Irish Equestrian Teams for Olympics announced

SportsNewsIreland is delighted our blogger Michael Ryan has been selected by Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) to represent Ireland at the London Olympics this morning.

There will be five horse and rider combinations competing in the demanding sport and two reserves were also named. All seven horses chosen are Irish Sport Horses.

The team is

Aoife Clarke – Master Crusoe
Mark Kyle – Coolio
Joseph Murphy – Electric Cruise
Michael Ryan – Ballylynch Adventure

Camilla Speirs – Portersize Just a Jiff
1st Reserve Capt Geoff Curran – Shanaclough Crecora

2nd Reserve Sam Watson – Horseware Bushman

Ginny Elliot, HSI eventing high performance manager, made the selection from an initial panel of ten horse and rider combination. The Olympic three day eventing competition runs from 27 – 31 July.

The announcement comes after HSI confirmed that Billy Twomey and Denis Lynch would be Ireland’s Olympic showjumping representatives. Irish showjumping failed to qualify a team for the games but Twomey and Lynch achieved two individual Olympic places for the country. Under IOC rules those places could be allocated to any Irish rider but it was decided to give the slots to the men who earned them.

The Olympic nominations were made by showjumping team manager Robert Splaine. Twomey will ride Tinka’s Serenade and Abbervail van het Dingeshof will be the mount of Lynch.

HSI has worked closely with Irish showjumpers to avoid any repeat of the doping scandals which engulfed the sport at the last two Olympics.

“Since 2008 a number of measures have been put in place to address what happened at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic games. Since 2008 over 300 horses ridden by Irish riders have been tested during international competitions by the FEI and all have tested negative which is as it should be,” said Damian McDonald CEO of Horse Sport Ireland.

“The riders have gone out of their way to work with us on these issues and I know they are determined to ensure that Ireland and Irish show jumping is represented with distinction at the 2012 Olympic games in London,” he added.

Ireland will have strong representation in the equestrian events at the London games. Along with the eventers and showjumpers, Anna Merveldt will compete with her horse Coryolano in the dressage competition and Natalya Coyle will take part in the Modern Pentathlon.


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