INJURED Irish show jumper Kevin Babington was to the forefront of everyone’s mind at yesterday’s Longines FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona, especially the winning Irish team, who each wore orange ‘Babington Strong’ armbands.
Babington, who suffered a life changing accident at the Hamptons Horse Show on August 30th, was part of the last Irish team to make it to an Olympic Games in 2004 (Athens) alongside Cian O’Connor, Jessica Kürten and Marion Hughes.
Team members Cian O’Connor, Darragh Kenny, Paul O’Shea and Darragh Kenny, as well as the extended management team, wore the armbands for the duration of the weekend.
Speaking afterwards at the press conference, squad member and Babington’s good friend, Shane Sweetnam, said: “The armbands are for Kevin Babington. It was organised by Alan Griffin over in America that the team this week would wear them and we would have him [Kevin] with us for the week.”
Sweetnam added that Babington, who is working hard on his rehabilitation at Kessler Rehabilitation Center in New Jersey, was watching the action. “As far as I know, he is doing very well in rehab now, and is able to watch this and follow us. He has been following us so it is great that he knows that we are here for him.
“Kevin is a fighter. The last team to be at the Olympics, Kevin was on that team. He is a big part of the Irish equestrian history, we are all hoping that he can get as far as he can with his recovery.”