Sligo’s Richard Howley is one of four riders in the Irish show jumping team for today’s penultimate round of the FEI Nations Cup series at Hickstead in the UK.
Howley will partner 10-year-old gelding Chinook for today’s event, which is part of the European Division One and is Ireland’s fifth of six points-scoring rounds as they continue their quest to qualify for the Nations Cup world final in Barcelona.
Ireland have been drawn first to jump of the eight teams in action today, with Howley set to line out second for the Irish.
The Irish lineout is:
Derry’s Daniel Coyle with the 11-year-old mare Cita – owned by Susan & Ariel Grange
Sligo’s Richard Howley with the 10-year-old gelding Chinook – owned by Mr & Mrs Aitkenhead
Kilkenny’s Richie Moloney with the 10-year-old stallion Ypaja Yando – owned by Equinimity LLC
Cork’s Shane Sweetnam with the 9-year-old gelding Main Road – owned by Sweet Oak Farm & Seabrook LLC
Irish team manager Rodrigo Pessoa said: “We are really looking forward to the Nations Cup here in Hickstead. It would be great if we could put to bed our qualification for the final in Barcelona with a good result. We have two new combinations [Daniel Coyle with Cita and Richie Moloney with Ypaja Yando] who haven’t jumped on our team in Europe so far this year and we are all hoping for a good result. We are drawn first to go and if we are first at the end we will all be very happy.”
Along with Ireland, teams from Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain and Sweden will be competing for points in Hickstead, while the home team from Britain and Rodrigo Pessoa’s native Brazil will also field teams but will not be eligible for points.
Following Hickstead, just one round of the 2017 Nations Cup series will remain – at the RDS in Dublin on August 11th where teams will compete for the Aga Khan trophy. The top seven teams in Europe Division 1 will qualify for the Nations Cup world final in Barcelona which takes place at the end of September.
The Hickstead Nations Cup begins at 2.15pm today.