Ireland drawn second of eight teams for Aga Khan trophy

Brazil-born Rodrigo Pessoa looking forward to his first Aga Khan as Irish team manager

Ireland has been drawn second of the eight teams competing in Friday’s FEI Nations’ Cup for the Aga Khan trophy at the Dublin Horse Show.

The home team, which was announced on Thursday morning by manager Rodrigo Pessoa, comprises in line-out order, Bertram Allen on Ballywalter Farms' Molly Malone V, Mark McAuley who makes his Aga Khan debut on Eva Lundin's Miebello, Denis Lynch with Rushy Marsh Farm's RMF Echo, and Cian O'Connor riding Good Luck which is owned by Adena Springs and Ronnoco Jump Ltd.

After announcing his team, Brazil-born Pessoa said he was looking forward to his first Aga Khan as Irish team manager.

“This is, of course, a very special and important Nations’ Cup for us. There is so much history and prestige that goes with the Aga Khan at the Dublin Horse Show. At the start of the year, we said that the European Championships, which comes in a couple of weeks’ time, is our main focus for this season and we are saving some of our horses for that. But we are still lining up with what I think is a very good team for our home Nations’ Cup.”


Good run

Irish riders continued their good run at the show on Thursday with Tipperary's Greg Broderick following up his opening day success on John Carr's Zuidam by landing the Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge 1.45m speed Derby with the 13-year-old Guidam stallion.

In the afternoon’s 1.55m jump-off class, 21 combinations made it through to the second round where, in spite of being first to jump, Wexford’s Bertram Allen set an unbeatable time of 35.63 on the nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Izzy By Picobello which is owned by his family’s Ballywalter Farms.

USA-based Japanese rider Karen Polle finished second in 35.88 on With Wings as Broderick added to his week's prize money haul by placing third on Chinook II (37.08).