“May the Best Combination Win” says Legendary Course Designer Alan Wade

  • 31 July 2020, 09:39

A stunning performance from Jason Foley and Castlefield Vegas saw them take victory in last week’s opening leg of the 2020 Horse Sport Ireland Premier Series at Barnadown (Photo by: Laurence Dunne/jumpinaction.net)

It’s week two of the Horse Sport Ireland Premier Series and Legendary Irish Course Designer, Alan Wade, is planning to put Ireland’s equestrian athletes to the test at Mullingar Equestrian Centre

Alan Wade who hails from County Tipperary has built some of the most memorable show jumping tracks of our time. He is a popular course designer in North America and has built at shows such as the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, the FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Omaha and in 2018, Wade was tasked with designing the show jumping courses at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon.

Horse Sport Ireland and Show Jumping Ireland are delighted to have Wade and his team; Abdeslam Chitnalah (Assistant), Michael Keaveney (Assistant), Robert Fagan (National) and Seamus Casey (Senior National) designing this week’s leg of the Horse Sport Ireland Premier Series in Mullingar Equestrian Centre.

Speaking ahead of the weekend’s action Wade said: “One of the first Grand Prix’s I ever designed was at Mullingar, so for me it’s always nice to work with the Fagan Family in Mullingar, it’s a good show ground with some lovely fences so I am very much looking forward to the weekend.”


Similar to last week, this week’s entries boast some of Ireland’s top senior and youth riders, but as Wade says: “You are trying to test the talent of the individual, whether they are young, old, male or female it doesn’t matter. This competition is over two rounds and I would expect to have about 25% coming back into the second round.

“Normally the second round of a two-round competition is a little bit longer than a normal jump-off, I like to put up some of the fences in the second round to maintain the standard and in doing that it means that it’s not all about speed.”


Wade goes on to say that: “National jumping in Ireland has always been about producing younger stock, I always like to see Irish riders producing their young horses nationally. When you travel around the world you could watch a 1.30m class but it could be all older horses competing, whereas a 1.30m in Ireland you see a lot of seven-year-old horses and the standard is always very high.

I’ll build to the height and it’s up to the competitors then.

“I prefer to see horses jumping bigger fences rather than jumping fast, especially younger horses because they learn more from jumping bigger fences than they do from racing around over smaller ones. I’m expecting top-level performances this weekend – there’s been a decent month of official shows now, so I expect that combinations are up to the level. I’ll build to the height and it’s up to the competitors then.

“May the best combination Win.”

A full list of Sundays entries for the Horse Sport Ireland Premier Series can be found on SJI Live.