Sunday, May. 26, 2024

Greg Broderick Named To Represent Ireland At 2016 Olympic Games

Horse Sport Ireland announced that Jumping Team Manager Robert Splaine has chosen Gregory Broderick and MHS Going Global as the individual pair to represent Ireland at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, with Bertram Allen, Cian O’Connor and Denis Lynch named as the reserves.

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Horse Sport Ireland announced that Jumping Team Manager Robert Splaine has chosen Gregory Broderick and MHS Going Global as the individual pair to represent Ireland at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, with Bertram Allen, Cian O’Connor and Denis Lynch named as the reserves.

Broderick’s nomination to the Olympic spot raised some eyebrows as Allen is currently ranked 10th on the Longines FEI World Rider Rankings. Lynch is 32nd, while Broderick is ranked 252nd. Irish rider Cian O’Connor, who earned an individual bronze in the 2012 London Olympic Games and has expressed interest in representing Ireland in Rio, is ranked 58th.

“I have to say I’m over the moon and thankful to the owners, the Krugers, for keeping this great horse with me,” Broderick said in a statement. “I feel for Bertram who won the spot, and I’m sure he will represent us in many more Olympics. It was a huge call by Robert Splaine and HSI to put us forward, and we will do everything in our power to make Ireland proud.”

Broderick is part of a family breeding, training and sales operation in County Tipperary, Ballypatrick Stables. In 2015, he made his Irish championship team debut as he and MHS Going Global helped Ireland place seventh in the European Championships (Germany). They also jumped for Ireland at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Final (Spain).

MHS Going Global is a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding bred in Ireland by Ita Brennan (Quidan Junior I—Gowran Lady, Cavalier Royale). Most recently, he and Broderick jumped two clean rounds to help the Irish team win the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup at St. Gallen (Switzerland) on June 3 and then placed fourth in the Longines Grand Prix of Schweiz with two clean rounds. 

Ireland did not qualify a team for the 2016 Olympic Games, but they are the first reserve, so if any qualified team drops out, Ireland can field a team.

The Irish team’s opportunity for an Olympic berth disappeared at the final qualifying competition—the 2015 FEI European Championships—when a member of the ring crew darted in front of O’Connor and Good Luck on their way to a fence. Good Luck pulled the rail, and the Irish missed out on qualifying a team by 4 faults. O’Connor and the Irish federation protested the result due to the ring interference, but the FEI and the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the result of the competition

So Ireland lost its chance to send a team, but it still could send an individual athlete. Along with the 15 qualified teams, 15 individuals whose countries are not sending a team can qualify to go to the Olympic Games to represent their country. Ireland earned one of these individual spots thanks to the Olympic ranking and results of their youngest star, 20-year-old Allen. Ireland also earned the first reserve individual spot thanks to veteran rider Lynch’s ranking.  

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In a press release posted March 9 on Horse Sport Ireland’s website, chairman Prof. Patrick Wall is quoted saying: “Great credit is due to Bertram Allen and to Denis Lynch for the efforts they went to in trying to secure the places for Team Ireland.”

However, according to Olympic qualification rules, Allen and Lynch only earned those spots on behalf of Ireland—it’s up to the Irish federation to decide which athlete fills those spots and ultimately goes to the Games. 

“This has been a very difficult decision to make as we are fortunate that our four main contenders for the place are very strong,” Splaine said. “Greg Broderick and MHS Going Global have been outstanding contributors for Ireland in Nations Cups and have been consistent clear round jumpers at the five-star level. Their performance last weekend in St. Gallen, Switzerland, where they jumped a double clear in the Nations Cup to help Ireland to victory, and followed that up with two clear rounds in the grand prix, shows they are a combination at the very top of their form.” 

Broderick told Irish sports publication The Irish Field: “I am over the moon. I got the call at 9:30 this morning while I was at home here riding some 4-year-olds. But I really feel for Bertram; he is an absolute gentleman. I am very good friends with Bertram, and I was certainly hoping in St. Gallen last week that things would go his way.” 

Allen had a refusal and ended up posting a score of 10 faults in the first round of the St. Gallen Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup before riding a clear second attempt.

“Bertram earned the place for Ireland, and [owner Lee Kruger] was hoping he would get it,” Broderick continued in his statement to Irish Field. “We were certainly not trying to take the place from him but then Going Global came out and jumped fantastically well. He jumped two double clears in the Nations Cup and the grand prix, and the higher powers made the decision.”

O’Connor posted on Facebook Wednesday saying, “Massive congratulations to Greg Broderick on being selected by Robert Splaine with the Irish Sport Horse MHS Going Global as Ireland’s sole representative at this Summers Rio Olympics. A massive experience that they will relish and hopefully bring back a gold medal for Ireland.” 

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