The Dublin Horse Show will host the last qualifying round in the FEI Nations Cup Europe Division 1, with the famous Aga Khan trophy up for grabs when teams do battle at the RDS in Ballsbridge this Friday August 11th.
The 2017 Irish Aga Khan squad is as follows:
Wexford’s Bertram Allen with Molly Malone V– owned by Ballywalter Farms
Louth’s Mark McAuley with Miebello – owned by Eva Lundin
Tipperary’s Shane Breen with Golden Hawk – owned by Prince Sultan, Breen Equestrian Ltd, & Shane Breen
Meath’s Cian O’Connor with Good Luck – owned by Adena Springs & Ronnoco Jump Ltd
Tipperary’s Denis Lynch with RMF Echo – owned by Rushy Marsh Farm LLC
Ireland finished in fourth place at the last round of the Nations Cup series in Hickstead to all but guarantee a place in the Nations Cup world final in Barcelona at the end of September.
Team manager Rodrigo Pessoa is hoping for another good result in Friday’s Aga Khan which comes just two week’s before the start of the European Championships in Gothenburg,
“Obviously Dublin is very important for us. We haven’t won a Nations Cup so far this year. We have been close on a few occasions but if we are to win just one this year our home Nations Cup would be the perfect place to do it, Pessoa said.
“Of course we have our main objective for the season at the European Championships coming two weeks after Dublin and we are saving some combinations for that but I am happy that we have a strong squad for Dublin and we will not be taking the competition lightly.”
Pessoa has fond memories of competing himself at the RDS and is looking forward to leading out his team in Ballsbridge on Friday,
“The Dublin Horse Show is very special and the RDS is a historic venue. I last competed there myself in 2010 and it will be an honour and a privilege to lead out the Irish team in front of the home fans but most of all I am hoping I can get my hands on the famous Aga Khan trophy on Friday,” he concluded.
Ireland has won the Aga Khan trophy 23 times since it was first awarded in 1926, with Ireland’s last victory coming in 2015.
The Dublin Horse Show gets underway on Wednesday at the RDS. Rodrigo Pessoa will name his four Aga Khan team members on Thursday with eight top Nations battling for the Aga Khan Trophy on Friday afternoon live on RTE TV. Other highlights during five days of action include the Young Horse classes sponsored by Horse Sport Ireland, the Land Rover Puissance on Saturday and the Longines International Grand Prix of Ireland on Sunday.