Just 2 riders from the Irish eventing team that finished fifth at the London Olympics have been selected for the European Championships (August 29 – 1 September).
Olympic rider Joseph Murphy will join Aoife Clark and Master Crusoe, who finished seventh individually in London, in Malmo, Sweden.
Austin O’Connor, who competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and second reserve for London Sam Watson have also made the squad.
The 6 combinations that have been selected to represent Ireland are:
• Aoife Clark riding the Lily White Syndicate’s Master Crusoe
• Jonty Evans riding Otto van der Wyck’s Double Dutch
• Joseph Murphy riding his wifes, Noel Good, A O’Callaghan and Michelle Nelson’s Electric Cruise or Sportsfield Othello, owned by Jill Andrews and the FFS Syndicate
• Elizabeth Power riding September Bliss, owned by her mother and brother
• Austin O’Connor riding Kate Jarvey’s Ringwood Mississippi
• Sam Watson riding his parents and Tom MacGuinness’ Horseware Bushman
Sara Ennis did not make the cut despite jumping a double clear at Badminton Horse Trials (2–6 May). She has been named first reserve on Miriam Cunning’s Sugar Brown Babe.
Aoife and Master Crusoe were a doubt for the squad as the horse has not been able to run since finishing eighth at Badminton Horse Trials (2-6 May) due to a foot abscess. The selectors are confident that the combination, who finished seventh individually in London, will have a run before and be fit for the championships.
Eventing high performance manager Nick Turner said: “Obviously, I had to make a few difficult phone calls in the last few days but we are working towards World Equestrian Games (WEG) in 2014 and many of those who didn’t make it are very much in my plans for next year.”
Ireland has not won a European medal since Pratoni Del Vivaro in 1995, where the took team bronze and Lucy Thompson won individual gold.
“Our goal going to Malmo is to win a team medal. While I am conscious that Malmo is not an Olympic qualifier, it is still a very important competition,” Nick added.