‘Girls in green’ hope to make history for Ireland at Europeans

The “girls in green” will be aiming to make history at the European Championships by securing Ireland’s first Olympic dressage team qualification.

Horse Sport Ireland has named its squad for Rotterdam (18 to 25 August). Individual combinations have represented the country at previous Games but Ireland has never before qualified a full team.

Following strong recent performances, it is hoped the country can take up one of the three Tokyo places available in Rotterdam.

The squad is:

Kate Dwyer with her own Snowdon Faberge

Heike Holstein with her own Sambuca

Anna Merveldt with Giovanna Mazza’s Esporim

Judy Reynolds with Joe and Kathleen Reynolds’ Vancouver K

Horse Sport Ireland chairman Joe Reynolds said: “It’s a great day for equestrian sport in Ireland that we can announce a third discipline to compete at the Europeans [along with teams in showjumping and eventing]. Dressage has long been a minority sport in Ireland and while three of the team members have represented Ireland as individuals in previous Olympic Games, we now have a credible team that can compete with the best in the world.

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“Kate, Anna, Heike and Judy are exceptional riders, they are well mounted and I have no doubt they will acquit themselves well in Rotterdam and with luck may achieve an Olympic qualification. I would like to acknowledge the work of the Horse Sport Ireland dressage high performance committee and the selectors.”

Ireland will also send a team of para dressage riders to the European Championships; the squad is due to be named following this week’s international at Bishop Burton.

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