AFTER taking the lead overnight on 40.2 penalty points, Ludwig Svennerstal suffered one pole down in the final showjumping section to finish third at the Ballindenisk International Horse Trials in Ireland.

Riding Paramount Importance, Swindon-based Svennerstal finished on 44.2 points.

Svennerstal said: "He did a really nice dressage and cross country, but unfortunately he got a bit excited in one of the combinations in the show jumping and had a pole down.

"I believe in this horse a lot, he’s great to work with and he’s definitely a great project for the future.”

Svennerstal also brought his younger sister Ellen's horse Southway with him to Ballindenisk.

Sweden did not participate in the Nations Cup competition so Svennerstal rode Southway individually in the CICO3* class where they finished fifth overall.

“Southway has had a fab start of the season here in Ballindenisk," he said.

"It was a highly contested three-star section with the Nations Cup being run in it.

"There are still a few bits and bobs that need to fall into place, but we’re definitely heading in the right direction.”

Next up for Southway and another Svennestal mount Aspe is the Saumur International Horse Trials where the rider hopes both can gain Olympic qualification.

He already has two horses qualified for Rio 2016, King Bob and Franzipan.