Interim Irish show jumping team manager Michael Blake has announced his team of four who will compete in Friday’s FEI Nations’ Cup in Wellington, Florida.

With last month’s victory under his belt at the Ocala Nations’ Cup, also in Florida, Blake will be reasonably optimistic of success with two of the Ocala squad lining out in Wellington at the four-star event.

Shane Sweetnam, who scored a zero and a four-fault round last month, will be riding Chaqui Z again at Wellington, while Cian O’Connor remains anchorman for the team with the notably talented French-bred Seringat, who delivered a crucial double clear round at Ocala.

Drawn fourth to jump of eight teams, Ireland will appear in the following order:

Shane Sweetman with Chaqui Z
Paul O’Shea with Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu
Conor Swail with Rubens LS La Silla
Cian O’Connor with Seringat

Blake, who is acting Chef d’Equipe until what is believed to be the imminent appointment of a permanent team manager by Horse Sport Ireland, said from Wellington today: “The team has two new combinations from the team that was successful in Ocala. We field a very strong team here in Wellington with all horses showing excellent recent form.

Michael Blake

“We are aware of the stiff competition we face on Friday night and also the huge support in Wellington for the Irish team.”

The Wellington Nations’ Cup will begin at midnight Irish time on Friday, and can be seen live (by subscription) on the FEItv streaming service.

Updates during the competition will be posted on We Live Horse’s Facebook page and Twitter.

Jack Burns

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