New faces on Irish para dressage team for Europeans

The Irish para dressage team has been revealed ahead of next week’s FEI European Championships (21 to 25 August).

The three-strong team are on new rides for the championships, held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

This will also be the first senior championship appearance for two of the three Irish competitors.

Rosemary Gaffney heads the squad, with two previous European Championship appearances on her CV. The grade IV rider competed at the 2011 and 2013 events with Aldham Mill Dubloon and Ustero respectively.

She will ride the 10-year-old bay mare Werona, by Painted Black, in Rotterdam.

Rosemary is joined by Michael Murphy, grade I, and Tamsin Addison, grade V, who are both making their senior championship team debuts.

Michael rides the 15-year-old Danish warmblood Skjoldsgaard Hippo-VO, by His Highness, and Tamsin is aboard the 11-year-old daughter of Blue Hors Don Schufro, Donna Siesta.

Kate Kerr-Horan had also been entered but had to withdraw her ride Serafina T for veterinary reasons.

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Irish para dressage chef d’equipe Dara Kearney said Horse Sport Ireland is delighted to field “a very credible team for the European Championships”.

“They are all first season combinations and it is a testament to their hard work, commitment and dedication to their sport that they have met our criteria to compete,” she added.

“The European Championships are one of three major competitions on our calendar this year so it is vital for the future of this young squad to be there.

“I am very confident they will compete to their highest standard and gain much needed experience at this level.”

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