Next week (April 21) a total of nine Irish riders with ten horses will line out for one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events, the four-star Badminton Horse Trials in England.
Badminton, which is broadcast live every year on BBC television, attracts a quarter of a million spectators and is regarded as the UK’s largest outdoor sporting spectacle.
The Irish contingent will include six Irish-bred horses, and features two of the three Irish riders who finished in the Badminton Top 20 last year – 21 year-old Camilla Speirs and 36 year-old Mark Kyle.
The rest of the Irish group are Aoife Clark (with two horses) Capt. Geoff Curran, Joseph Murphy, Elizabeth Power, Michael Ryan, Louise Lyons and Sarah Wardell. One of last year’s top 20 finishers, Carlow’s Sam Watson, had to withdraw this week because of a recent injury to his Irish-bred gelding ‘Horseware Bushman’.
Only 92 of the world’s top riders make the cut for acceptance in the Badminton competition list, and the selection is based on each
combination’s ranking points.
Two other Irish combinations remain on the waiting list – Mark Kyle with the Irish-bred ‘Nitetime Cavalier’ and Louise Lyons with another Irish-bred horse, ‘Watership Down’.
EVENTING: BADMINTON GREAT BRITAIN – 4 Star
Aoife Clark with Master Crusoe (ISH) and Vaguely North; Capt. Geoff Curran with The Jump Jet (ISH); Mark Kyle with Step In Time; Joseph
Murphy with Electric Cruise (ISH); Elizabeth Power with Kilpatrick River; Michael Ryan with Old Road (ISH); Camilla Speirs with Portersize
Just A Jiff (ISH); Louise Lyons with Murphy’s Miracle (ISH); Sarah Wardell with Killeenduff Boy (ISH)
BBC Sunday 24th April: 11.50 am – 5.45 pm Cross Country live on Red Button
BBC Monday 25th April:1.00 pm – 3 pm BBC 2 – Cross Country Highlights and Show Jumping Live.