'I knew it was a very important round' - Offaly showjumper reacts to qualifying for the Olympics

Justin Kelly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly

Email:

news@offalyexpress.ie

'I knew it was a very important round' - Offaly showjumper reacts to qualifying for the Olympics

'I knew it was a very important round' - Offaly showjumper reacts to qualifying for the Olympics

Offaly's Darragh Kenny has reacted to his performance as the Irish showjumping team qualified for the Olympic Games for the first time in 15 years over the weekend.

The team of Peter Moloney, Paul O’Shea, Darragh Kenny and Cian O’Connor secured a ticket to Tokyo by claiming a magnificent victory in Sunday's €1.25 million Longines FEI Nations Cup World Final in Barcelona.

A stunning performance from Rodrigo Pessoa’s team saw them finish the competition on a score of just one time fault, to beat the best teams in the world and claim the one Olympic spot up for grabs.

The result means that for the first time in history, Ireland will be represented at an Olympic Games by teams in Eventing, Dressage and Show Jumping.

Reacting afterwards, Offaly's Darragh Kenny said: "I knew going in the ring that it was a very, very important round for us and I knew we had a great chance of getting the ticket done with that round so I was a bit nervous going in the ring but I am very lucky that I have an incredible horse, he is absolutely amazing.

"He tries so hard all the time. On Thursday he jumped amazing and today [Sunday] I was just trying to make sure that I left all the jumps up.”

A day of drama saw Waterford’s Peter Moloney and the Team Harmony-owned Chaiti’s Champion get Ireland off to a good start when he finished with just one fence down, which was the best round of the competition at that stage.



Darragh Kenny and Balou Du Reventon (Photo: Sonya Hennessy)


Irish team manager Rodrigo Pessoa said: “We had a very clear objective coming here, to get the ticket [to Tokyo] and the five riders that were here fought really hard. It’s a lot of pressure. People don’t really realise the amount of pressure that is on these riders to bring this qualification home. The weight of the country is on their shoulders. It was a big ask for them today and to do it the way that they did  – hats off to all five of them.”