Not just "The luck of the Irish".
There is no doubt that it takes a lot more than luck to win ten competitions in this years Samsung Nations Cup series, which is just what Irish show jumping teams have done. The list of their triumphs is long and distinguished - In October 99 they won in Athens (GRE.) in June 2000 teams were 3rd at Lucerne (SUI.), first again at Modena (ITA.), Helsinki (FIN.) and Drammen (NOR.). In July they won Falsterbo (BEL.), Lummen (BEL.), were 3rd in Aachen (GER.), and first again at in the Hickstead (UK.). In August they won the Aga Khan trophy in Dublin with the team in the picture, were first again in Rotterdam (NED.), fourth at Linz (AUS.) and in September they won again in Calgary (CAN.) making it their tenth win.
Their outstanding success is even more fantastic when you think that they are 24 points ahead of Germany which has ten times the number of riders and sports-horses than Ireland. So what puts them ahead? Well first of all Ireland has a great pool of talented riders to choose from. The riders who have represented Ireland have not always been the same ones, so that several talented pilots have had the chance to enjoy the opportunity and often the glory of competing abroad. Secondly, most of the riders have been younger riders mounted on Irish horses which are world renowned for their performance and even those who were not have grown up and been trained on Irish horses. Great credit must also go to The Show Jumping Association of Ireland and Tommy Wade for their organisation and support without which none of the success would have been possible.
In October the final team will go forwards to Rome in Italy to compete for the final time to win the Samsung Nations Cup. (October 12th - 15th) There they will be competing with the top six teams to qualify (including the home team) and two "wild card" teams in the finals. All of the teams in the finals will start off a scratch score and we wish them all a little "Irish luck" just to compliment their talented riders and horses.
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Updated: October 2005.