By Mike Dunne
With just days to go to this year’s Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup competition for the Aga Khan Trophy at the Dublin Horse Show, excitement mounts ahead of the announcement of Ireland’s team for the event.
Ireland won the competition in some style last year, and the four riders who took part are all in the five-man squad again. Bertram Allen, Greg Broderick, Darragh Kenny and Cian O’Connor have all been named along with Denis Lynch.
Broderick and O’Connor are named with the same horses as last year – Rio-bound MHS Going Global and Good Luck respectively. Bertram Allen, who competed with Romanov on last year’s winning team, is listed with the exciting Hector van d’Abdijhoeve, who was in sparkling form in Portugal of late jumping three clear rounds in the Grand Prix at Estoril.
Darragh Kenny is named with his recently acquired Go Easy de Muse. Last year Kenny competed with San Souci Z, jumping a clear round and not needing to jump a second time as Ireland clinched the trophy without requiring their fourth rider to go again.
Denis Lynch did not take part in last year’s win but is named with All Star 5 in this year’s squad.
Lynch, O’Connor, Allen (with Molly Malone) and Broderick were all part of the team which convincingly won the Nations Cup of Switzerland at St. Gallen last month.
Before the 2015 Aga Khan win, Ireland had last won the competition in 2012 when the team consisted of Clem McMahon, Darragh Kerins, Richie Moloney and Cian O’Connor. O’Connor rode Blue Lloyd, the pairing having just returned from winning a bronze medal at the London Olympics.
Team manager Robert Splaine is expected to announce the final four for this year’s event on Thursday.