Ireland had qualified a full show jumping team for the Olympics for the first time since 2004 and they’re already performing.
Darragh Kenny on Cartello was the first rider to go clear and his time was only bettered by GB’s Ben Maher by the end of qualification.
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) August 3, 2021
Bertram Allen was next up for the Irish on Pacino Amiro and he also went clear. Cian O’Connor is the only team member with Olympic experience and his new ride Kilkenny didn’t let him down with another clear round.
O’Connor had to wait to be confirmed as his time was slowest of the clear rounds and the clears start stacking up. In the end 25 combinations went clear within the time frame. Another 5 had no jumping faults but time faults and they made up the 30 qualifiers for individual final tomorrow.
All three riders from Ireland, GB, Sweden, Belgium and Japan are through.
Among those big names to miss out are Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, all three USA entrants, William Greve of Netherlands and Penelope Leprovest of France.
Based on the form shown during today's qualifying round, a medal certainly does not seem out of reach for Ireland in tomorrow's final where the difficulty is expected to be ramped up.