Equestrian: Breen back in Irish 'A' team
IN-FORM Shane Breen returns to the Irish 'A' team for the third leg of the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup Premier League series in St Gallen, Switzerland, on Friday.
Riding Mullaghdrin Gold Rain last Sunday, the Tipperary man contributed his third consecutive double-clear team performance of the season as Ireland finished joint fourth with Switzerland and Belgium in the non-superleague Nations Cup in Lisbon, Portugal.
Breen brings out Carmena Z for this Friday's superleague competition at the Grundemoos Arena. Carmel Ryan's 10-year-old stallion has been in spectacular form this year, with faultless displays helping Ireland to clinch the Nations Cup and the Grand Prix title at Lummen in Belgium last month.
Breen joins Darragh Kenny, competing with Obelix, and Capt David O'Brien, who will partner either Mo Chroi or Kiltoom on his 2010 superleague Nations Cup debut.
Cian O'Connor has only had Dr Michael Smurfit's mare K Club Lady for the past eight weeks and picked up just four faults in the second leg of the Meydan series in Rome last Friday, where Ireland finished joint-third.
He lines out again this week along with Billy Twomey, who is defending Grand Prix champion at St Gallen and who brings back his 2009 winner Je T'Aime Flamenco as well as Tinka's Serenade. Team manager Robert Splaine will be hoping his side can perform well as Ireland battle to remain in the elite Meydan-sponsored series, currently led by France, which finishes at the Dublin Horse Show in August.