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Eventing - Ireland Takes Euro Fourth, Wins Olympic Ticket

THOUGH riding with only three horses after the fatal fall of Austin O'Connor's <Horseware Fabio> yesterday (Saturday) the Irish Eventing team held on to its overnight fourth position in the European Eventing Championships at Punchestown today (Sunday) with Susan Shortt maintaining her nerve for a clear show jumping round, and team-mates Sherelle Duke and Trish Donegan collecting eight and 12 faults, respectively.

The result confirms Ireland's team place in Eventing at the Athens Olympics 2004, where they will join the Irish show jumping team, who qualified at Donaueschingen, Germany, in August.

The Irish Eventing team had to be one of three non-qualified teams in the top five today, and with a great deal of courage and skill, overcame the tragedy of losing O'Connor's horse to hold their overnight place against the threat of Germany and Austria, who were within striking distance after the completion of the cross-country phase.

The European Championships were won by Gt. Britain for the ninth time, while France were runners-up, and Belgium third.

Shortt finished best of the Irish individually, in 11th place, with non-team members Mark Kyle on <Drunken Disorderly> next best in 17th and Sasha Harrison on <All Love Du Fenaud> in 18th.

EVENTING RESULTS: CHEUC (CCIO***) (European Eventing Championships)

Sunday, September 21, 2003

1) GT. BRITAIN 147.60 Penalties
2) FRANCE 160.20 Penalties
3) BELGIUM 196.00 Penalties
4) IRELAND 255.40 Penalties
Susan Shortt: Just Beauty Queen 63.40
Patricia Donegan: Don't Step Back 95.40
Sherelle Duke: LA Temple Bar 96.60
Austin O'Connor: Horseware Fabio EL
5) AUSTRIA 410.00 Penalties
6) ITALY 1151.20 Penalties
7) GERMANY 1171.20 Penalties
8) SWEDEN 1191.00 Penalties


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