SHOW JUMPING – SPLAINE NAMES RIDERS FOR FOUR-STAR FLORIDA COMPETITION

IRISH show jumping manager Robert Splaine tonight (Monday) named the six riders from which he will select the team of four that will represent Ireland in the four-star Wellington, West Palm Beach Nations’ Cup in Florida on Friday night.

The six are:
Kevin Babington with Shorapur
Richie Moloney with Carrabis Z and Slieveanorra (ISH)
Daragh Kenny with Imothep
Cian O’Connor with Quidam’s Cherie
Conor Swail with Grafton
Shane Sweetnam with Chaqui Z

Splaine commented: “Ireland is part of the 2015 top league/Furusiyya league and Lummen (29th April-3 May), La Baule (14-17 May) and St Gallen (4-7 June) fall in quick succession and pose a real logistical challenge early in the season.

“We have many riders in the USA now and an extra Nations’ Cup added to the schedule in Florida in February is welcome, as it presents an opportunity to view some extra combinations in the USA in team situations.

“As a result changes to the Ocala squad can be expected.

“Top league/Furusiyya league team jumping is the best preparation for our main goal, which is the European championships at Aachen in August. Having missed out by the narrowest of margins at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) at Normandy last year, the European championships represent the last chances for Ireland to qualify as a team for the Olympic Games in Rio 2016.”

Ireland won the Ocala Nations’ Cup in Florida earlier this month with Kevin Babington, Daragh Kenny, Conor Swail and Lorcan Gallagher.