Irish showjumpers set to go all out to take world titles
Riders and horses head out to Belgium for young horse world championships as Ireland targets glory in elite category events
Fifteen Irish horse and rider combinations are this week aiming to put the Irish Sport Horse Studbook under the international spotlight at the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses at Lanaken, Belgium.
The championships provide a unique opportunity for breeders, owners and riders to witness the current trends of European breeding and, in some cases, catch the first glimpse of future equine medal winners.
The standard at the world breeding championships is exceptionally high, with more than 200 horses in each age category, representing more than 50 studbooks from all over the world aiming to qualify for Sunday's final.
The 15 horses representing the Irish Sport Horse Studbook from tomorrow to Sunday were selected by Horse Sport Ireland.
In the five-year-old age category, LCC Silver Fox, ridden by Linda Courtney, and Morning De Reve, ridden by James Hogg, gained automatic selection by finishing first and second in the five-year-old league of this year's Irish Sport Horse Studbook Showjumping Series.
Cathal McMunn and One Time, the winner of the five-year-old championships at Dublin Horse Show, decided not to travel to Lanaken, which gave first reserve Coco Chanelle and Declan Egan an opportunity to compete in the World Championships.
Two further five-year-olds, Clinton Jack, ridden by Shane McFadden, and Oldtown Gypsy Jazz, ridden by Trevor Breen, were selected for Lanaken by Ireland's chef d'equipe, Commandant John Ledingham.
In the six-year-old category, both Golden Exchange, ridden by Greg Broderick, and LCC Diamond Dazzaler, ridden by Linda Courtney, shared the accolade of being the highest placed six-year-olds in the six/seven-year-old league from this year's series.