Ireland primed for La Baule battle after fine opening day

  • 8 June 2023, 19:09

The Irish team of Shane Breen, Tom Wachman, Cian O’Connor and Max Wachman

The Underwriting Exchange Irish Show Jumping team’s five-star Nations Cup hat-trick bid remains firmly on track after the four team members all enjoyed a successful afternoon in La Baule.

Cian O’Connor, Max Wachman and Tom Wachman all had podium finishes, while Shane Breen had a foot-perfect top ten on what proved a productive day for the Irish.

On top of the fine results, the Irish Nations Cup combinations had perfect sighters ahead of tomorrow’s big heat and the riders reported back happy and raring to go.

O’Connor said: “All of the horses jumped well today – it was great to be placed third with Germaine W and fourth with Checkter, while Tipperary had a lovely preparation round too.

“It’s my first five-star Nations Cup with Tipperary, he’s only nine years old. It’s a big step up in class but I think he’s ready for the challenge and I’ve been happy with him – especially when he was double clear in the Grand Prix at Wiesbaden a couple of weeks ago.”

The youngest member of the team, Tom Wachman, was second with I’m here early in the day and he has been in sparkling form of late. It is his first five-star Nations Cup but excelled in the EEF Nations Cup recently with Rock Of Cashel in Peelbergen.

He said: “Rock Of Cashel jumped very well in the 1.45m and I’m delighted with him. He was great in the Nations Cup in Peelbergen and in the Grand Prix on the same weekend, so fingers crossed he can replicate that form tomorrow.”

Older brother Max Wachman partners Aga Khan-winner Kilkenny and said: “I’m very with them all today – Kilkenny had another lovely warm-up. I’m still getting used to Kilkenny and this will be the biggest Nations Cup we’ve competed in but he’s in good form,” the older Wachman brother said.

“He jumped really well in Wiesbaden when he reached the podium and I’m hoping for more of the same tomorrow. Quintini jumped great and was third too so I’m very happy.”

Breen was also very pleased with his afternoon’s work, saying: “Cuick Star Kervec jumped really well and I was happy with how he felt. Cian, Max and Tom’s horses all jumped well so hopefully we can get that bit of luck and keep this winning run going, coming here off the back of two other victories.”


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).