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Irish horses dominate WEG eventing

Sam Griffiths and Paulank Brockagh.

Australia’s Sam Griffiths and Irish Sport Horse Paulank Brockagh are among the starters at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games next week. © Mike Bain

Irish horses competing at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games outnumber Ireland’s 21-strong squad of athletes, with 32 horses representing 14 countries in three disciplines.

Ireland is fielding 21 riders across five disciplines, with dressage and para-dressage the first competitions for the squad, on Monday.

Bramham CCI3* winners Aoife Clark and Fenya's Elegance.

Irish eventing team members Aoife Clark and Fenya’s Elegance. © Mike Bain

Nearly all of the Irish Sport Horses are competing in eventing. The exceptions are the two showjumpers, Suma’s Zorro, who is being ridden by Sameh el Dahan for Egypt, and Castlefield Eclipse, ridden by Switzerland’s Paul Estermann. And two Irish para-equestrians, Breda Bernie and Helen Kearney, ride Irish Sport Horses; Master Mexico and Mister Cool, respectively.

Ireland’s eventing team of Clare Abbott, Aoife Clark, Sarah Ennis, Joseph Murphy, Camilla Speirs and Sam Watson, are all mounted on Irish Sport Horses, and several of the other teams are dominated by Irish bred horses, including Australia, Sweden, Britain, Italy, and the USA, which each have three Irish bred horses on their teams.

In dressage, Ireland is represented by James Connor, Anna Merveldt, Judy Reynolds and Roland Tong, while Para Dressage also has  James Dwyer and Kate Kerr-Horan taking part. Both events run until Friday, August 29.

The Endurance discipline starts on August 28 with Ireland represented by Tom McGuinness and Helen McFarland.

Eventing also starts on Thursday, and Ireland fields Clare Abbott, Aoife Clark, Sarah Ennis, Joseph Murphy, Camilla Speirs and Sam Watson.

Irish bred horses at WEG 2014

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  1. John Watson says:

    Fascinating to read it all and a super link to a very good list of the individual horses. I genuinely do not know the answer, but the interesting question is that it seems very clear that the proportion of Traditionally-bred Irish blood at this level is way higher than we are finding in the present population generally, especially in younger horses. Is this because it’s a vital ingredient for top performance or because these at WEG are inevitably a crop of older horses and the Irish are just stopping making them any more ?? !!. What we need is a prophet who can tell whether in 2 WEG’s time (hopefully in Millstreet?!) the Irish proportion (whether Warmblood, WBX or Traditional) will have gone up or gone down. Whatever it does, those animals are on the ground already and there is not going to be very much, except training or changing the nature of Equestrian sport, that can change what is going to happen.. The dice has already rolled.. If you value Traditional Irish Blood, your support is needed (via http://www.TIHA.ie) or very soon the only choice left in the market will what you are prepared to pay for !!

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