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WITH the Olympic Games in Rio just over three months away, Horse Sport Ireland held a media day at the National Horse Sport Arena at the National Sport Campus in Abbotstown today (Tuesday), with many of the potential Olympic Equestrian athletes in attendance.
Ireland has qualified seven Equestrian places for Rio 2016, including a full team of four Eventing riders, individual Show Jumping and Dressage riders, along with securing one Paralympic place.
The Melbourne Games introduced the practice of athletes marching into the closing ceremonies together, not segregated by nation.
The remoteness of Australia and two international crises accounted for the low number of participants; fewer than 3,500 athletes from 67 countries attended the Games. R.: Blood in the Water); the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland boycotted in protest against the Soviet invasion.
A squad of 10 Eventing riders have been in intense training since the beginning of 2015, under the watchful eye of Team Manager Nick Turner.
While Ireland failed to qualify a full Show Jumping team, one individual place has been secured.
A guard of honour was also formed as a mark of respect as around 400 people turned out to see off PC Dave Fields - described as an 'amazing husband, father and friend' by his family - at Grenoside Crematorium this afternoon."He really enjoyed his job and was proud to be a police officer.
He was brave, funny and a well-respected member of his team, who he saw as close friends rather than just colleagues."He made us all proud every day and will be missed so much.
After more than 100 years, gender equality is still more goal than reality in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games where there are more men's events (161) than women's and mixed events (145).