Brilliant podium finish for Irish Eventing team in Aachen SAP Cup

Sam Watson riding Ballyneety Rocketman (ISH) (Photo: Pam Cunningham/Irish Eventing Times)

Irish equestrian athletes continue to enjoy a superb week at the world famous Aachen arena in Germany, with the Irish Eventing team of Sam Watson, Ian Cassells, Austin O’Connor and Joseph Murphy, taking third place on the podium in the SAP Cup.

Ian Cassels riding Millridge Atlantis (ISH) (Photo: Pam Cunningham/Irish Eventing Times)

Ireland were in fifth place after Friday’s Dressage and Show Jumping phases and climbed two places to third after a strong performance in the final Cross Country phase to finish on a final score of 138.000. Britain claimed victory on 112.800 ahead of USA in second of the eight teams on 123.700.

Joseph Murphy with Calmaro (Photo: Pam Cunningham/Irish Eventing Times)

Speaking in the press conference afterwards, Carlow’s Sam Watson paid tribute to his fellow riders who continue to produce outstanding results despite not having the resources that are available to many other nations.

“It’s good to be here [on the podium]. Two big nations [Britain and USA] with big budgets. If we want something we have to the charity shop sometimes. The point I would make is, our owners that support us and our personal sponsors and we have Agria on board now as well, and that makes a big difference. But for me it’s the attitude {of his fellow riders], Austin O’Connor winning a five star, Lucy Latta at Badminton and the team winning at Millstreet this year – Ireland keeps punching away. When we can get the support to be as professional and have the system around us – we didn’t have our coaches here [in Aachen]. We have our manager [Dag Albert] who keeps us on the straight and narrow but we couldn’t have our Dressage coach and our Jumping coach because we don’t have the budget for it but we have the attitude so we will always be here,” Watson commented.

Austin O’Connor riding Isazsa (Photo: Pam Cunningham/Irish Eventing Times)

Ian Cassells was best of the Irish individually with Millridge Atlantis (ISH) taking 11th place just ahead of Joseph Murphy in 12th with Calmaro. Sam Watson finished in 23rd with Ballyneety Rocketman (ISH), with Austin O’Connor 34th aboard Isazsa.


BALLYNEETY ROCKETMAN (ISH) – 2014 bay stallion by Diamond Discovery (USA TB) our of Ballyneety Macrocket (ISH) by Errigal Flight (ISH). Bred by James Hickey, Co Limerick. Owner: Hannah & Sam Watson. Rider: Sam Watson (IRL).

MILLRIDGE ATLANTIS (ISH) – 2014 gelding by Dinan Cascaletto (ISH) out of Kereen Sue (ISH) by Warrenstown You 2 (ISH). Breeder: Sean O’Loughlin, Co Kilkenny. Owner: Fiona Leahy and Gerry Leahy. Rider: Ian Cassells (IRL)