The Irish Show Jumping team, sponsored by The Underwriting Exchange and Devenish, are among 17 teams that will line out at the much anticipated 2017 Longines FEI European Championships, which get underway in Gothenburg, Sweden this Wednesday August 23rd.
Irish team manager Rodrigo Pessoa made these Championships in Gothenburg the main focus for season when he took up the job back in March. Last month he named his European team, who welcome Equiline as clothing sponsors, as follows:
Bertram Allen with Hector Van D’Abdijhoeve – owned by Noel Delahunty/Connaught Bloodstock
Cian O’Connor with Good Luck – owned by Adena Springs & Ronnoco Jump Ltd
Denis Lynch with All Star 5 – owned by Thomas Straumann & Denis Lynch
Shane Sweetnam with Chaqui Z – owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC & Shane Sweetnam
Ireland’s reserve rider will be Mark McAuley with Miebello – owned by Eva Lundin
Speaking after today’s (Monday) trot-up, where all Irish horses were passed fit, Rodrigo Pessoa was looking forward to the week ahead,
“All five horses look in really great shape. We are all happy we have brought them this far and we are where we want to be. We will take each day as it comes and hope everything works out our way. A major Championship brings different challenges to Nations Cup jumping. You have to pace yourself starting with the speed competition on the opening day. We have a very experienced group of riders and we are confident we can do well.”
The FEI European Show Jumping Championships was first held in 1957 in Rotterdam, and takes place every two years between Olympic Games and World Equestrian Games.
The Irish team won European Championship team gold once before at Arnhem (NED) in 1991. Tommy Wade’s team included Kevin Babington (Carling King), Jessica Kürten (Bonita), Peter Charles (Corrada) and Dermott Lennon.(Liscalgot). Ireland won team bronze in 1979 in Rotterdam (NED) with Col Billy Ringrose as Chef d’Equipe and a team made up of Gerry Mullins (Ballinderry), Con Power (Rockbarton), John Roche (Maigh Cullin) and Eddie Macken with the legendary Boomerang.
Peter Charles won European individual gold for Ireland at St Gallen in Switzerland in 1995 riding La Ina, while Eddie Macken won the individual silver medal in Austria in 1977 riding Kerrygold.
All jumping competitions at the 2017 European Championships take place at the Ullevi Stadium – Sweden’s largest outdoor arena built in 1958. The 43,000 seater Ullevi Stadium hosted the World Athletics Championships in 1995 and the European Athletics Championships in 2006. The name Ullevi means “Ull’s kingdom or temple” and relates to Ull, the god of games and play in Old Norse mythology.
The Championships get underway this Wednesday morning with the opening speed competition starting at 7.45am Irish time. This will be followed by the second round of jumping on Thursday starting at 12.30pm. The 10 teams with the best scores following the first two rounds of jumping, will then go forward to Friday’s final round of the team competition under floodlights at 7.30pm, after which the team medals will be awarded. The top 25 individual riders will then qualify for the individual final which takes place on Sunday.
For the latest Irish scores as they happen from the Longines FEI European Championships see Team Ireland Equestrian on Twitter: @TeamIRLEq and on Facebook: @TeamIrelandEquestrian
Official Championship Hashtags: #FEIEuros2017 #Gothenburg2017 #jumping #ireland
Watch live on FEITV
Link to live results HERE