Robert Splaine, Irish Chef d’Equipe: “The footing was great and the course designer did a great job. The second round was significantly harder, there is no doubt about that.
We have a lot of Irish riders based over here in the US, with great owners. I am always looking to broaden our base of riders so I come here quite often. It’s been a great competition today in a fantastic venue. These horses are unknown at this level, so if I can get 1 or 2 of them to come to Europe and jump in Division 1 that would be great. I would like to mention Lorcan (Gallagher) who did an absolutely fantastic job, he was the man of the match!
As Conor Swail said.. “On paper the US were very strong and the Canadians had their WEG team here, so this was a great result!”, the Irishman said afterwards. “It was my horse’s first Nations Cup and it was same for Kevin’s, and it was Lorcan’s first time to ride a Nations Cup while Darragh Kenny was on his speed horse!” he added.
Gallagher is relatively unknown in his native Ireland, but the 23-year-old from County Down, who had never before competed in a team at any level of the sport, has been based with Shane Sweetnam at Spy Coast Farm in Florida for the last few years. Sweetnam loaned him the horse for today’s competition, and he more than justified the faith placed in him by both the horse’s usual rider and Irish Chef d’Equipe, Robert Splaine. “I grew up watching Robert ride, and it’s a dream being here!” Gallagher said today.