Darragh Kenny continues good form in Florida
Offaly rider wins the feature class during week three of Winter Equestrian Festival
Darragh Kenny’s good form in Florida has continued. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Darragh Kenny’s good run of form at Wellington, Florida continued under lights on Saturday night when the Offaly native won the feature class during week three of the Winter Equestrian Festival, the three-star Adequan Grand Prix.
Sixteen of the 45 entries in the $132,000 class returned to do battle in round two with the early standard being set by the USA’s Adrienne Sternlight on Cristalline (39.36). 12th to jump, Kenny was home in 38.21 to take the first prize on Bowers Cone’s 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding Cassini Z with the host nation’s Jessica Springstein claiming second place on RMF Swinny du Parc (38.23).
It has been a good week for Kenny, who celebrated his 30th birthday on Wednesday, with a win in the $35,000 1.45m Classic on Important de Muze. However, it was not smooth sailing with Cassini Z as Kenny struggled to gel with the horse in Thursday’s qualifier. With a bridle and bit change and a smoother ride in Friday’s 1.40m class, Kenny felt more assured going into Saturday’s Grand Prix.
“I jumped him in the WEF, and I didn’t ride great,” he explained. “The bit didn’t feel great. I was actually very frustrated about it. I jumped the next day in the 1.40m in a different bridle, and it felt good. So then I went tonight in that bridle. He’s still green sometimes - like the first jump in the jump-off, I came in quite fast, but he just jumped really high and didn’t jump really far across it, so then the seven was very long one to two so I really had to go fast there and then he was just in a really fast rhythm so I just kept going with it.”