Sam Watson (far left) and Sarah Ennis (third from left) will be on the Irish Eventing team this weekend in The Netherlands for the Boekelo Nations Cup
Carlow's Sam Watson returns to international competition this weekend just over three weeks after returning from the World Equestrian Games in North Carolina, USA, where he won silver medal on the Irish Eventing team.
The Nurney native will compete in the final Nations Cup of the season at Boekelo in The Netherlands.
Sam and Meath’s Sarah Ennis have been named with two of their younger horses, as team manager Sally Corscadden begins the task of building a large pool of horses and riders to choose from, with an eye on the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 following Ireland’s successful qualification at the World Championships.
Speaking ahead of Boekelo, Sally Corscadden said: “We are really looking forward to the Boekelo Nations Cup competition as it is always a great event with the top nations involved.
"Our target is to be on the podium again and we are in the lucky position to have two of our World Equestrian Games silver medalists – Sarah Ennis and Sam Watson, available with their younger horses.
"It is a perfect opportunity to include new combinations to experience riding on a team in a long format event. Meabh Bolger will make her Nations Cup debut with Killossery Athletic Touch (ISH) and Brian Morrison will be on his Millstreet mount Milchem JJ," she added.
The Irish team for Boekelo Nations Cup is as follows:
Sam Watson with Tullabeg Flamenco (ISH) – owned by Vahe Bogossian
Sarah Ennis with Woodcourt Garrison (ISH) – owned by Breda Kennedy
Meabh Bolger with Killossery Athletic Touch (ISH) – owned by Meabh Bolger
Brian Morrison with Global Milchem JJ – owned by Global Event Horses Ltd
1st Reserve – Declan Cullen with Seavaghan Ash (ISH)(TIH) – owned by Becky Cullen
Sam arrives in Boekelo boosted by the news that his World Equestrian Games silver medal win has seen him rise into the top 10 on the Eventing World Rankings.
Team and individual silver medal winner Padraig McCarthy has moved up to No.17, while Galway’s Cathal Daniels in now at No.22. Sarah Ennis meanwhile has climbed a massive 79 places and now sits at No.35
Boekelo Nations Cup is expected to attract over 60,000 spectators and gets underway this Thursday with the first of two days of Dressage.
The Cross Country phase takes place on Saturday before Sunday’s final Show Jumping phase. Along with the Irish team, the list of entries for Boekelo includes riders representing Australia, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and USA.