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History of the Aga Khan Trophy 2016-07-20

Wednesday, 2016, July 20
Aga Khan Trophy, Ireland 2016-07-20

History of the Aga Khan Trophy
•The trophy has been won 5 times. By the Swiss in 1930, Ireland in 1937 and 1979, Britain in 1953 and 1975.
•Since its inception, nearly 50% of the horses that took part on victorious Aga Khan teams were Irish bred.
•In 1925, Colonel Ziegler of the Swiss army met Hon W.E. Wylie, K.C. and suggested that if Ireland could stage an international competition at Ballsbridge it would be great way of exhibiting Irish horses on a world platform.
•The year 1932 saw the beginning of Irish supremacy in Show Jumping. Since the foundation of the Army Equitation School, the Irish Military teams have grown from strength to strength.
•The late Aga Khan donated the magnificent trophy in 1926 in appreciation of all the pleasures he had had at previous horse shows and in gratitude of his Irish tutor, Mr. Kenny. The first competition was held in 1926. This trophy is known as the “Nations` Cup”.
•Friday of Horse Show week, having no major attraction, was chosen as the most appropriate day to hold the competition for this trophy.
•Six teams took part in the first international competition in 1926 - Switzerland, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Holland and Ireland. Switzerland was the first country to have its name inscribed on the cup.
•The following year the Swiss returned to defend and retain the trophy, but in 1928 Ireland won its first home victory!
•Conditions attached to the first trophy were that a country winning it three times, not necessarily in succession, would win it outright. In 1930 Switzerland achieved this riding 3 Irish horses, thus capturing the first trophy. The Aga Khan as a result of Switzerland’s outright victory provided a new trophy.
•A new system of judging was introduced in 1930 and to win the trophy it was necessary to have 3 wins in succession.
•In 1937 there was immense celebration as the Irish team was triumphant and won the second trophy. The Irish team needed a faultless round to win. Red Hugh never put a foot wrong. The crowds waited in anticipation for the result from the judges. Finally the gong struck and Ireland were declared the winners. The winning team was Comdt. J.G. O`Dwyer on Clontarf, Captain J.J Lewis on Glendalough and Captain D. Corry on Red Hugh.
•In 1938 the third trophy was introduced.
•The last Military Contest for six years took place just 4 weeks before World War II shattered world tension. But for 2 hours, some 30,000 people forgot their worries and watched the French halt Irelands run of successes.
•The United States recorded their 1st victory in the Aga Khan Cup in 1948, and they became the first non-European winners.
•Each country was represented by a team of four horses, with the best three counting at the finish. This had very obvious advantages and has been embodied in the competition ever since.
•Speed competitions that were so popular on the Continent, became a feature of the Aga Khan Trophy in 1951, when a time limit was introduced.
•As if to celebrate Coronation year Great Britain took possession of the third Trophy in 1953. At the halfway stage Irish hopes soared when it was announced that Ireland was leading with 20¾ and faults to France’s 21 and England’s 22. But the 2nd round both Ireland and France failed. Though England did well and incurred only 3½ faults.
•Peter Robeson partnered Craven A and Lt. Col. Harry Llewellyn partnered Foxhunter in all three victories W.B. Hanson on the Monarch and W.H White on Nizefella completed the successful 1953 quartet.
•In the past each team jumped as a unit, as distinct from the present day system introduced in 1953, whereby the first rider of each country jumps, followed by the 2nd rider of each country. Often the outcome was quite evident long before the end of the contest.
•August 1954 witnessed the advent of the fourth Aga Khan trophy. This gold cup of Georgian period design stood on an ebony plinth 2`3`` high.
•In 1954 there was an added attraction to the competition, with the inclusion of women for the first time in the various teams (now an international Rule).
•Due to an outbreak of swamp Fever in Europe in 1966 there was a ban on Continental horses entering Britain or Ireland. But a special trophy was presented for a competition with 2 British teams and 2 Irish teams (Army and Civilian) taking part. It was the only occasion when 2 such Irish teams competed against each other. The British “B” team was victorious.
•In 1973 Germany had two successive victories to their credit and seemed all set to win their third and keep the fourth trophy. However a strong British team put a stop to their ambitions and like the previous year the result was quite obvious at the half way stage. Britain won in the end and set a record with 7 clear rounds.
•Great Britain declined the invitation to the European Championship held in Munich in August 1975 to capture their second Aga Khan trophy. They sent one of their strongest teams available to Dublin. They won the cup and thus ended the 21-year search for an outright winner of the fourth Aga Khan Trophy.
•In 1979 the Irish team won the fifth cup. Ireland had a jump off with England in 1978/1979. In 1979 for the second time in succession a jump off against the clock was necessitated with the spectators forced to set the pace. Everything was at stake for the two teams. Never before in the history of the Aga Khan Trophy had the 2 top teams finished on such low marks. But overall Ireland was triumphant.
•The present trophy is the sixth in the series.
•In 2003 The Nations Cup for the Aga Khan trophy joined the Samsung Super League.
•With wins in 2002 and 2003 France were in contention to win the Aga Khan Trophy in 2004. If victorious this will be the first time in 25 years the cup has been won.
•Ireland won the 2004 Aga Khan Trophy. This spoiled France’s chances of making it a 3rd consecutive win and taking home the coveted trophy.
•Great Britain won the Aga Khan Trophy in 2005
•Germany won the Aga Khan Trophy in 2006 and 2007.
•Great Britain won the Aga Khan Trophy in 2008
•Italy won the Aga Khan Tropy in 2009
•The Netherlands won the Aga Khan Trophy in 2010
•Great Britain won the Aga Khan Trophy in 2011
•Ireland won the Aga Khan Trophy in 2012
•Great Britain won the Aga Khan Trophy in 2013
•USA won the Aga Khan Trophy in 2014

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