Thursday 30 March 2017

Equestrian

Ireland show-jumping manager Robert Splaine has confirmed his squad for Friday's fifth leg of the Meydan FEI Nations Cup series in Falsterbo, Sweden.

He has selected the same side that lined out in Rotterdam two weeks ago, and will be hoping for a better result than the joint-seventh place finish that dropped Ireland from fifth to sixth on the leaderboard.

Following the final leg at the Dublin Horse Show next month, the bottom four teams in the league will be relegated from the 10-nation premier series.

Jessica Kuerten is listed with Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois, which had a fence down in each round in Rotterdam, and Denis Lynch with Abbervail Van Het Dingeshof, which recovered from a pathfinding double-error to return a clear second time out.

Shane Breen's stallion Carmena Z double-faulted in the second round, while Capt David O'Brien and Kiltoom collected 20 faults.

Dermott Lennon, who was fifth man that day, seems likely to be a team player with Hallmark Elite this time around, but O'Brien's mare Mo Chroi, who was on the winning Irish team at the Swedish event in 2009, has been showing increasingly good form with a class victory in Rotterdam and then a third-place finish in last weekend's Hickstead Derby.

Splaine will choose four from his five-strong squad.

Offaly man Darragh Kenny has returned to the US after his early season contribution to the Nations Cup cause and this week scored a double at the 41st annual horse show at Lake Placid, New York.

The 22-year-old rider steered Celano to victory in the Power and Speed category and Bazooka de Muze into pole position in the Speed class.

Today, Kuerten, Cian O'Connor, Lynch and Billy Twomey compete in the latest leg of the Global Champions Tour in Estoril, Portugal, while at home this weekend two rounds of the TRM National Grand Prix series take place.

A total of 32 riders will line out in Omagh this afternoon, while 39 have signed up for tomorrow's clash at Coilog Equestrian Centre in Kilmeague, Kildare.

Irish Independent

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