Three Kildare riders qualify for Olympics

Ireland has announced an eleven member equestrian team for the Olympics in London and it is dominated by Kldare women.

Ireland has announced an eleven member equestrian team for the Olympics in London and it is dominated by Kldare women.

No less than three riders from the county will be competing for Ireland at the biggest sporting event of the year.

Athy’s Camilla Speirs was always looking certain to get the call for the eventing team but she is also joined by another Kildare rider, Naas woman Aoife Clarke. Their selection is great honour for the Kildare Pony Club as both graduated from the Club and tasted their first competitive success through this kindergarten for future stars.

The third representative will be Anna Merveldt. Raised in Naas, she is based in Italy but has been one of Ireland’s most successful dressage competitors over the years.

Her selection is a real personal triumph as a car crash in February left her unable to ride for a long period and it looked likely that she would be unable to secure the necessary points to qualify.

Anna will be one of the oldest competitors for Ireland at the Games at 50 years of years.

As well as a decorated career in competition, she is also an accomplished coach/trainer, and was trainer to the Italian junior and young riders until her recent Olympic qualification forced her to give this up.