Ireland’s event riders and horses for the Rio 2016 Olympics have been named:
- Clare Abbott with Dr Cormac McKay’s Euro Prince
- Jonty Evans with his own and Fiona Elliott’s Cooley Rorkes Drift (above)
- Mark Kyle with his own, Shelagh and Richard Morley’s Jemilla
- Padraig McCarthy with his own, his wife Lucy (née Wiegersma) and Christopher and Sarita Perkins’ Simon Porloe or Bernadette Utopia, owned by Padraig and Lucy, the late Caroline Creighton, Pearl Chaffe and the late Henrik Wiegersma
The travelling reserve is Camilla Speirs with her own and her mother Bridget’s Portersize Just A Jiff.
Horse Sport Ireland eventing team manager Nick Turner said: “This has been a very difficult decision to make as there have been an impressive number of combinations who have produced some fantastic results to date. We will be fielding a very competitive squad in Rio.
“I would like to thank all of the owners that made their horses available for selection. We will be working hard over the next 57 days in the lead up to the summer Olympic Games in Rio to contend for a podium finish.”
Ireland qualified to field a team in Rio with their fifth place at the 2014 World Equestrian Games.
Mark Kyle (pictured below) is the only rider on the team who has previous Olympic experience, having competed at the 2004 Athens Games and London 2012. The other three riders will be contesting their first Olympics, although they all have championship experience. Travelling reserve Camilla Speirs rode at London 2012 on the same horse with which she has been nominated this time, the diminutive Portersize Just A Jiff.
Ireland’s showjumping rider for Rio was also named yesterday, with Greg Broderick receiving the nod, a decision which has led to some raised eyebrows as most expected the spot to go to Bertram Allen, who is more than 240 places higher than Greg in the current world rankings.