Dressage rider Dane Rawlins is now competing for Ireland after switching nationality in the run-up to London 2012.

Dane’s wife Maureen has dual Irish-GB nationality and his dressage rider daughter Anne-Marie rides for Ireland.

“I had the opportunity to change and I have a good horse [Lady Harris’s Sydney] and fantastic owners, so decided I needed to get out there,” he told H&H.

“It wasn’t an easy decision but I’d encourage others to do it if they are thinking about it — Dressage Ireland is great and very welcoming.”

Dane last rode for GB at Hickstead CDI3* last year. He has never been on a championship team.

His move was made officially at the start of the year and Dane competed for Ireland for the first time at CDI Vidauban in France (17-27 March).

He finished third in the first week’s grand prix (GP) and GP freestyle on 70.83%.

“Our first outing went really well, I’m looking forward to the future,” said Dane.

Read response to this news from Dressage Ireland, British Dressage and British dressage team manager Richard Davison in Thursday’s magazine