Horse owners and past Chef d’Equipe’s honoured for outstanding contribution to Irish Show Jumping

  • 11 August 2017, 08:21

On the eve of today’s (Friday) Aga Khan Nations Cup at the RDS, Horse Sport Ireland last night (Thursday) hosted an owners reception at InterContinental Hotel in Dublin to recognise the huge role played by owners in supporting the Irish Show Jumping team and also honoured three former Chef d’Equipe’s.

The evening began with Horse Sport Ireland International Marketing Director Elaine Hatton welcoming guests and thanking Irish Show Jumping team sponsors Devenish and The Underwriting Exchange and new Team Ireland clothing sponor Equiline for their huge support. Horse Sport Ireland interim Chairman Jim Beecher made presentations to Owen & Alice Brennan from Devenish and to Stephen & Kay O’Connor from The Underwriting Exchange.

Irish Show Jumping team manager Rodrigo Pessoa then spoke to those in attendance, and spoke about the vital role owners play in the success of the Irish Show Jumping team.

Paul Corson (left) from Dubarry, and Rodrigo Pessoa make a presentation to Geraldine and Bertram Allen, owners of Molly Malone at Horse Sport Ireland’s Pre-Aga Khan Owners Reception, at the Intercontinental Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Picture by Kenneth O Halloran

A special presentation was made by Rodrigo Pessoa and Paul Corson from Dubarry, to each of the owners of the horses on the 2017 Irish Aga Khan squad.

Molly Malone V– owned by Ballywalter Farms. Rider – Bertram Allen (Wexford).
Miebello – owned by Eva Lundin. Rider  – Mark McAuley (Louth).
Golden Hawk – owned by Prince Sultan, Breen Equestrian Ltd, & Shane Breen. Rider – Shane Breen (Tipperary).
Good Luck – owned by Adena Springs & Ronnoco Jump Ltd. Rider – Cian O’Connor (Meath).
RMF Echo – owned by Rushy Marsh Farm LLC – Mr & Mrs Frank McCourt. Rider – Denis Lynch (Tipperary).

Former Irish Chef d’Equipe Robert Splaine receives a special award from Rodrigo Pessoa at Horse Sport Ireland’s Pre-Aga Khan Owners Reception, at the InterContinental Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Picture by Kenneth O Halloran

Horse Sport Ireland Hall of Fame Awards were then presented to three past Chef d’Equipe’s of the Irish Show Jumping team. Robert Splaine, Tommy Wade and Colonel Ned Campion, were presented with specially commissioned medals by Rodrigo Pessoa.

Liam Moggan (left) receives a special recognition award from John Ledingham at Horse Sport Ireland’s Pre-Aga Khan Owners Reception, at the Intercontinental Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Picture by Kenneth O Halloran

Capt John Ledingham presented the Horse Sport Ireland 2017 Special Recognition award to Liam Moggin, who has been involved with the Horse Sport Ireland Coaching Programme since its inception.

The evening concluded with MC Brendan McArdle wishing incoming Horse Sport Ireland CEO Ronan Murphy the very best of luck in his new role.

Rodrigo Pessoa and Dave Darragh from Darragh Equestrian Solutions present the new Equiline official Irish Show Jumping team jacket


**Editors note – additional information on Lifetime Achievement Awards & Special Recognition Award recipients below

Col. Ned Campion
Col. Ned Campion joined the Army in 1955 as a cadet, and joined the Army Equitation School at McKee Barracks where he spent the next 40 years of his distinguished career as a Show Jumper, trainer, chef d’équipe and Commanding Officer of the Army Equitation School.
Campion began his international Show Jumping career in 1961 at Marseilles, France and a week later he was on the Irish team at Nice where they won the Nations Cup.
He represented Ireland on over 65 Nations Cup teams, and was on the victorious team that won the Aga Khan Trophy in Dublin in 1967. In 1968 he rode for the Irish team at the Olympics Games in Ciudad de México. Campion also rode at the World Championships in Hickstead and three European Championships in Rome, Rotterdam and London. He retired from international show jumping in 1977.He was chef d’équipe for the Irish show jumping teams at the Olympic Games in Barcelona (1992), Atlanta (1996), Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004) and at two World Equestrian Games in Stockholm (1990) and in The Hague (1994) & team manager for the Sydney Games in 2000.
In 2010 Horse Sport Ireland appointed him as Chef de Mission for the Irish squads at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, in Kentucky USA.


