Millstreet international horse trials to open on Wednesday

Britain is fielding a team at the Co Cork venue as are France and the United States

Sarah Ennis on Woodcourt Garrison, has been named on the Ireland team to compete for the nations’ cup in Cork. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Sarah Ennis on Woodcourt Garrison, has been named on the Ireland team to compete for the nations’ cup in Cork. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

 

Riders from 11 nations are due to compete in the Millstreet international horse trials which open on Wednesday. They open with the official inspections of the Mike Etherington-Smith-designed cross-country courses at Drishane Castle before the draw for the FEI eventing nations’ cup in the Green Glens Arena that evening.

Four teams are contesting the nations’ cup for which Ireland’s team manager, Sally Corscadden, has named her quartet as: Co Down’s Clare Abbott with Cormac McKay’s Euro Prince, Co Meath’s Sarah Ennis with Breda Kennedy’s Woodcourt Garrison, England-based Cork native Austin O’Connor with Eugene McKenna and Wendie Foster’s Kilpatrick Knight and Co Kildare’s James O’Haire with Patricia Heffernan’s China Doll. Britain is fielding a team at the Co Cork venue as are France and the United States.

Individually, all the top home-based Irish internationals are due to compete at the event (including Cathal Daniels who is ranked 17th in the world) along with some coming back from England for the week. The line-up will also feature many of the leading British riders such as Francis Whittington, Millie Dumas, Holly Woodhead, Georgie Spence, William Fox-Pitt, Alexander Bragg, Ros Canter (currently the world No 2), Flora Harris, J.P. Sheffield and Hayden Hankey who judged the hunters at the recent Dublin Horse Show.

A huge draw for eventing fans will be the presence of leading French competitor Thomas Carlile and his stallion Upsilon, Alberto Giugni leads a large contingent from Italy, Andrew Hoy and Sam Griffiths will be among those competing for Australia, Bruce Haskell rides for New Zealand while Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Bruce Davison Jr are among those due to represent the United States.

As well as catering for established event horses from one to three-star levels in both the long and short formats of competition, Millstreet is running a CIC1* class for six-year-olds and Discovery classes for four and five-year-olds.

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