The Irish team of Cian with Larkhill Cruiser, Billy Twomey and Romanov II, Cameron Hanley and Southwind VDL and Shane Sweetnam on Amaretto Darco celebrated victory today with the first win of the 2011 FEI Nations' Cup Superleague at La Baule, France.
Under Chef d'Equipe Robert Splaine, the team lay joint second at the halfway point, but a great clear from Larkhill Cruiser in the second round helped Ireland jump to first place, along with four fault rounds from Billy Twomey and Shane Sweetnam.
Cian said afterwards: "This was a real test for Joey, as it was his first Nations' Cup and his first experience at this level. We had one fence down the first time out, but he produced a really class second round and left all the poles standing. I'm really proud of him and I'm glad we were able to produce the goods when they were needed.
"Everybody played their part today, and everyone's scores counted - I'm lucky to be part of the team, which has such talented riders and real team players. The team spirit and atmosphere amongst the riders was second to none which I've no doubt was a major factor in the success."