Three Irish riders have received last-minute call ups to the World Equestrian Games.

Shane Breen and Ipswich Van De Wolfsakker have been drafted onto the Irish showjumping team to replace Darragh Kenny and Babalou 41.

The 13-year-old mare, owned by Jack Synder, underwent colic surgery on Friday (31 August) and is reportedly doing well.

Michael Duffy and EFS Top Contender have been chosen as the travelling reserves and will travel to Tryon with the Irish squad next week.

“On Friday we learned of the problem with Darragh Kenny’s Babalou,” said team manager Rodrigo Pessoa.

“This is very unfortunate as Darragh is a very solid team member. The mare has undergone surgery and is now back in rehab and we wish them all the best in their recovery.

“Shane Breen comes into the team with Ipswich. They have been in really good form this year, winning the five-star Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Monaco and were fourth very recently in a five-star Grand Prix at Valence in France. Shane is a very experienced rider and will be a valuable member of the team.

“We have chosen Michael Duffy as fifth man with EFS Top Contender. They were on the Nations Cup team in Gijon this weekend, jumping double clear with just a time fault and we feel Michael is a very valid fifth member of the squad.

He will also be a key man on the ground which is very important for the stability of the group.

“We are going to Tryon with the clear objective of punching our ticket to Tokyo and the Olympic team qualification which has eluded us for many years.

“Now that we are European Champions, why not dream big and aim for a medal as well. We are really looking forward to a tough competition but we believe we have a great chance.”

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This follows Friday’s news that Patricia Ryan and Dunrath Eclipse will replace injured Aoife Clark, who had been selected aboard Fernhill Adventure.

Aoife hit her head in a cross-country fall when Master Rory tripped on landing during the CCI3* at Millstreet on 25 August.

“Sadly for Aoife Clark, she has been ruled out through injury. This is most unfortunate for Aoife after producing a very good preparation run with her World Equestrian Games horse, Fernhill Adventure, when finishing sixth in the CIC3* in Hartpury,” said Irish eventing team manager Sally Corscadden.

“Tim Bourke was named first reserve but his horse has picked up a viral infection, so is also out of contention. The second reserve Patricia Ryan and Dunrath Eclipse will now travel as an individual and Patricia joined the team for final training in the UK before departure for Tryon.

“Patricia had a very good individual result at Luhmulhen CCI4* in June this year and we wish her the best of luck.”

The teams are now as follows:

Showjumping

Shane Breen with Ipswich Van De Wolfsakker – owned by Breen Equestrian, Jos Lansink Horses & Konstantin Pysarenko

Cian O’Connor with Good Luck – owned by Adena Springs & Ronnoco Jump Ltd

Paul O’Shea with Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu – owned by Skara Glen Stables, Whipstick Farm, P. Hurter & P. Agnew

Shane Sweetnam with Chaqui Z – owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC

First reserve: Michael Duffy with EFS Top Contender – owned by Graham Dalton & Ben Dalton

Eventing

Padraig McCarthy with Mr Chunky – owned by Christopher & Sarita Perkins, Huw Lloyd and Lucy Wiegersma

Cathal Daniels with Rioghan Rua (ISH) – owned by Margaret Kinsella

Sarah Ennis with Horseware Stellor Rebound (ISH) – owned by Horseware Products Ltd, Niki Potterton & Orla Ennis

Sam Watson and Horseware Ardagh Highlight (ISH) – owned by Belinda Keir

First reserve & individual: Patricia Ryan with Dunrath Eclipse (ISH) – owned by Tom & Carol Henry

The 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games start on 11 September, with the showjumping competition running from 19 to 23 September and the eventing from 13 to 16 September.

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