Thursday 23 November 2017

Equestrian: Lynch to star in Geneva as Twomey eyes Olympia prize

Louise Parkes

WORLD No 7 Denis Lynch will compete in the prestigious IJRC Top-10 final in Geneva this Friday, but Billy Twomey, who was lastweek confirmed as ninth in the latest world rankings, has decided to forego the event and will instead concentrate on the big Christmas fixture at London's Olympia next week.

“My horses have been going hard for the last few months – in fact they've been working hard all year and they are jumping great – so I decided to give them a breather before Olympia so that I can have a really good shot at it,” Twomey said.

This means the 33-year-old British-based Corkman will miss out on the next leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup qualifying series, taking place at Geneva on Sunday.

Twomey is the highest-placed Irish rider on the World Cup leaderboard, lying 10th. Ireland will be represented in the Geneva leg by Lynch, Jessica Kuerten and Cian O'Connor.


Meanwhile, Irish team manager Robert Splaine's former righthand man, Paraic Geraghty, has taken up the new role of Team Manager and Chef d'Equipe to the Turkish Show Jumping squad.

From Ballinasloe in Galway, Geraghty was nominated to Horse Sport Ireland's High Performance management committee by Show Jumping Ireland three years ago. He was Chef d'Equipe for a number of development teams, including this year's winning side at Ypaja in Finland and the squad that sprang a real surprise when finishing second at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Canada, in September.

Turkish show jumping, driven in the main by the forceful energy of patron Sebil Sebanci, has now snapped up a whole team of Irish talent that includes former international rider Lt Col Gerry Mullins and his former second in command at the Army Equitation School, Pat McCartan.

Mullins is Turkish team coach while McCartan helped establish Sebanci's SIEC equestrian centre in Istanbul where another former army star, Comdt Gerry Flynn, is based.

Flynn, from Longford, has taken out dual nationality and competed for Turkey at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky this autumn. Top international groom Trevor Gaffney has also recently joined the Turkish cause along with Geraghty.

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