The Irish team has been named for the European Eventing Championships in Strzegom, Poland (17-20 August).
- Sarah Ennis and Horseware Stellor Rebound, owned by Horseware Products LTD, Niki Potterton and Orla Ennis
- Jonty Evans and Cooley Rorkes Drift, owned by Fiona Elliott
- Joseph Murphy and Sportsfield Othello, owned by the rider’s wife Jill, Alison Schmutz and Andrew Tinkler
- Michael Ryan and Dunlough Striker, owned by Carol and Tom Henry
- Patricia Ryan and Dunrath Eclipse, owned by Carol and Tom Henry
- Austin O’Connor and Kilpatrick Knight, owned by Eugene McKenna and Wendie Foster
Ireland has only nominated these six combinations for the championship, so if one of them drops out for whatever reason, they will not be replaced.
Jonty Evans’ participation is in doubt because his horse, Cooley Rorkes Drift (“Art”), is for sale and unless he can be bought to remain in Jonty’s stable by around 11 August, he will not be able to go to Poland.
H&H broke the news on 12 July that interest from buyers, particularly in America, had led to Art’s current owner Fiona Elliott considering selling the 11-year-old.
Jonty has secured some funding towards the horse’s purchase so he can keep the ride and decided to start a crowd-funding campaign to attempt to make up the shortfall. He is aiming to raise £500,000.
So far, he has raised £283,501.60, with a substantial £150,000 added to the total on Sunday.
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If they are able to compete, Jonty and Art would be Ireland’s best hope of a medal at the European Eventing Championships — they finished ninth in the Olympics in Rio last year and have shown improvement in the dressage phase since then.
Riders from 19 nations have been nominated to ride in Strzegom. A maximum of 81 riders will take part, with up to 15 countries fielding a team (three or four riders, with best three scores to count).
Don’t miss H&H’s full preview of the eventing, showjumping, dressage and para dressage European Championships in the magazine dated 17 August.