Ardee showjumper Mark McAuley remains in contention to clinch a World Cup final place after he and his gelding Miebello climbed to fourth place in the Longines FEI World Cup standings at the weekend.
McAuley guided his Eva Lundin-owned horse to third place at Saturday’s five-star World Cup Grand Prix event in Madrid, Spain – boosting his chances of qualifying for the World Cup ahead of the next round of events in La Coruna next weekend.
The 30-year-old from Millockstown continued a superb 2017 for him personally with the big performance in the 18 horse jump off. He was third out on Saturday night, ending on the podium.
McAuley and Miebello held an early lead with a clear round in 42.68 seconds but that was beaten by eventual winner Roger Yves Bost on Sydney Une Prince. Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels (with Cas de Liberte) crossed the line just by one hundreth of a second to deny the Ardee man second place.
Ireland’s Denis Lynch (Tipperary) who was a partner of McAuley on Ireland’s Aga Khan Nations Cup squad back in August, also made it to the jump off with All Star. They finished 13th and are 11th in the World Cup league table.
Mark, who is based out of Switzerland, and the 13-year-old gelding Miebello have only been paired together by chance but have shown fine recent form. The Ardee man only started to ride Miebello after girlfriend Charlotte Mordasini had a fall and was forced off the saddle for several months.
Since then, they have placed second in the CS14* Grand Prix in Bourg de Bresse before a win in Rome and then helping Ireland to joint-third in the Italian Nations Cup event. He the took fourth in the five star Italian Grand Prix, bagging €20,000 in prize money for his efforts.
As well as being part of Ireland’s Nations Cup team for the first time earlier in the year, Mark started a brilliant November by winning the five-star Longines Grand Prix at the World Cup show in Lyon.
He and Miebello managed the fastest clear jump-off round in a time of 34.38 seconds. McAuley won €25,000 that day and added to that when he collected a €23,000 cheque for his third place finish at the weekend.