Having been named in the five-person squad last week, Ardee man Mark McAuley has been confirmed as part of Ireland’s four-strong team to represent the country in tomorrow’s AGA Khan Nations Cup at the Dublin Horse Show.
The 30-year-old showjumper has made the cut as Ireland’s team manager Rodrigo Pessoa named his team for Friday’s event. Bertram Allen (Molly Malone), Denis Lynch (RMF Echo) and Cian O’Connor (Good Luck) will join Mark and his Miebello on the Irish team.
Eight nations will contest the event, with the United States, Great Britain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland also competing. The draw for the starting order for the competition will take place later on Thursday. The event itself will be shown live on RTE Two on Friday at 3pm.
The Nations Cup event is the final qualifying round in the FEI Nations Cup Europe Division 1 – but Ireland are already all but guaranteed a place in the Nations Cup world finals in Barcelona next month.
The Ireland show jumping team will be aiming to add to the 23 Aga Khan trophies under their belt since the trophy was first awarded back in 1926. Hopes are high for more success in 2017.
Mark, who is based out of Switzerland, and the 13-year-old gelding Miebello have only been paired together by chance but have shown fine recent form. The Ardee man only started to ride Miebello after girlfriend Charlotte Mordasini had a fall and was forced off the saddle for several months.
Since then, they have placed second in the CS14* Grand Prix in Bourg de Bresse before a win in Rome and then helping Ireland to joint-third in the Italian Nations Cup event. He the took fourth in the five star Italian Grand Prix, bagging €20,000 in prize money for his efforts.
Miebello is owned by Eva Lundin and the Irish team will be sponsored by Devenish and The Underwriting Exchange in Friday’s Aga Khan Trophy.