Irish show jumping manager Rodrigo Pessoa today announced his team to compete on Sunday at the Longines FEI Nations Cup at Falsterbo in Sweden.
The Irish will line out as:
Bertram Allen – Gin Chin Van Het Lindenhof
Mark McAuley – Utchan De Belheme
Daniel Coyle – Cita
Paul O’Shea – Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu
Currently lying in eighth place in the Nations Cup league for 2018, Ireland will welcome points at Falsterbo’s five-star show ahead of their final two scoring rounds – at England’s Hickstead and Dublin’s Aga Khan.
However, manager Pessoa – who was the main architect of Ireland’s European Championship team win last year after a 16 year drought – will be thinking strategically with his allocation of Nations Cup riders and horses to be sure that he has the best possible combinations to field at the World Equestrian Games at Tryon in the USA this September.
Tryon could prove to be a vital Olympic qualifying competition for Ireland, who have not managed to qualify a show jumping team at the last three Olympic Games.
Meanwhile at Falsterbo tomorrow, the Irish quartet will face riders from Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Britain and Sweden, though the first two teams named will not be eligible for points at this competition.
Ireland faces the unenviable draw of being first to jump, and Bertram Allen is therefore scheduled to enter the arena at noon Irish time on Sunday. Updates will be available on We Live Horse’s Facebook page, and a livestream (by subscription) will be provided at FEItv online.
UPDATE: Ireland finished second in the Swedish Nations Cup after a four-way jump-off with Italy, Netherlands and Sweden, who all finished the competition on four faults. The eventual winner was the Netherlands.