Irish Show Jumping team set for Sunday’s Longines FEI Nations Cup European season opener in Slovakia
- 24 April 2018, 16:21
Horse Sport Ireland, The Governing Body for Equestrian Sport in Ireland, held a press conference today (Tuesday) at Punchestown Racecourse, to launch the Irish Show Jumping team’s 2018 Longines FEI Nations Cup campaign in Europe Division 1.
The opening round of the series takes place this Sunday at Samorin in Slovakia, where Ireland will be up against teams from Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Spain and Belgium – who will all be chasing points on the road to the Nations Cup World Final in Barcelona (ESP) in October, while Brazil will also field a team but will not be eligible for points
This will be the first time that Slovakia will host a Nations Cup Division 1 competition, as well as the nation’s first time hosting a five-star level Show Jumping event.
Irish team manager Rodrigo Pessoa has selected a five-man squad for this weekend’s opening fixture.
The Irish Show Jumping squad, sponsored by Devenish & The Underwriting Exchange, for the Longines FEI Nations Cup of Slovakia is as follows:
Louth’s Mark McAuley with Utchan De Belheme – owned by Charlotte McAuley
Tipperary’s Shane Breen with Ipswich van de Wolfsakker – owned by Breen Equestrian, Jos Lansink & Konstantin Pysarenko
Limerick’s Paul O’Shea with Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu – owned by Skara Glen’s Stables
Cork’s Shane Sweetnam with Indra Van De Oude Heihoef – owned by The Blue Buckle Group
(Reserve) Galway’s Michael Duffy with EFS Top Contender – owned by Graham & Ben Dalton
Speaking before the trip to Slovakia, Pessoa commented:
“We are very much looking forward to getting our season underway this weekend in Samorin. The Longines FEI Nations Cup Series is the start of our countdown to the World Equestrian Games in Tryon and we are anxious to get going.”
Samorin will be the first of Ireland’s five points-scoring rounds in Europe Division 1 and will be followed by rounds in La Baule (FRA), Falsterbo (SWE), Hickstead (GBR) and Ireland’s home Nations Cup at the Dublin Horse Show in August for the Aga Khan trophy.
Speaking at Punchestown, Owen Brennan, Executive Chairman of Devenish said:
“Devenish are delighted to be on Rodrigo’s team again in 2018 and wish everyone success at the Nations Cup and World Equestrian Games.”
Stephen O’Connor, Executive Director of The Underwriting Exchange added:
“Hopefully the team can continue this season where they left off last year – taking the European Gold Medal in Gothenburg and we wish them all the best of luck for the forthcoming season.”
The Irish Show Jumping Team, sponsored by The Underwriting Exchange and Devenish was named “Team of the Year” at the 2017 RTE Sport Awards after a public vote
Equiline – Official athlete clothing supplier of Team Ireland Equestrian