IRELAND have been drawn fourth to jump in tomorrow’s (Friday) much anticipated Longines FEI Nations Cup of Ireland for the Aga Khan Trophy at the 2019 Stena Line Dublin Horse Show.
Italy will be the first of the seven teams to enter the RDS Ballsbridge arena when the competition gets underway at 3pm, followed by Britain, Switzerland, Ireland, Sweden and The Netherlands, while last year’s winners Mexico will be last to jump.
Irish team manager Rodrigo Pessoa has confirmed his team order, with Ireland’s most capped rider Cian O’Connor changing from his usual anchor role and getting the home side underway with PSG Final.
He will be followed by Limerick’s Paul O’Shea riding Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu. Cork’s Shane Sweetnam will be third to go of the Irish riders with Chaqui Z, while Offaly’s Darragh Kenny, boosted by the news that he is up to 13th on the latest world rankings, will be Ireland’s anchor rider with Important De Muze.
Friday’s competition will be the last round of 2019 Longines FEI Nations Cup series, following which the top seven teams on the league table will qualify for the Nations Cup World Final.
Ireland currently sit in fifth place on the table and this year’s final, which will be held in Barcelona in October, offers the added bonus of having the very last team qualification place on offer for the Tokyo Olympics.
RTE2 TV will broadcast live coverage of Friday’s Longines FEI Nations Cup of Ireland for the Aga Khan Trophy with the programme starting at 1.45pm.
Thursday’s action at the RDS saw Co Louth’s Mark McAuley record Ireland’s fourth win of the week so far. He led an Irish 1-2 in the Speed Derby by Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge, taking victory with Miebello.
He finished .09 of a second ahead of Cian O’Connor in second with Diego, while Switzerland’s Barbara Schnieper finished third with Dickens II.
The later Stablelab Stakes saw Tipperary’s Denis Lynch and GC Chopin’s Bushi finish as runner-up. Third place went to his fellow Tipperary rider Shane Breen with Ipswich Van De Wolfsakker. America’s world number five McLain Ward halted the Irish run of victories after he came out on top with Noche De Ronda.
Source: Horse Sport Ireland press release