IRISH Show Jumping team manager Michael Blake has named his team for Friday’s Italian Nations Cup at Piazza di Siena in Rome – one of the only venues in world Show Jumping where Ireland has yet to taste a Nations Cup victory.
Ireland came agonisingly close to breaking their Italian hoodoo in 2019, when Blake managed a team of Mark McAuley, Peter Moloney, Darragh Kenny and Cian O’Connor to a runner-up finish behind winners Sweden.
Two members of that team, Mark McAuley and Darragh Kenny, are named again this year along with Denis Lynch and Bertram Allen.
The full Irish team for the Italian Nations Cup in Rome is:
Wexford’s Bertram Allen with ‘Pacino Amiro’ (ISH) – owned by Aiden McGrory;
Offaly’s Darragh Kenny with ‘Idalville D’Esprit’ – owned by Lorcan Gallagher and Heathman Farm;
Tipperary’s Denis Lynch with ‘Cristello’ – owned by Onyx Consulting Ltd;
Louth’s Mark McAuley with ‘Jasco VD Bisschop’ – owned by Scea La Tuiliere and Mark McAuley.
The 2020 Italian Nations Cup was cancelled due to Covid-19, but thankfully the historic competition goes ahead this year, with a total of 12 teams set to battle for the winner’s trophy. Seven teams from Europe – Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Ireland are also joined by Brazil, Japan, Mexico, USA and Egypt.
The home team from Italy leads the roll of honour, with a total of 29 Nations Cup wins in Rome – the first in 1926 and the last two in 2017 and 2018. France has also a superb record in Rome with 19 wins – 15 of those coming since 1978.
The first of four days of competition at CSIO Rome starts on Thursday, May 27, with the feature Italian Nations Cup, worth €200,000 taking place on Friday, May 28.
Pacino Amiro (ISH) – 2012 gelding by Pacino (BWP), out of Carnone Dancing Queen (ISH) by NC Amiro (AES). Breeder: Simon Scott, Co. Donegal. Owner: Aiden McGrory. Rider: Bertram Allen