Ireland handed plum draw as Blake names Nations Cup team

  • 3 March 2023, 13:44

Michael Blake has chosen his team of four to send into battle for the CSIO4* Wellington FEI Nations Cup tomorrow night – and they have been drawn to jump last of the 11 countries.

Blake sends Shane Sweetnam with Namaste Van Het Eyckeveld, Max Wachman with Kilkenny (ISH), David Blake with Claude and Cian O’Connor with Berlux Z into battle off the back off two podium finishes already this season.

Ireland finished second in Sharjah and third in Abu Dhabi at four and five-star Nations Cup earlier this year and Blake has already spoken of his desire to land a first success of 2023.

When naming the squad, he said: “I’ve named a strong squad, with all the combinations showing good recent form, but there will be plenty of strong teams in opposition and they’ll be coming here with the same idea as us – looking to win.”

Ireland Chef d’equipe Michael Blake lifts the Aga Khan trophy alongside riders, from left, Cian O’Connor, Shane Sweetnam, Conor Swail and Max Wachman after their victory in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Ireland

Ireland’s chances have been boosted by being drawn 11th, with home team USA in second, Great Britain in fifth and Belgium drawn eighth.

The FEI Jumping Nations Cup CSIO4* takes place at Wellington on Saturday, March 2nd at 9.30pm Irish time, live on FEI TV – follow Horse Sport Ireland on social media for live updates from the team in Wellington.

The Underwriting Exchange Irish Show Jumping team is as follows:

Cork’s Shane Sweetnam with Namaste Van Het Eyckeveld, owned by Shane Sweetnam.
Tipperary’s Max Wachman with Kilkenny (ISH), owned by Susan Magnier.
Clare’s David Blake with Claude, owned by Pine Hollow Farm.
Meath’s Cian O’Connor with Berlux Z, owned by Coolmore Showjumping.

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


The Irish Show Jumping team is sponsored by The Underwriting Exchange
Charles Ancona – Official athlete clothing supplier to HSI’s Senior Olympic programmes