Ireland’s second biggest equestrian event, Tattersalls International Horse Trials takes place this weekend and is the final opportunity to attain Olympic qualification.
While competitors from at home and abroad will be trying to win the event at Tattersalls, they will also be eager to put in good performances to impress their countries’ Olympic selectors.
Horse Sport Ireland’s Eventing High Performance Manager Ginny Elliot has confirmed that she will nominate Ireland’s selected combinations to the OCI (Olympic Council of Ireland) on 2nd July.
“This weekend will be very important and the pressure will be on all combinations to deliver an eye catching performance,” said Elliot, who is herself a four-time Olympic medallist.
“It would be great to get a big Irish crowd at the event to create the sort of pressure cooker atmosphere we will have at the Olympic Games,” she said.
Ireland is currently guaranteed three places in eventing at the Olympics but this could increase up to five depending on other countries’ results in other Olympic qualification events.
Horse Sport Ireland Chairman Joe Walsh said: ”If you are into sport of any kind Tattersalls is the place to be this weekend. In what other sport can you see so many of the main Olympic contenders from several countries competing in a vital Olympic trial in Ireland this close to the games? Even Zara Phillips is missing the Queen’s Jubilee to compete at the event!” he said.
Ireland has also secured two show jumping places at London as well as a first ever Paralympic equestrian team of four.
In addition Co. Meath’s Natalya Coyle is mathematically assured of a first ever Olympic place in another HSI discipline, Modern Pentathlon.