Cian O’Connor in winning form ahead of tonight’s Longines League of Nations in Florida

Cian O’Connor and Fermoy Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

The Irish Show Jumping team are in five-star Longines League Of Nations action this evening (Saturday) at Ocala in Florida (USA), hoping to build on their runner-up finish from last month’s opening leg of the series at Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Ocala is the only North American stop on the prestigious new Longines League of Nations series, that sees the same 10 countries go head-to-head in team competition. There are only four events – Abu Dhabi (UAE), Ocala (USA), St. Gallen (SUI) and Rotterdam (NED) – leading up to the final in Barcelona (ESP) from October 3 to 6, 2024.

Ireland have been drawn ninth to jump of the 10 teams and line out as follows:

Offaly’s Darragh Kenny with Amsterdam 27, owned by Vlock Show Stables & Darragh Kenny

Cork’s Shane Sweetnam with Otis Blue, owned by Voquest LLC & Shane Sweetnam

Derry’s Daniel Coyle with Legacy, owned by Ariel Grange & Daniel Coyle

Meath’s Cian O’Connor with Maurice, owned by Pat Crean

The Irish team and manager Michael Blake pictured ahead of the Longines League of Nations in Ocala, Florida (USA).

Ireland’s anchor rider Cian O’Connor, will come into the competition full of confidence following a victory on Friday evening in the 1m50 winning round with the stallion Fermoy . Looking ahead to the $770,000 Longines League of Nations Team Competition, O’Connor is hoping for another big result.

“There’s always good teams and in Nations Cups you never know, but all the horses for Ireland didn’t jump the Grand Prix on Thursday,” said O’Connor of Ireland’s approach. “Some teams have used their horses already in the Grand Prix. Our strategy is to keep them fresh and have them in the best shape possible. We’re certainly trying our best. All four lads and our Chef d’Equipe, Michael Blake, are really serious about trying to get the job done.”

The Longines League of Nations in Ocala gets underway at 8.30pm Irish time with live coverage on FEITV.