Irish squads named for 2018 Nations Cup Jumping openers in Abu Dhabi and Florida

  • 2 February 2018, 10:29

The Irish Show Jumping team will get their 2018 Nations Cup campaign underway in a fortnight’s time, with a double bill of action on the same weekend at Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and Ocala in Florida, USA.

The five-star Longines FEI Nations Cup of United Arab Emirates takes place in Abu Dhabi on Saturday February 17th, where Taylor Vard will be Ireland’s Chef d’Equipe.

The Irish squad for the Abu Dhabi Nations Cup is as follows:
Shane Breen with Laith – owned by Team Z7
Anthony Condon with Zira VH Kapelhof Z – owned by John Hales
Cameron Hanley with Quirex – owned by Patrick Mielnik
Paul Kennedy with Cartown Danger Mouse (ISH) – owned by Jane Kennedy
David Simpson with Keoki – owned by Julia Cruden

The Ocala five-star Longines FEI Nations Cup in Florida takes place just 24 hours later on Sunday February 18th, with Irish Development team manager Michael Blake hoping to repeat the victory his team achieved at the same venue in 2017.

The Irish squad for the Ocala Nations Cup is as follows:
Daniel Coyle with Cita or Grafton – owned by Ariel Grange
Cian O’Connor with Clenur – owned by Armin Himmelreich
Darragh Kenny with Go Easy De Muze – owned by Whiterock Farm 
Paul O’Shea with Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu – owned by Skara Glen’s Stables
Shane Sweetnam with Chaqui Z – owned by Spy Coast Farm, or Main Road – owned by Sweet Oak Farm & Seabrook

The victorious Irish team stand on the podium after winning the Ocala Nations Cup in 2017 (l-r)  Kevin Babington, Cian O’Connor, Michael Blake (Team Manager), Richie Moloney and Shane Sweetnam (Photo Tori Repole/

The Nations Cup series new title partner Longines committed their support to this jewel in the crown of the FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale), the world governing body for horse sport, in a long-term agreement announced during the Longines FEI European Championships in Gothenburg (SWE) last August, where Ireland secured the Show Jumping team gold and an individual bronze medal.

The 2018 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup series features 13 qualifiers on three continents. While Ireland will compete at several venues outside Europe during the season, their points-scoring outings will be in Europe Division 1 where they are among 10 teams gunning for glory. Alongside defending champions from The Netherlands, Ireland will be joined by France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Sweden, along with Belgium and Great Britain – the two top finishing teams in Division 2 last year.

The majority of the qualifiers will this year take place on Sunday afternoons for maximum audience reach, both onsite and on TV, with the Aga Khan in Dublin – the last of the eight Europe Division 1 qualifiers – retaining its traditional Friday slot on August 10th.

All Division 1 countries will be allocated five events in 2018 at which they can collect qualifying points for the Final, with all five results counting. Confirmation of Ireland’s five allocated events in Europe for 2018 is expected from the FEI in the coming weeks.

This incredible series will culminate in an awe-inspiring Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup 2018 Final at the Real Club de Polo in Barcelona (ESP) this October, where up to 20 of the world’s best Jumping teams will go head-to-head.

The Irish Show Jumping team is sponsored by The Underwriting Exchange and Devenish.

Equiline – Official athlete clothing supplier of Team Ireland Equestrian.



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