Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Rio '16: Seven horse riders qualified

Team Ireland equestrian athletes, Aoife Clark, Bertram Allen, Sam Watson, Joseph Murphy, Cathal Daniels, Judy Reynolds, and Helen Kearney (centre)


Ireland has qualified seven equestrian places for Rio '16, including a full team of four eventing riders, individual show jumping and dressage riders and one Paralympic place.

After impressive results at Nations Cup competitions for the Irish eventing team, including a win in last season’s Dutch Nations Cup finale,  the Irish team hopes to improve on its fifth place  at London 2012.  Since the start of 2015, a squad of ten eventing riders has been training  with  team manager Nick Turner.

While Ireland failed to qualify a show jumping team for Rio, one individual place has been secured. Bertram Allen, Greg Broderick, Denis Lynch and Cian O'Connor are on the shortlist for the spot and all four are part of team manager Robert Spaine's Irish squad for the upcoming Nations Cup of Belgium along with rising star Anthony Condon.

In dressage, Kildare’s Judy Reynolds recently finished eighth in the World Cup final against the top riders in the world. Ireland has also qualified one Paralympic athlete for Rio. Helen Kearney won two individual medals and a team medal in London. Kearney and her Paralympic teammates got off to a good start in 2016,  when they finished third in the first Para Dressage Nations Cup of the season in France recently.

Next  big date for  the team  is the week starting June 7 when Horse Ireland will name the Irish riders they will recommend to the Olympic Council of Ireland.


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