Ireland’s eventers have a home international fixture this week as the Sema Lease Camphire International Horse Trials get underway tomorrow in Waterford.
As well as the individual classes at the picturesque Blackwater setting, the meeting includes a round of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup, and team manager Sally Corscadden has called on two of Ireland’s world championship stars in Sarah Ennis (Woodcourt Garrison) and Sam Watson (Imperial Sky) for the event along with emerging talents Fred Scala (Everon Vivendi) and Brian Morrison (Global Orchid).
“We want to produce a strong, competitive performance so it is great to have two of our World Equestrian Games silver medal-winning riders on the squad and to give up-and-coming riders Brian Morrison and Fred Scala senior experience, “ she said.
While the Irish eventing team have already qualified for next year’s Olympic Games, a number of the other nations taking part this weekend will be hoping this event can further their cause towards a Tokyo place.
Currently, Italy, Sweden, Netherlands and Switzerland are closely matched at the top section of the Nations Cup league table and these four will be keen to continue their momentum at Camphire, with one Olympic place up for grabs at the end of the series which has three further venues to visit.
New Zealand and Great Britain will also be in team action but, like Ireland, they have already secured their Olympic qualification, while Belgium (who haven’t) are also in the mix this weekend, needing a good result to put themselves in the league shake-up. The draw for the starting order in the team competition takes place today.
Meanwhile, Ireland’s show jumpers will be hoping for a repeat of last year’s winning performance when they return to Hickstead for Friday’s British Nations Cup.
Anthony Condon, who clinched victory in a jump-off with the host nation last year, will once again partner SFS Aristio. Also returning from last year’s team is Michael Duffy, who, this time, brings Mullaghdrin Touch The Stars following some impressive performances at five-star level of late.
Manager Rodrigo Pessoa has also named Mark McAuley (Utchan De Belheme), Capt Brian Cournane (Armik) and Paul O’Shea (Imerald van’t Voorhof) in his five-member squad for what will be Ireland’s last nations cup league outing before the Aga Khan contest in Dublin next month. Whatever about winning again, Ireland will be looking for a decent showing to keep on track for a place in the Nations Cup final.
Elsewhere, the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) moves to Berlin this week with Irish riders Denis Lynch, Shane Breen and Michael G Duffy involved.
This is the 13th round of the lucrative LGCT circuit, but yesterday it was announced the Canadian round in Montreal, due to be a venue-debut for the LGCT in September, has been cancelled. A statement cited the local organiser Le Tour des Champions de Montréal (TCM) as saying it was no longer able to ensure the organisation of the event.
“This decision was taken after a number of consultations with the various parties involved and the necessary conditions were not in place, in a timely manner, to guarantee the success of the Global Champions Tour of Montreal,” the LGCT statement said.
“It is with disappointment that TCM, a non-profit organisation, is withdrawing from the organisation of this event and for which great efforts and resources were put in place to present, in Montreal.”
Cork will stage the penultimate round of the TRM/Horse Sport Ireland New Heights Champions series this weekend in Maryville. Elizabeth Power and Doonaveeragh O One claimed last weekend’s round at Tattersalls, which put them into a share of fourth place in the league table beside Tim MacDonagh and Hollypark Galloway.
The standings are headed jointly by Francis Connors (Erne Ladygoldilocks) and Tholm Keane (BMH Big Time), with Jonathan Smyth holding third with Mulvin Lui.