Irish Show Jumping Team Manager, Rodrigo Pessoa, was in Dublin yesterday speaking for the first time since his appointment, Irish team manager.
Pessoa also named his squad for Ireland’s first points-scoring round of the 2017 Super League Nations Cup series, which takes place at La Baule in France on Friday May 12th.
The Irish La Baule squad, sponsored by Devenish and The Underwriting Exchange, is as follows:
Tipperary’s Kevin Babington (48), riding the 12 year-old mare Shorapur – owned by Shorapur LLC
Tipperary’s Shane Breen (42), riding the 12-year-old stallion Golden Hawk – owned by P. Sultan & Breen Equestrian
Galway’s Michael Duffy (22), riding the 11-year-old gelding Belcanto Z – owned by Alan Burnell
Tipperary’s Denis Lynch (41), riding the 14-year-old stallion All Star – owned by Thomas Straumann & Denis Lynch
Cork’s Shane Sweetnam (36), riding the 11-year-old stallion Chaqui Z – owned by Spy Coast Farm
Speaking in Dublin, triple Olympic medalist and now the Irish Show Jumping Team Manager, Rodrigo Pessoa said:
“La Baule will be the first step in our goal to maintain our position in the Super League Nations Cup series for next year. It is very important to have these rounds to prepare our team for the 2018 World Equestrian Games next year. Our three main objectives for the immediate future are to maintain our position in the top division of Nations Cup jumping – this years European Championships which will act as a dress rehearsal for our third goal – which is the World Equestrian Games next year. La Baule is our first points scoring round of the Nations Cup series. We are not taking it lightly and our aim will be to take maximum points.”
Rodrigo Pessoa fielded a relatively young Irish team for last weekend’s opening round of the Nations Cup series at Lummen in Belgium, which saw clear rounds for both Paul Kennedy and Michael Duffy, and a solid performance from Richard Howley, on what was a Super League debut for the Irish trio.
A new Nations Cup format for 2017 will see teams guaranteed invitations to six of the eight European Division 1 shows, with their four best results counting towards the league standings. Ireland’s first of six points-scoring Nations Cup rounds will come at La Baule in France next Friday. This will be followed by rounds at Rome (May 24th-28th), Rotterdam (June 22nd-25th), Falsterbo (July 13th-16th), Hickstead (July 27th-30th), and Ireland’s home Nations Cup at the RDS in Dublin on August 9th-13th, where teams will compete for the Aga Khan trophy.
Picture: Rodrigo Pessoa with OCI Chief Executive Stephen Martin.