.0 SJ 28.00 TOTAL 88.00
Camilla Speirs; Portersize Just a Jiff After Dressage and X-Country 58.60 SJ 12.00 TOTAL 70.60