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Rotterdam - Ireland In Penultimate Battle For Super League Victory

THE IRISH team of Billy Twomey, Peter Charles, Cian O'Connor and the reigning World Show Jumping Champion, Dermott Lennon, line out this afternoon in Rotterdam to do battle for the Super League Nations Cup of the Netherlands.

With France pulling further into the league lead, Ireland, currently at No.2 on the overall rankings, badly needs a win at Rotterdam to close the gap between second and first place.

Lennon comes back into the Irish squad after a long absence. Both he and his most celebrated horse <Liscalgot> have been prone to unfortunate injuries for most of the year, but Lennon now has a new horse, <OBOS Quality>, with which he hopes to recreate some of the magic that won him the World Championship in Jerez last year.

O'Connor and Twomey are now battle-scarred veterans of several long Nations Cup campaigns, having first earned their spurs, so to speak, in the glorious and victorious Nations Cup Series of 99/2000, which Ireland won outright. Charles has been the backbone of the Irish team for longer than most people can remember, and the former European Champion returns to the ranks after a short absence.

The emphasis at Rotterdam today, under Chef d'Equipe Tommy Wade, will be on a decisive return to form after the disappointing Irish performance at the European Championships in Donaueschingen earlier this month, where the team finished an uncharacteristic fifth, though managing to obtain Olympic qualification in the process.

France must be caught, and Gt. Britain and Germany held at bay. It's a tall order, but Wade must push his team to their limits today. There's only one more competition left in the League after Rotterdam, and that's the September Final in Barcelona.

The Irish show jumping team may have qualified for Athens in 2004, but that is now too far away to be in focus, and the fans, and the selectors, will be paying careful attention to Rotterdam and Barcelona, expecting to catch the sweet smell of Nations Cup success once more.

Results websites for CSIO Rotterdam - OR

Results and news will also be carried on EFI website,


1. France - 47 points
2. Ireland - 41 points
3. Great Britain - 33 points
4. Germany - 23 points
5. Belgium – 16.5 points
6. Holland - 15 points
7. Sweden - 11 points
8. Italy – 8.5 points.


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