IRISH Show Jumping team manager Michael Blake has named his squad for this Friday’s (July 29) Longines FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain at Hickstead, which is Ireland’s third points-scoring round in Europe Division 1 and will be shown live on RTE 2 television.
RTE’s live coverage from Hickstead will run from 4pm to 6pm on Friday, July 29 on RTE 2 and the RTE Player and will be presented by Ruby Walsh, who will be joined in studio by Nicola FitzGibbon and Lt Col Tom Freyne, with commentary provided by Brendan McArdle.
The Irish squad, which includes two Irish Sport Horses, for the Longines FEI Nations Cup of Britain in Hickstead is (in alphabetical order):
n Galway’s Andrew Bourns with ‘Sea Topblue’ (ISH) – owned by Andrew Bourns and QBS Equestrian LLC;
n Tipperary’s Shane Breen with ‘Vistogrand’ – owned by Breen Equestrian;
n Tipperary’s Trevor Breen with ‘Germaine W’ – owned by Mandy Hall;
n Meath’s Alexander Butler with ‘Chilli B’ – owned by L.C.J. Berben;
n Kilkenny’s Jack Ryan with ‘BBS McGregor’ (ISH) – owned by Marguerite Ryan.
Ireland began their 2022 Europe Division 1 campaign with a fourth place finish at Sopot in Poland and this was followed by a podium finish on their second outing, when finishing third at Rotterdam in The Netherlands. Ireland are one of just two teams (along with France), who still have two opportunities to score points in the race to qualify for the 2022 FEI Nations Cup final in Barcelona. Michael Blake will be aiming for a good result in Hickstead, followed by another strong showing in their home Nations Cup in Dublin for the Aga Khan trophy, in order to see his side finish among the top seven teams, who will take their place in the Barcelona finale.
Ireland have a strong record in recent years in the British Nations Cup, having won on four occasions this century including 2000, 2001, 2012 and 2018. British Chef d’Equipe Di Lampard has named a strong squad for the home team including World Number 5 Ben Maher, Ellen Whitaker, Harry Charles, Jodie Hall McAteer and John Whitaker.
Along with Britain and Ireland, the list of Division 1 teams competing at Hickstead also includes Belgium, France, Germany and Sweden.
Michael Blake will confirm his four team members for the Longines FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain following the team draw on Thursday, July 28.
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