Tipperary showjumpers Shane Breen and Denis Lynch look set to form the back-bone of the Irish Aga Khan team for this Friday’s Super-League Nations Cup at the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show
First run in 1926, The Aga Khan competition pits the world’s top teams against each other over two rounds of jumping and although Ireland has an excellent record over the years, they have hit a somewhat barren spell of late, with the home team having last won the trophy back in 2004.
Last week’s squad announcement saw Cashel’s Shane Breen selected with Carmena Z, fellow Premier County born Denis Lynch will partner All Inclusive, Kanturk born Shane Sweetnam will ride Amaretto Darco while another Cork rider Billy Twomey will partner Tinka’s Serenade. Kildare’s Nicola Fitzgibbon is selected with Puissance and it is widely expected that this partnership will be named as reserves later this week.
The Aga Khan Trophy will be the penultimate leg in the FEI Super League Nations’ Cup series with Ireland currently lying in third place overall following last week’s round at Hickstead in the UK, with the series set to finish in Rotterdam on August 26th.
Speaking after the squad announcement Team Ireland Equestrian Show Jumping Manager Robert Splaine said that the Aga Khan was a huge occasion and that the riders were really looking forward to it.
“While the Aga Khan is the seventh leg of the Top Level Nations’ Cup series it also has the ‘X factor’ as our home Nations’ Cup with a huge tradition Though securing Olympic Qualification at the European Championships in Madrid is our main target this year, to win the Aga Khan would be fantastic and the riders will be very focused,” he said.
Meanwhile another Tipp rider, Greg Broderick looks set for a busy week at the RDS having qualified twelve horses from his yard including one for Saturday evening’s Puissance.
The action kicks off at the Discover Ireland Horse Show on Wednesday with Blossom Hill Ladies Day on Thursday. Friday see’s the Aga Khan Trophy up for grabs while Saturday’s highlight will be features the Land Rover Puissance competition over the famous red wall. Sunday’s Longines Grand Prix of Dublin bringing the curtain down on Ireland’s biggest equestrian event.