Irish Show Jumping team manager Rodrigo Pessoa has named his team for tomorrow's crucial Nations Cup at the Dublin Horse Show where the coveted Aga Khan trophy will be up for grabs.
Bertram Allen, Mark McAuley, Denis Lynch and Cian O’Connor have been selected on the four-man team and Pessoa says he is eagerly looking forward to his very first Aga Khan as Irish team manager.
"This is of course a very special and important Nations Cup for us," he said.
"Of course at the start of the year we said that the European Championships, which comes in a couple of weeks time, is our main focus for this season and we are saving some of our horses for that. But we are still lining up with what I think is a very good team for our home Nations Cup."
The Dublin Horse Show is hosting the last qualifying round in Europe Division 1 of the FEI Nations Cup series. Ireland finished in fourth place in the penultimate round in Hickstead a fortnight ago to all but guarantee a place in the Nations Cup world final in Barcelona at the end of September.
Six teams - Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain and Ireland will be competing for Nations Cup points in the Aga Khan, while Britain and USA will also field teams but will not be eligible for points.
Ireland have an excellent record in their home Nations Cup, winning the Aga Khan trophy 23 times since it was first awarded in 1926. However Pessoa's team will face a tough challenge, not least from Britain who will be looking to add to their impressive total of 26 Aga Khan wins.
Live television coverage of the Dublin Cup of Nations begins tomorrow on RTÉ 2 at 1.45pm.