Michael Blake names First Nations Cup squad of 2023

  • 18 January 2023, 09:29

Michael Blake has named his squad for the first Longines FEI Nations Cup of the 2023 which will take place in Abu Dhabi, UAE, this Sunday evening.

Jessica Burke will appear on a 5* Nations Cup squad for the first time, partnering Nikey HH, and she will join Shane Breen, Trevor Breen, Michael Duffy and Billy Twomey in the squad.

Ireland enjoyed a magical 2022 with Nations Cup wins on four continents, capped off by that memorable Aga Khan success at the Dublin Horse Show in August.

Horse Sport Ireland Showjumping High Performance Manager, Blake, led Ireland to those victories last year and is excited for the upcoming campaign.

He said: “I am really looking forward to our first five-star Nations Cup of 2023 this weekend. We have a very strong team and I’m looking forward to a very good result. 

Michael Blake led Ireland to Aga Khan trophy success during a sparkling 2022 season

“It will be Jessica Burke’s first time stepping up to this level off the back of a successful weekend’s jumping in Abu Dhabi last weekend, and Billy will also be there with Chat Botte E.D, whose owner Sue Davies sadly passed away last weekend.

“Sue was a great supporter of Billy, and of Irish equestrian sports as a whole and she will be sorely missed – hopefully we can do her proud on Sunday.”

The Nations Cup Squad in Alphabetical order is:

Shane Breen riding Cuick Star Kervec owned by Breen Equestrian and Quirke Sport Horses Ltd

Trevor Breen riding Highland President owned by Heather Black

Jessica Burke riding Nikey HH owned by Liam Nicholas

Michael Duffy riding Cinca 3 owned by Johnson Horses GmbH

Billy Twomey riding Chat Botte E.D. owned by Sue Davis and Billy Twomey

The Nations Cup will take place on Sunday 22nd January at 18.30 GMT. Follow Horse Sport Ireland social media channels for live results and updates.