Discover which showjumpers will ride for Ireland in Aachen

  • Young showjumping sensation Bertram Allen is one of five riders selected for the Irish squad for next week’s FEI European Showjumping Championships (19-23 August).

    Bertram and Molly Malone V are joined by Greg Broderick and MHS Going Global, Darragh Kenny and Sans Soucis Z, Denis Lynch and All Star 5 and Cian O’Connor and Good Luck.

    Ireland’s showjumping manager Robert Splaine made the selection after a strong performance by the country during the home leg of the Nations Cup last week (7 August).

    The Irish team picked up the Aga Khan trophy at the Dublin Horse Show, and the team includes four of the riders — except Denis — and three of the horses that helped Ireland to victory.

    Ireland fields a strong squad for the championships.

    “We are very capable of being competitive at the Europeans and the Olympics if we qualify,” said Robert after the Nations Cup win.

    Cian O’Connor won individual bronze at London 2012, while Bertram finished best of the Irish (seventh individually) at last summer’s World Equestrian Games.

    Last month he became the youngest rider to win a Global Champions Tour (GCT) grand prix, when he took the Paris class.

    Darragh also competed at last year’s WEG, while Cian and Denis have both represented Ireland at past Olympics.

    Greg makes his championship debut.

    However, like Team GBR, Ireland are yet to qualify for next year’s Olympics in Rio.

    To do so they must finish in the top three of the non-qualified nations.

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    The Netherlands, France, Germany and Sweden have already qualified, so the teams face stiff competition from nations including Belgium, Switzerland and Spain.

    At London 2012 Ireland failed to qualify a team, but secured individual spaces for Cian and Billy Twomey, with Cian picking up the individual bronze medal.

    There was controversy at the time, with a review launched to establish why the Republic could not qualify a team – despite having two riders in the world’s top 11 and five in the top 100.

    Ireland’s Olympic ride has not always been smooth.

    In 2008 Ireland also failed to qualify a team, sending Denis as an individual. He was subsequently disqualified after his horse Lantinus tested positive for capsaicin.

    In 2004 Cian O’Connor was stripped of individual gold after his horse Waterford Crystal failed a dope test.

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