Ireland’s six event horses and single dressage horse have arrived in Kentucky Horse Park for the Equestrian World Championships.
The Irish horses are part of the biggest commercial airlift of horses ever, with almost 450 horses being flown to the USA from Europe. 600,000 spectators are expected to visit the venue over the 16 days of the games, which take place every four years.
The Irish horses’ journey began last Wednesday when they left the final training camp to travel to Liege airport in Belguim where they were loaded onto a nine hour flight to Cincinnati, where they then spent 42 hours in quarantine.
The horses were under the care of Horse Sport Ireland’s team vet Marcus Swail, who travelled with them.
The games incorporate eight World Championships, including championships in the four Olympic disciplines of Show jumping, Eventing, Dressage and Para-dressage.
These Championships represent the first chance to qualify Irish teams for the Olympic Games in London. To achieve this the Eventing and Show Jumping teams must finish in the top five at the games.
Ireland will have 14 combinations competing at the Games, including teams in Show Jumping and Eventing. The opening ceremony takes place on Saturday next, 25 September, with the eventing element beginning on 30 September.
Ireland’s show jumping horses will leave for Kentucky on Monday 27 September, as the show jumping element does not begin until 4 October.
OVERALL CHEF DE MISSION: Colonel Ned Campion
TEAM VETERINARIAN: Marcus Swail
Chef d’Equipe: Robert Splaine
Dermott Lennon – Hallmark Elite
Denis Lynch – Lantinus or Nabab’s Son
Cian O’ Connor – K Club Lady
Billy Twomey; Tinka’s Serenade or Je T’aime Flamenco
Chef D’Equipe: Ginny Elliot
Capt. Geoff Curran – The Jump Jet
Mark Kyle – Step in Time
Elizabeth Power; Kilpatrick River
Patricia Ryan; Fernhill Clover Mist
Camilla Spiers; Portersize Just a Jiff
Sam Watson; Horseware Bushman
Chef D’Equipe: Bettina Hinneman
Judy Reynolds – Remember