Ireland scored a third place finish in their first points-scoring outing at the La Baule Nations Cup last week and will be looking to add to the 80 points they collected at the French venue when they line-out at Rome’s historic Piazza di Siena. Surprisingly Ireland have never won the Italian Nations Cup since it first started in 1926, with Italy holding the record of 27 wins on their home soil.
The Irish squad for Rome is as follows:
Louth’s Mark McAuley (30) with the 9-year-old gelding Utchan De Belheme – owned by Jocelyn Berthelot
Tipperary’s Shane Breen (42), riding the 12-year-old stallion Golden Hawk – owned by Prince Sultan & Breen Equestrian
Galway’s Michael Duffy (22), riding the 11-year-old gelding Belcanto Z – owned by Alan Burnell
Limerick’s Paul Kennedy (23) with the 11-year-old mare Cartown Danger Mouse (ISH) – owned by Jane Kennedy
Cork’s Shane Sweetnam (36), riding the 11-year-old stallion Chaqui Z – owned by Spy Coast Farm
Following the Rome Nations Cup, Ireland’s remaining Super League fixtures will be at Rotterdam (June 23rd), Falsterbo (July 14th), Hickstead (July 28th), and Ireland’s home Nations Cup at the RDS in Dublin on August 11th, where teams will compete for the Aga Khan trophy.
Irish Team Manager Rodrigo Pessoa (pictured), is looking forward to the challenge in Rome on the back of an impressive podium finish in the French Nations Cup,
“We are fielding a strong team in Rome and we hope to continue the good momentum from La Baule where we made a good start. We have a high hopes for the Italian Nations Cup. We are again testing some combinations for second time and the picture for rest of season will become a little clearer after the next competition which we looking forward to,” he said.
Michael Blake names squad for Lisbon
Meanwhile Irish Show Jumping Development Team Manager Michael Blake has also named his squad for the Division 2 Nations Cup at Lisbon in Portugal – which also takes place on Friday May 26th.
Blake will be hoping to build on an excellent win last time out in the Division 2 fixture at Drammen in Norway.
The Irish squad for Lisbon is as follows:
Greg Broderick with Charmeur – owned by Gretchen Biedron
Derek McCoppin with Zaire – owned by Caroline Philips
Sophie Dalm with Remake Lande – Roselane Stables
Dermott Lennon with Fleur IV – owned by Rebecca McGoldrick
Michael Pender with Can Ya Makan – owned by Team Z7
David Simpson with Keoki – owned by Julia Cruden
Michael Blake said:
“We have four very experienced riders in the squad, some with young but very promising horses and two riders [Derek McCoppin and Sophie Dalm] making their debut on an Irish Nations Cup squad. We will be hoping for another good result in Lisbon on the back of our win in Drammen. I want to thank the owners for making their horses available to the Irish team and we are looking forward to another exciting day of jumping.”