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Michael Blake appointed as Horse Sport Ireland High-Performance Jumping Director

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Photo © Sportsfile Michael Blake has been appointed Horse Sport Ireland High-Performance Jumping Director. Photo © Sportsfile.


From press release from Horse Sport Ireland



Horse Sport Ireland has announced the appointment of Michael Blake as High-Performance Jumping Director, incorporating the role of Chef d’Equipe, of the Irish senior showjumping team. Blake follows Rodrigo Pessoa, who announced his departure from the position in November this year. 

Prior to this appointment, Blake held the roles of Team Ireland Senior Development Jumping Manager and Assistant Team Manager to the Irish senior showjumping team. Since 2017, Blake has played a key role in the success of Ireland’s senior showjumping team, including their recent win at the Nations Cup World Final in Barcelona and their 2017 win at the European Championships.

Speaking after his appointment, Michael Blake said:

“I am delighted to have been selected by Horse Sport Ireland to be the High-Performance Jumping Director and Chef d’Equipe of the Irish Senior Show Jumping team as we prepare for the Tokyo Olympics next August. It is a great honour and indeed a big responsibility to be entrusted with the task of being sole selector of our Olympic team but I will have the back-up of Horse Sport Ireland’s High-Performance Sport Team, High-Performance Operations Manager, Triona Connors and Head of Sport Legal and Governance, Avalon Everett as I give all our top athletes every opportunity to prove themselves for selection."

“I also want to place on record my appreciation of the owners who make their world class horses available to Team Ireland. This 32nd Olympiad is special for Ireland as we send three teams to compete in Dressage, Eventing and Jumping. It is important that Ireland goes as a team to contest the three individual and three team equestrian competitions and we support each other’s disciplines in Tokyo."

“Over the course of the last three years and throughout the Olympic qualification process as Assistant to Rodrigo Pessoa, a great team spirit was established amongst the 39 riders who competed for Team Ireland in show jumping. I want to maintain that team spirit and work it to our advantage. Ireland are the FEI Nations Cup Champions, so we travel to Tokyo as real contenders. I want to thank Horse Sport Ireland for the speedy but very extensive and exhaustive appointment process to decide who would be the Jumping High-Performance Director, it confirms that Ireland is regarded as a very strong Nation when it comes to Show Jumping. My job starts today to prepare us for the Olympics whilst ensuring the development of our athletes and our sport is maintained and improved.”


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