Billy Twomey lands Drum of Basel Trophy with Lady Lou

Twomey recorded the fastest clear against the clock when breaking the beam in 44.08

Billy Twomey won the Golden Drum of Basel Trophy following his victory with Lady Lou in Saturday night’s jump-off class. Photo: Davide Mombelli - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Irish riders dominated the featured 1.50m jump-off class at the five-star show in Basel, Switzerland on Saturday night.

Three of the seven combinations who progressed to the second round represented Ireland with Cork native Billy Twomey recording the fastest clear against the clock when breaking the beam in 44.08 with his own and Sue Davis’s 10-year-old mare Lady Lou.

Tipperary-born Denis Lynch also went clear in the timed round to finish second with Christ Chugg’s Dito (45.43) while, having recorded the fastest round but with four faults, Wexford’s Bertram Allen slotted into fifth with Ballywalter Farm’s GK Casper (42.87).

On Friday afternoon, Germany-based Allen won the 1.45m speed class on Casper before riding Molly Malone into fifth place in the night’s 1.55m Grand Prix won by Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels with Delux van T&L. Allen, Lynch and Twomey are competing in Sunday afternoon’s Longines FEI World Cup Grand Prix at the Swiss venue.


While horse sports usually pit boys and girls, men and women against one another, a feature of the first week of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida is the Battle of the Sexes which took place under lights on Saturday night.

Following their first loss in 10 years in 2018, the women’s team stormed back to dominate this year’s competition and did so decisively. After just five of 10 match races had been completed, it was clear that the men couldn’t garner enough points to win, the women coming out on top by 29 points to 11.

There were no Irish riders on the women’s team but among those on the men’s squad were David Blake and Andrew Bourns both of whom won their rounds. The Winter Equestrian Festival continues until March 31st with the first international class due to take place on Wednesday.