Aiming to be Nations Cup winners once again
Published 05/08/2015 | 02:30
All eyes will be on the senior Irish show jumping team this coming Friday as they contest the coveted Aga Khan Trophy during the final leg of the 2015 Furusiyya Nations Cup Series at the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show.
They will compete against teams from Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain and the US, winners in 2014.
The five-man squad is named as Bertram Allen on Romanov, Greg Broderick on Going Global, Darragh Kenny on Sans Soucis Z, Cian O'Connor on Good Luck and Conor Swail with Grand Cru VD Vijf Eiken. Team manager Robert Splaine will make his final selection of four on Thursday evening.
This is, without doubt, the highlight of the show jumping programme taking place during the five-day show, but an important one for the team as they battle to make the cut for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona next month.
Currently the Irish team is in sixth place in the series, with two third placings at La Baule, France and St Gallen in Switzerland making up for a disappointing start to the season during the opening round in Lummen, Belgium in late April where they finished eighth.
In accordance with FEI rules, Ireland may only accumulate points for the series at four nominated shows. With Dublin being the final one to count, a good finish is important.
"The Dublin Horse Show is a great event and it means a lot to us. The support from the home crowd is second to none and we are looking forward to the challenge," said Robert Splaine.
Some 1,500 horses and ponies will pass through the gates of the RDS over the next five days during the 142nd edition of Ireland's biggest equestrian showcase which caters for some 132 competitions between showing, show jumping, Pony Club Games and the ever-popular hunt chase.
Among the other show jumping highlights will be the Land Rover Puissance on Saturday and the Longines International Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon. This was won 12 months ago by Ireland's top rider, 19-year-old Bertram Allen.
"Throughout the decades the horse show has always been one of the social events of the summer, but it has always been a substantial sporting event too," says Michael Duffy of the RDS.
The Farming Independent's equestrian correspondent Siobhán English will be exhibiting some of her work at the RDS.
Visit Siobhán at S113 in Simmonscourt where she will have a wide range of framed and unframed country themed photographs on display as well as mugs, placemats and glass chopping boards.