Greg Broderick acknowledged he was “hopeful more than confident” ahead of his surprise nomination yesterday as Ireland’s sole show jumper at the Olympics with MHS Going Global.
The Tipperary rider returned to top-tier action in explosive fashion last weekend, being the only rider to produce double clears in both the nations cup and grand prix at the five-star show in St Gallen, Switzerland, with the 10-year-old Irish-bred gelding, owned by Canadian Lee Kruger of Caledonia Stables.
The performance was enough to convince Ireland manager Robert Splaine he was the best option for Rio ahead of contenders enis Lynch, Cian O’Connor, and Bertram Allen.
Broderick’s nomination was a surprise for one main reason: He and the Irish-bred MHS Going Global had not jumped at the elite end of the sport since the Furusiyya Series Nations Cup final in Barcelona, Spain, last September and he acknowledged yesterday he was conscious of this.
Asked if he was surprised at receiving the nomination, he said: “I would have been hopeful more than confident, as we had a slower start to the year. I had surgery on my groin, which kept me out for three months, but I’m fit and raring to go now.”
On his facebook page, he thanked the Krugers for “keeping this great horse with me” and, while he said he was “over the moon”, he expressed sympathy for Allen.
“I feel for Bertram, who won the spot, and I’m sure he will represent us in many more Olympics.
“It was a huge call by Robert Splaine and HSI to put us forward and we will do everything in our power to make Ireland proud,” said Broderick, who operates out of Ballypatrick Stables near Thurles.
Splaine said in a press release issued by Horse Sport Ireland that current form made Broderick the standout in the quartet of riders vying for the spot.
”This has been a very difficult decision to make, as we are fortunate that our four main contenders for the place are very strong.
“Greg Broderick and MHS Going Global have been outstanding contributors for Ireland in nations cups and have been consistent clear round jumpers at five-star level. Their performance last weekend in St Gallen, Switzerland, where they jumped a double clear in the nations cup to help Ireland to victory, and followed that up with two clear rounds in the grand prix, shows they are a combination at the very top of their form.”
Last year, Broderick and Going Global also produced double clear rounds in Ireland’s nations cup win in Dublin, having done likewise in St Gallen, where the team finished third. There remains a sliver of Olympic hope for Allen (Molly Malone V), O’Connor (Good Luck), and Lynch (All Star 5), as Ireland is first reserve for an individual place and team place at Rio de Janeiro, with Splaine naming the trio as reserves,though in no particular order, should either option open up between now and the definite entry date of July 18.
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