Olympic qualification the aim for Irish Dressage team

Horse Sport Ireland
NB Ireland DSC 0303

After months of preparation and anticipation, the 2019 Longines FEI European Dressage Championships get underway at Rotterdam in The Netherlands today, where the Irish ‘Girls In Green’ arrive with the aim of securing Olympic team qualification for the first time in history.

A total of 70 Dressage athletes from 24 countries will contest the medals with 15 nations fielding full teams. Five European nations – Germany, Britain, Sweden, Netherlands and Spain have already qualified for Tokyo 2020 following their performances at the 2018 World Equestrian Games. Three tickets to Tokyo are up for grabs this week for teams who have not yet qualified for the Olympics, with Ireland set to battle with Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Luxembourg and Portugal.

The Grand Prix competition to decide the team medals and Olympic qualification places is spread over two days. Kate Dwyer riding Snowdon Faberge will be the first Irish combination into the arena this morning at 9.20am Irish time, followed by Heike Holstein with the Irish-bred Sambuca at 1.40pm. The remaining two Irish riders, Anna Merveldt with Esporim and Judy Reynolds with Vancouver K, will be in action on Tuesday.

Horse Sport Ireland has appointed Milan Djordjevic as Chef d’Equipe for the European Dressage Championships. Milan, a Serbian born FEI Steward, has officiated at numerous high-profile international Dressage competitions and brings over 20 years experience as a high-performance rider, coach, Dressage judge, steward and event organiser in the Balkan region.

photo credits: Nils Boeser

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