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Irish eventing team selected for the Olympics

Irish event riders Geoff Curran, Niall Griffin, Louise Lyons, Austin O’Connor and Patricia Ryan have been selected for the three-day event team to represent Ireland in the upcoming Olympics.

Four-time Olympic medallist and Horse Sport Ireland High Performance Coach Ginny Elliot said: “I have picked the squad based on what I consider to be the best team of horses and riders for the physical and mental challenges they will face in Hong Kong.

“Our focus will be on the team competition and I have selected the horses and riders with this in mind.”

Geoff will be bringing Kilkishen, who he finished in 21st place with at Barbury Castle CIC *** last weekend (4-6 July) — the highest placed Irish combination at the event — and Balladeer Alfred.

He will bring both into quarantine and will decide on which one he will be riding nearer to the games

Niall will be riding Lorgaine, Louise will be riding Watership Down, Austin will ride Hobby Du Mee and Patricia Fernhill Clover Mist.

Sacha Pemble with Hyanie d’Aubrie and I’ve Been Dunn has been selected as official reserve.

And Sam Watson with Ballybolger Bushman and Jayne Doherty with Art Attack have also been placed on the reserve list

Ginny added: “I want to thank all the riders and their owners for the tremendous effort they have put in to make the team, particularly over the last month.

“It is gutting not to make the squad but I have stressed to them they need to be ready if called on between now and the games.”

The eventing squad will enter quarantine in Aachen, Germany on 17 July and will fly to Hong Kong on 29 July.

Ireland’s three-day eventing team finished eighth at Athens in 2004.

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