Ireland’s Show Jumping team manager Rodrigo Pessoa has named his squad for the all-important Longines FEI Nations Cup World Final in Barcelona (ESP), which starts in less than a fortnight’s time on Thursday October 3rd, and is the very last chance for Ireland to secure a team qualification place for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The Irish squad includes the same five combinations which competed at last month’s European Championships in Rotterdam, where Ireland missed out on Olympic qualification by one place.
The Irish squad, sponsored by Devenish and The Underwriting Exchange, for the Longines FEI Nations Cup Final at CSIO Barcelona 2019 in alphabetical order is:
Offaly’s Darragh Kenny with Balou du Reventon – owned by Ann Thompson
Waterford’s Peter Moloney with Chianti’s Champion – owned by Team Harmony
Meath’s Cian O’Connor with PSG Final – owned by Ronnoco Jump Ltd
Limerick’s Paul O’Shea with Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu – owned by Machu Picchu Partners LLC
Cork’s Shane Sweetnam with Alejandro – owned by Seabrook LLC
Looking ahead to the crucial fixture, Rodrigo Pessoa says his team are ready for the challenge:
“Barcelona is always an important fixture as the Nations Cup World Final and this year it has special importance as the last chance to claim a team place at the Olympics. We are among a group of teams fighting for a spot in Tokyo and needless to say we are taking this extreme seriously and are very aware of the competition that we will be up against and the riders are ready to tackle the importance of the event.”
A total of 18 teams that includes Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, France, Germany, Britain, Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, USA and the home team from Spain, will battle for the title of FEI Nations Cup World Champions. Seven of those teams will be hoping to claim the one final Olympic team qualification place on offer, with Ireland in a battle with Norway, Portugal, Italy, Colombia, Egypt and Spain for the coveted ticket to Tokyo 2020.
The Longines FEI Nations Cup final in Barcelona will begin on Thursday, October 3rd, with the first qualifying round. The eight best teams will go directly to the final on Sunday October 6th, while the remaining teams will contest the Longines Challenge Cup on Saturday night, October 5th.
Ireland has already qualified full teams in Eventing and Dressage for the Olympics, with the Show Jumping team hoping to qualify for the first time since Athens 2004.
In addition to the competitions of the Nations Cup World Final, CSIO Barcelona will include five other individual competitions, including the Queen’s Cup, Segura Viudas Trophy and the Hyundai Cup of the City of Barcelona.
This is the 108th edition of CSIO Barcelona, which is Spain’s oldest international sport event.