Robert Splaine

Cork-born Robert Splaine was a regular member of the Irish Senior Show Jumping team for many years. During this time he represented Ireland at a World and two European Championships and was Irish National Champion on four occasions, the most recent in 2007.
As a rider Robert was on many winning Irish teams in Europe and North America with success at San Marino, Lummen, Rotterdam, St Gallen, Washington, Toronto and at Aachen, Germany in 2003 when Ireland took the Nations Cup.
Individually Robert was hugely successful, with countless wins in top level events around the world including the Millstreet Derby, the Canadian Airlines Challenge in Calgary, and a memorable weekend in St Gallen, Switzerland where he not only won the Grand Prix but also secured the Nations Cup for Ireland after a jump off against Marcus Fuchs with Tinkas Boy.
As Chef d’Equipe, from 2006 to 2016, Robert guided Ireland to many Nations Cup successes. 3 and 4 star wins including Copenhagen , Poznan, Drammen, Ocala, Wellington, Linz and Calgary and a famous four in a row in 2008. Ireland also had Super League wins at Falsterbo, Hickstead, La Baule, St Gallen, Lummen and the world famous Aachen Nations Cup in Germany. He helped Ireland to lift the famous Aga Khan trophy on two occasions – in 2012 and 2015. Ireland also took a podium finish in the Nations Cup finals in Barcelona in 2013 when they finished 3rd.
Robert cites his proudest achievement during his tenure as Chef d’Equipe, as Cian O’Connor’s Bronze Medal at the 2012 London Olympics. A first in the history of Irish Show Jumping. During Robert’s 10-year spell as Irish Chef d’Equipe, he brought teams and individual riders to European and World Championships as well as Olympic Games in Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro. Robert Spaline continues to coach riders, train and breed and buy and sell horses at his base “Coolcorron” in County Cork. He follows the Irish Team with a passion and says “the Team gave me everything in my career.”


Tommy Wade
So many will recall watching him on the great little horse Dundrum, winning Grand Prix and Nations Cup’s around Europe in the early 1960’s including winning the Aga Khan in 1963. That same year, Tommy Wade won all five International classes at the Dublin Horse Show, a feat that speaks volumes for the drive and determination of the man.
In 1967, Wade and Dundrum were the undisputed kings of the green ring. In that year, and years preceding, Wade had captured prizes at almost every major international show, prizes that included the coveted King George V Cup at the White City, the Vaux Trophy at Newcastle, the Boylan Trophy at Ballsbridge, the Grand Prix at Brussels, the top prize at the Horse of the Year Show at Wembley, as well as being on the Irish team in two Aga Khan victories.
In Michael Slavin’s book, Irish Show Jumping Legends, he wrote; ‘’Tommy thought, dreamed and schemed about being first and he usually was.’’
As a Chef D’Equipe he claimed over 30 Nations Cup wins at some of the biggest shows in the world at Aachen, Dublin, Rotterdam, Hickstead, Calgary, La Baule.
However, two highlights will undoubtedly stick out in Wade’s mind and they are the Team Gold Medal win at the European Championships in 2001 and Dermott Lennon’s Individual World Championship win in 2002 for which Wade was Chef D’Equipe for both.
In 2013 the top honours were bestowed onto Tommy Wade who was entered into the Hall of Fame. Even now, the Tipperary native remains the only Equestrian person to be in the Irish Sports Hall of Fame.
He commented about the European Championship win and what he thought was needed to be a Chef D’Equipe: ‘You had to know each rider. Each rider was differentʼ


Special Recognition Award – Liam Moggan

Liam Moggan has been involved with the Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) Coaching Programme since its inception. With the formation of the HSI Coaching Steering Committee in 1998, the Equestrian Federation of Ireland (EFI) set out the goal of developing an equestrian coaching structure for competition coaches. Liam has been instrumental from day one, supporting and advising on the development of the structure, and to date has been responsible for the delivery of top quality training to all of 43 tutors / coach educators within the equestrian programme. Liam has also been responsible for the ongoing education and annual upskilling of these Tutors for the last 19 years.

Throughout his involvement with HSI and EFI before, Liam has always been very vocal about the high quality and uniqueness of the HSI Coaching Programme. He has worked closely with coaches of all levels, from grassroots to some of the industry’s top professionals and has been extremely influential in the education of the top-class coaches produced through the HSI programme.
Liam has also been closely involved with the FEI has been vital in the development of coaching structures in several countries around the world, delivering training for Tutors and coaches alike.


  • Tags: