Chef d’Equipe Rodrigo Pessoa has named his team of four who will compete for Ireland in the Nations Cup contest at the prestigious five-star Aachen arena in Germany on Thursday.

Drawn last to jump of the eight teams taking part, the Irish quartet will attempt to improve on the second place achieved at last year’s Aachen team competition.

The Irish team will line out as follows:

Shane Sweetnam – Chaqui Z  

Peter Moloney – Chianti’s Champion

Darragh Kenny – Important De Muze  

Cian O’Connor – Irenice Horta

Though no longer part of the FEI Nations Cup league, Aachen is generally regarded as the ultimate test of horse and rider, and there’s little doubt that Pessoa is fielding one of the stronger Irish teams seen this year.

Ireland’s Chef d’Equipe Rodrigo Pessoa

He said after the draw today: “Aachen is always very tough. Germany have regained Daniel Deusser and Christian Ahlmann on the team along with Marcus Ehning and Simone Blum. On paper they are incredibly strong and will be the team to beat but we will give it a go.”

Coverage of the Nations Cup, which begins at 6:30pm Irish time, will be available on free livestream here.

Home to one of the biggest show jumping spectacles in the calendar, Aachen’s World Equestrian Festival will also feature Dressage and Eventing Nations Cups, and Ireland will enter teams in both disciplines this week.

-Jack Burns