Splaine horse power request

November 8, 2011

Ireland show jumping manager Robert Splaine hopes the Army Equitation School can boost Ireland’s chances of qualifying two riders for the Olympics by loaning one of its top horses, Annestown, to Billy Twomey.

Corkman Twomey lies second in the Olympic rankings and is in line to earn Ireland a place in London 2012, while Tipperary rider Denis Lynch tops the leaderboard.

However, Splaine feels Twomey’s place is not secure, noting his string of horses could be stronger.

This resulted in the manager’s unusual request to McKee Barracks for the use of Annestown, usually ridden by Captain David O’Brien.

Splaine said: “Denis is doing exceptionally well and has very good resources, but Billy’s situation has weakened in terms of horsepower and he pulled out of the World Cup show in Verona at the weekend.

“He informed me that his stallion Je t’Aime Flamenco has not returned to form… and I am doing my utmost to strengthen his hand. Time is of the essence, he needs help and needs it now.

“It is my job to ensure we can get two riders to the Olympics and double our chances of achieving a medal.

“I sent the Army an e-mail, to ensure there was no misunderstanding. Annestown is the horse in question, but I would certainly discuss the use of other horses.

“This may be radical thinking, but really, all I was looking for is to explore all possibilities of securing the maximum number of places.”


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