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'A very difficult decision': Ireland's top showjumper Bertram Allen not picked for Olympics

Team manager Robert Splaine chooses in-form Greg Broderick for Rio place.

Broderick and MSH Going Global will represent Ireland in Rio.
Broderick and MSH Going Global will represent Ireland in Rio.
Image: Seb Daly/SPORTSFILE

TOP SHOWJUMPER BERTRAM Allen is set to miss the Olympics after Greg Broderick was picked ahead of him for Ireland’s only individual place in Rio.

Allen, 20, is currently 10th in the world and earned Ireland’s qualification by virtue of his high ranking.

But team manager Robert Splaine has opted instead to send the in-form Broderick and his horse MSH Going Global to Rio.

London 2012 bronze medallist Cian O’Connor and Beijing Olympian Denis Lynch were also under consideration for the Rio place and, along with Allen, all three have been named on the reserve list.

Ireland is currently the first reserve for an individual place, and for a team place, and could yet have the opportunity to send more riders to Rio.

“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.

It will be a first Olympic Games for Tipperary’s Broderick, who was part of Ireland’s victorious Aga Khan team at the Dublin Horse Show last summer.

Ranked 252nd in the world, his double-clear round helped Ireland to win last weekend’s Nations Cup leg in St Gallen.

Splaine added: “Greg Broderick and MHS Going Global have been outstanding contributors for Ireland in Nations Cups and have been consistent clear round jumpers at 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.”

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Team Ireland’s New Balance kit for Rio 2016 has been unveiled

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Niall Kelly

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