Drawn sixth to jump in Friday’s Aga Khan Trophy competition at the RDS, Dublin, Ireland’s team has been announced by show jumping manager Michael Blake as:

Conor Swail – Count Me In
Max Wachman – Berlux Z

Shane Sweetnam – James Kann Cruz
Cian O’Connor – Kilkenny

Ireland’s reserve rider is Jack Ryan with BBS McGregor

With seven teams competing for the historic show jumping cup, USA will be first into the arena, followed by Norway, Brazil, Netherlands, France, Ireland and Switzerland. Five teams, (France, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland) will compete for Nations Cup points in Dublin.

With 19 year-old Wachman making his debut for Ireland in the Aga Khan, the other three members are veterans of the competition, and the quartet will be hoping to keep the trophy at home for the first time since 2015.

Manager Blake said: “The Aga Khan is always a very special day on the Irish sporting calendar and is extra special this year following a two-year break due to Covid. I am confident that we have a very strong team. Conor Swail is World No.4 and has been having a superb season.

” Max Wachman will be making his Aga Khan debut and although he is just 19, has already shown he is very talented and has an exceptional horse in Berlux Z. Shane Sweetnam and the Irish Sport Horse James Kann Cruz are an incredibly exciting combination and jumped a brilliant double clear in the Rotterdam Nations Cup and at Langley in Canada. 

“Our anchor rider Cian O’Connor needs no introduction, he is our most capped Nations Cup rider and can always be relied upon to deliver when it matters. Our reserve rider Jack Ryan has had an excellent Nations Cup campaign this year, jumping clear rounds in three Nations Cups. To win an Aga Khan is never easy. There are several really strong teams here this year but we will be fighting to the end to hopefully lift the trophy.”

The Longines FEI Nations Cup of Ireland for the Aga Khan trophy starts at 3pm Irish time on Friday afternoon and is part of RTE’s Dublin Horse Show live television coverage which starts at 1.20pm. Ruby Walsh will be joined in studio by Gerry Mullins and Nicola FitzGibbon, with commentary by Pauric Lodge.

-Jack Burns