Ireland chooses showjumper ranked 252nd in the world over top 10 rider for Rio

  • Greg Broderick and MHS Going Global have been nominated to represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, with Bertram Allen, Denis Lynch and Cian O’Connor as reserves.

    Team manager Robert Splaine said it was a “difficult decision” but that the pair are “at the very top of their form”.

    The combination jumped a double clear to help Ireland to victory in the Nations Cup in St Gallen, Switzerland, at the weekend (3 June), following it up with a double clear and fourth place in the grand prix (5 June). Cian finished seventh in the grand prix and Bertram lowered one fence in the jump-off to take ninth place.

    Robert said: “This has been a very difficult decision to make as we are fortunate that our four main contenders for the place are very strong.

    Greg Broderick and MHS Going Global have been outstanding contributors for Ireland in Nations Cups and have been consistent clear round jumpers at five-star level.

    “Their performance in St Gallen shows they are a combination at the very top of their form.”

    Greg, 31, is currently 252nd in the FEI rankings, while Bertram is at 10, Denis 32 and London 2012 bronze medallist Cian is 58th.

    Ireland secured its individual showjumping slot for Rio in March thanks to Bertram Allen’s Olympic ranking. Denis Lynch just missed out on achieving a second place, instead securing the first reserve slot, should another country not be able to take up its qualification.

    Under Olympic rules, individual places are allocated to the country of the individual who secures them, rather than directly to that rider.

    At the time, Horse Sport Ireland chairman Professor Patrick Wall said: “Great credit is due to Bertram Allen, and to Denis Lynch for the efforts they went to in trying to secure the places for Team Ireland.

    “Team Ireland Equestrian is in a great place now with phenomenal talent and I’m confident we can produce the goods in Rio.”

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    Ireland missed out on qualifying a team for Rio, losing out to Spain by 0.380 of a penalty at the European Championships in Aachen (21 August, 2015).

    A member of the arena party ran in front of Cian in the final round of the team competition and he lowered the next fence, but Ireland’s appeal was dismissed. Cian said at the time he was “totally gutted”.

    The three reserves are Cian with Good Luck, Bertram with Molly Malone V and Denis with All Star 5.

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