Ireland gain qualification for EEF Nations Cup Semi-Final  

  • 22 May 2023, 15:05

The Underwriting Exchange Irish Show Jumping Team gained all-important qualification for the EEF Nations Cup semi-final on Friday, 19th of May.

Ireland finished on a score of 13 in the CSIO3* EEF Nations Cup in Kronenberg, The Netherlands to secure one of five qualifying places that were up for grabs. Drawn second to jump out of 11 teams, Ireland faced stiff competition.

The team of Alexander Butler, Max Wachman, Tom Wachman and Cian O’Connor, led by HSI Show Jumping High Performance Director Michael Blake, were unlucky not record a clear round in the opening round and headed into the second round on a score of 12 faults.

Despite the challenge ahead of them, the quartet rallied and only added one time penalty to their team score to finish the day on 13.

Alexander Butler, riding the 12-year-old gelding Ti Amo B Z, owned by Milestone Farm, opened the second round with a much needed clear, adding just one time penalty. Max Wachman and the Irish Sport Horse Kilkenny, owned by Susan Magnier, were unlucky to add four faults in their second round.

Making his senior Nations Cup debut Tom Wachman, riding Susan Magnier’s 10-year-old stallion Rock of Cashel, produced an excellent clear round. The same combination finished second in the 1.55m Grand Prix on Sunday.

Veteran Irish-team member and anchor rider Cian O’Connor produced another flawless round with Tipperary to secure team qualification for the EEF Nations Cup semi-final. A new ride for O’Connor this year, Tipperary is a 9-year-old gelding owned by Susan Magnier.

Irish riders Alexander Butler, Tom Wachman, Cian O’Connor and Tom Wachman with HSI Show Jumping High Performance Director Michael Blake


Five Star Podium

Michael Duffy and Shane Breen made sure that the presence of the Irish was noted at Hamburg CSI5*. The week began with the top ten placing for Duffy and Surprise, a 9-year-old mare owned by HS Sportpferde GmbH, in the 1.50m ranking class on Thursday.

Irish success continued on Thursday when Breen partnered the 11-year-old stallion Cuick Star Kervec, owned by Breen Equestrian Ltd. and Quirke Sport Horses, to finish third in the 1.55m ranking class. This was one of two podium finishes for Breen over the course of the show. On Friday he was second with the 9-year-old gelding Cato Boy, owned by Nikki Rutter, in the 1.55m ranking class.

The show culminated with a superb podium finish for Michael Duffy in Saturday’s 1.60m Grand Prix. Riding 14-year-old stallion Che Fantastica, owned by Ludger Beerbaum Stables GmbH, Duffy finished third.

Duffy and Che Fantastica were one of only 12 combinations to jump clear in the opening round and progress to the jump-off. Victory went to the home nation with Gerrit Nieberg, riding Ben, who stopped the clock in the jump-off in an unbeatable time of 46.63 seconds. Second went to Ben Maher and Dallas Vegas Batilly in 47.22 seconds.

Duffy jumped clear in the jump-off in 50.64, over two seconds ahead of his nearest rival. An unfortunate fence down in the opening round kept Bertram Allen and the Irish Sport Horse Pacino Amiro from the jump-off.


European Success

Hamburg also hosted a CSI4* show, including the Hamburg Derby. Once again Irish riders recorded multiple top five placings. Denis Lynch was second in the 1.45m Derby Qualifier with the 17-year-old stallion Rubens Ls La Silla, owned by Onyx Consulting Ltd and Flaminia Straumann.

In the same class, Breen claimed third place with Scarteen, a 10-year-old gelding owned by Shane Breen and Marianne Schindele. Breen and Scarteen also finished second in the 1.45m Derby Qualifier on Friday.

In the 1.55m Derby on Sunday, it was Stephan Dubsky riding his own 9-year-old gelding C The Stars who finished best of the Irish in fifth place.

In the CSI4* in Bourg en Bresse, France Mark McAuley and Richard Howley recorded two top ten placings a piece. On Thursday, Howley was third in the 1.50m ranking class with Mansini Ltd, owned by HK Horses.

McAuley went one better on Friday, claiming second place with Jasco Vd Bisschop, owned by S.n.c. McAuley, in the 1.50 ranking class. In Sunday’s 1.55m Grand Prix, both Irish riders finished within the top ten. McAuley was seventh with Jasco Vd Bisschop and Howley was eighth with the HK Horses owned-Consulent De Prelet Z.

Completing an excellent weekend of sport around the world for Irish riders, Trevor Breen topped the podium in the 1.45m Grand Prix in the CSI2* at Wellington, UK. Breen partnered Gonzalo to victory, the 13-year-old gelding owned by Home Farm Equestrian. Also featuring in the top ten was Irish rider Anthony Condon and SFS Vincomte, owned by Anthony Condon and Pat Hales.


The Irish Show Jumping team is sponsored by The Underwriting Exchange

Charles Ancona – Official athlete clothing supplier to HSI’s Senior Olympic programmes



Kilkenny (ISH) – 2012 gelding by Cardento (HOLST) out of MHS Pembrook Lady (ISH) by Guidam (SF). Breeder: Ita Brennan, Co. Kilkenny. Owner: Susan Magnier. Rider: Max Wachman (IRL).

Pacino Amiro (ISH) – 2012 gelding by Pacino (BWP) out of Carnone Dancing Queen (ISH) by NC Amiro (AES). Breeder: Simon Scott, Co. Donegal. Owner: Aiden McGrory. Rider: Bertram Allen (IRL).