Last Minute Switch Up to The Irish WEG Team
Three Irish riders have been called upon to ride at the World Equestrian Games (WEG).
Shane Breen with Ipswich Van De Wolfsakker is replacing Darragh Kenny with Babalou 41, in the Irish Showjumping Team.
The replacement comes after the mare, Babalou 41, ridden by Kenny and owned by Jack Synder, underwent colic surgery on Friday (31st August). Babalou is reportedly doing well within her recovery.
Micheal Duffy and EFS Top Contender now take the place as the travel reserve for the Irish team, travelling to the show grounds in Tyron next week.
Rodrigo Pessoa, Ireland’s Showjumping Team Manager, issued a statement explaining the situation and the reasons behind the choice of rider for Kenny’s replacement;
On Friday we learned of the problem with Darragh Kenny’s Babalou. This is very unfortunate as Darragh is a very solid team member. The mare has undergone surgery and is now back in rehab and we wish them all the best in their recovery. Shane Breen comes into the team with Ipswich. They have been in really good form this year, winning the five-star Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Monaco and were fourth very recently in a five-star Grand Prix at Valence in France. Shane is a very experienced rider and will be a valuable member of the team.”
In the statement, Pessoa continued with praise of Duffy, Team Ireland travelling reserve;
We have chosen Michael Duffy as the fifth man with EFS Top Contender. They were on the Nations Cup team in Gijon this weekend, jumping double clear with just a time fault and we feel Michael is a very valid fifth member of the squad. He will also be a key man on the ground which is very important for the stability of the group.”
Looking ahead, Pessoa made clear his objective of success at the WEG and “punching (their) ticket to Tokyo and Olympic qualification”, the team’s achievements at the European Championships spurring the “dream big” attitude.
News of the replacements to the showjumping team comes after Aoife Clark, with Fernhill Adventure, was replaced on Friday by Partricia Ryan and Dunrath Eclipse, within the Irish Eventing team.
Clark suffered a head injury after a fall of her horse, Master Rory, when he tripped on landing during the cross-country phase, at Millstreet’s CCI3*, on 25th August.
Sally Corscadden, Team Ireland’s Eventing Team Manage, announced the news;
Sadly for Aoife Clark, she has been ruled out through injury. This is most unfortunate for Aoife after producing a very good preparation run with her World Equestrian Games horse, Fernhill Adventure, when finishing sixth in the CIC3* in Hartpury.”
The first reserve for the Eventing team was Tim Bourke, but after his horse picked up a viral infection he became “out of contention”. Corscadden then went on to announce Ryan and Dunrath Eclipse, the second reserve, will be joining the team. Corscadden continued to wish the partnership the “best of luck”.