Team Ireland Equestrian Showjumping Team Manager Robert Splaine named the Irish Squad for the Aga Khan Trophy which takes place at the RDS on Friday, August 5th.
The squad, in alphabetical order, is Shane Breen, Nicola Fitzgibbon, Denis Lynch, Shane Sweetnam and Billy Twomey. Four of these five riders will jump on the team with one being the reserve. The Aga Khan Trophy will be the seventh leg in the FEI top level Nations’ Cup series. Ireland currently lies in second place in the series.
Speaking after the announcement Robert Splaine said that the Aga Khan was a huge occasion and that the riders were really looking forward to it.
“While the Aga Khan is the seventh leg of the Top Level Nations’ Cup series it also has the ‘X factor’ as our home Nations’ Cup with a huge tradition. Four of the riders I have named today are hugely experienced at this level and all except Shane Sweetnam have represented Ireland in the Aga Khan before, while 23 year-old Nicola FitzGibbon is also making her debut on an Aga Khan squad. Though securing Olympic Qualification at the European Championships in Madrid is our main target this year, to win the Aga Khan would be fantastic and the riders will be very focused,” he said.
The Squad is, in alphabetical order:
Shane Breen; Carmena Z
Nicola FitzGibbon; Puissance
Denis Lynch; All Inclusive NRW
Shane Sweetnam; Amaretto Darco
Billy Twomey; Tinka’s Serenade
(Counties: Shane Breen and Denis Lynch are from Tipperary, Billy Twomey and Shane Sweetnam from Cork, and Nicola FitzGibbon from Kildare.)
Splaine also confirmed the squad for the sixth leg of the Nations’ Cup series, which takes place at Hickstead, England on Friday next (July 29). It is:
Shane Breen; Luikka
Alexander Butler; Will Wimble
Jennifer Crooks; SF Uryadi
Denis Lynch; Lord Luis or Nabab’s Son
Billy Twomey; Romanov or Je t’Aime Flamenco