Mar, 2022

A hugely impressive performance in the early hours of Sunday morning from Michael Blake’s Irish Show Jumping team of Eoin McMahon, Max Wachman,  RED MILLS Rider Andrew Bourns and Cian O’Connor, saw them win the four-star Nations Cup at the Winter Equestrian Festival for the fourth time in the 21-year history of the competition at the Florida venue, with all 11 Nations that lined-out wearing yellow and blue arm bands in support of Ukraine during the competition.

Ireland’s win comes on the back of another victory for Michael Blake’s team in the opening FEI Nations Cup of the season at Abu Dhabi back in January.

Ireland were in a share of the lead with Canada at the halfway stage thanks to perfect clear rounds from Clare’s Eoin McMahon with Chakra 9, owned by Beerbaum Stables, Tipperary’s Max Wachman with Berlux Z, owned by Coolmore Showjumping and Galway’s Andrew Bourns with Sea Topblue (ISH), owned by Andrew Bourns. That meant Irish anchor rider, Meath’s Cian O’Connor, didn’t need to jump in the first round with with Cerruti Van Ter Hulst Z, owned by Ronnoco Jump Ltd.


Riding in the third spot for the Irish team, Bourns and Seatop Blue (ISH) were coming off a strong WEF circuit, having won the CSI4* Grand Prix during week three. They recorded just an unlucky four faults at the very last fence in round two.

“I was very happy with him tonight,” said Bourns of the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Chacco-Blue. “This is his first Nations Cup. I was a little worried he might come out in the second round and think it was a jump-off. But, after the second or third fence, I realized that I was right on the money with him.

“I’m very grateful, bringing a horse that hasn’t jumped in a Nations Cup before, to be on a team like this and to be given a chance to develop a horse in an atmosphere like this,” continued Bourns. “It really makes a big difference to professionals like me. To watch the likes of Max and Eoin go in and do so well is a very proud night. I think it was a good plan and well executed in the end.”