IRELAND’S 21-STRONG SQUAD READY TO DO BATTLE AT WORLD EQUESTRIAN GAMES

normandyIRELAND will be fielding a 21-strong squad across five disciplines in the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, which begin in Normandy, France, on Monday and run through to September 7.

Dressage and Para Dressage will be the first competitions in which the Irish are due to take part, both beginning on Monday.

In Dressage, the country is represented by James Connor, Anna Merveldt, Judy Reynolds and Roland Tong, while Para Dressage has Breda Bernie, James Dwyer, Helen Kearney and Kate Kerr-Horan taking part. Both events run until Friday of next week (August 29).

Meanwhile the Endurance discipline starts on Thursday (August 28) with Ireland represented by Tom McGuinness and Helen McFarland.

The Eventing championships also kick off on Thursday, and Ireland fields Clare Abbott, Aoife Clark, Sarah Ennis, Joseph Murphy, Camilla Speirs and Sam Watson.

Show Jumping sees the Irish squad of Bertram Allen, Cameron Hanley, Darragh Kenny, Denis Lynch and Conor Swail begin with the initial speed competition on Tuesday September 2, and finish with the final on Sunday September 7. The crucial team competition will be decided on Thursday September 4th.

In addition to the 21 Irish riders who will compete, a total of 32 Irish Sport horses will also take part at the event.

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy brings together close to 1,000 riders and 1,000 horses from 74 nations for 15 days of world-class competition in Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining.

Over 20,000 spectators are expected to attend Saturday’s opening ceremony at Caen’s d’Ornano Stadium.The World Equestrian Games take place every four years, halfway between sets of consecutive Summer Olympic Games, and are administered by the  world governing body, the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI).