Equestrian: O'Brien to fund Para bid
Published 25/06/2011 | 05:00
Businessman Denis O'Brien has pledged €70,000 to support Ireland's Para-Equestrian athletes over the next two years.
Irish riders are aiming at qualification for the London 2012 Paralympics through a good result at the European Championships in Moorsele, Belgium, in September.
Mr O'Brien has promised to provide €35,000 per year, which will support the athletes until well after London 2012.
Para Equestrian Ireland's executive director, Dara Kearney, has confirmed the money will go towards coaching and competitions.
A training camp takes place at Kildalton College, Kilkenny, this weekend ahead of the international at Hartpury in England next month, which is an important preparatory event for the Europeans.
Meanwhile, the Irish are in flying form at Hickstead where the Hickstead Derby will take place on Sunday.
On Thursday, Shane Breen took first and third places in the Speed Derby Qualifier with Magic Fox and Mullaghdrin Gold Rain, while his brother, Trevor, slotted into seventh with Adventure de Kannan in the Bunn Leisure Tankard, and Gerard Clarke was runner-up in the Stoner Vase Speed with Jakes Dream.
Yesterday, Shane Breen and Mullaghdrin Gold Rain were third in the Derby Trial won by three-time Derby winner and former Irish rider Peter Charles, who has since reverted to British citizenship.