Ireland will be hoping for its third consecutive Nations Cup victory at Wellington in Florida on Saturday evening when the high-powered quartet of Shane Sweetnam, Paul O’Shea, Denis Lynch and Cian O’Connor line out under floodlights at the balmy four-star Palm Beach venue.
Irish chef d’equipe for the competition, Michael Blake, has announced the starting order of his team as:
Shane Sweetnam – Indra Van De Oude Heihoef
Paul O’Shea – Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu
Denis Lynch – RMF Cadeau De Muze
Cian O’Connor – Clenur
Ireland will be second to jump of nine teams competing.
With the maximum number of clear rounds the target of all Nations Cup managers, it’s instructive to note that in 2018 alone the four horses on the Irish team have an accumulated total of 20 clear jumping rounds between them (excluding time faults), and this must give Blake hope that he can replicate the previous two victories at Wellington.
O’Connor, O’Shea and Sweetnam were on the victorious 2017 Irish team at Wellington, with Lynch now replacing Conor Swail for 2018, but only O’Shea riding last year’s horse on Saturday night.