European team champions head Irish showjumping hopes for WEG

  • Irish showjumping manager Rodrigo Pessoa has spoken of his hopes for a medal and an “elusive” Olympic qualification after naming his World Equestrian Games team.

    Cian O’Connor and his 2017 European team gold and individual bronze-winning ride Good Luck spearhead the team of four.

    The 12-year-old stallion, owned by Adena Springs and Ronnoco Jump Ltd, also jumped for Ireland under Cian at the 2015 Europeans.

    They are joined by Darragh Kenny on a new ride, Babalou 41. The 13-year-old chestnut mare, who is owned by Jack Snyder, was previously campaigned by US rider Todd Minikus before Darragh took over the reins in February this year.

    Their top results together include wins at the St Tropez leg of the Global Champions Tour, a CSI3* grand prix victory in Kentucky and fourth place in Aachen’s grand prix last month.

    Paul O’Shea is named with the 11-year-old gelding Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu, owned by Skara Glen Stables, Whipstick Farm, P Hurter and P Agnew.

    The pair have been a stalwart of Ireland’s Nations Cup teams this year, representing their country in Dublin, Falsterbo, La Baule, Samorin and Florida. They also won the grand prix at the WEG test event in October 2017 and have form on the international circuit.

    Completing the team is Shane Sweetnam with his European team gold medal winner Chaqui Z, owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC. The 12-year-old stallion has had a number of high placings in CSI5*s across the world this year.

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    “These are the four team members that will represent Ireland at the World Equestrian Games where we will be seeking the Olympic qualification that has eluded us for many years and a medal as well,” said Rodrigo.

    “I have faith in this team and we are ready to battle with the best teams in the world.”

    The fifth squad member will be announced closer to the Games.

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