Ireland’s Show Jumping Team Manager Rodrigo Pessoa has announced his shortlist of horses and riders for this year’s Longines FEI European Show Jumping Championships, which take place at Gothenburg in Sweden from August 21st to 27th.
The Irish shortlist of riders and horses for the championships is:
Bertram Allen with Hector Van D’Abdijhoeve and Molly Malone
Mark McAuley with Utchan De Belheme
Shane Breen with Golden Hawk
Cian O’Connor with Good Luck
Daniel Coyle with Cita and Grafton
Denis Lynch with All Star 5 and RMF Echo
Shane Sweetnam with Chaqui Z
Allen, McAuley, Breen and O’Connor are also part of the squad for the upcoming Nations Cup in Rotterdam.
Pessoa, who will announce his final squad of five riders closer to the Championships, said today:
“After six months of getting to know the horses and riders it is not easy to come up with a shortlist. We have a lot of depth of talent and plenty of riders to choose from but at some stage we need to draw a line and make our choice.
“Typically the the squad show up for themselves with their performances but we will be very vigilant over the coming weeks in watching all their performances before we pick the final team.
“Ultimately our aim at the European Championships will be to fight for a medal – that has to be our objective.”
The European Championships are held every two years and all show jumping competitions at the 2017 Championships will be held at the 40,000-seater Ullevi Stadium in the centre of Gothenburg.
Championship medals will be awarded in both team and individual competitions.
The last European Championships were held at Aachen, Germany in 2015 where the Netherlands claimed the team gold medal, while Dutch rider Jeroen Dubbeldam also took individual gold.
Ireland won the European Championship team gold medal once before at Arnhem in The Netherlands in 2001, with the team of Kevin Babington, Jessica Kürten, Peter Charles and Dermott Lennon.
Ireland won the team bronze medal in 1979 with John Roche, Gerry Mullins, Con Power and Eddie Macken. Peter Charles won the individual European Championship gold medal for Ireland in 1995, while Eddie Macken won the individual silver medal in 1977.
Ireland will also send two Under 25 riders to Gothenburg for the Lövsta Future Challenge. Twenty show jumping riders from 10 nations will compete in both team and individual competitions. Irish Development Team Manager Michael Blake will select two Irish Under 25 riders to send to Gothenburg in the coming months.