Darragh Kenny finishes second in Super Grand Prix in Prague
He will line-out as a member of the Paris Panthers in Sunday’s GCL Super Cup final
Darragh Kenny of Ireland rides his horse ‘Balou du Reventon’ during the Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix competition in Prague. Photograph: EPA
Ireland’s Darragh Kenny, riding Ann Thompson’s Balou du Reventon, finished second in Saturday night’s lucrative Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix in the O2 Arena, Prague.
Eighteen of the world’s top riders qualified for the €1,250,000 two-round final through the GCT series which started in Doha at the end of February and concluded in New York seven months later, visiting many iconic venues in between.
At the end of round one on Saturday night, four riders were on a zero score with Co Offaly native Kenny frustratingly lying fifth having picked up a single time fault on Balou du Reventon, the 13-year-old stallion by Cornet Obolensky on which he had finished 12th in the series. In round two, the Irish rider was again narrowly beaten by the clock but he moved to the top of the leaderboard when three of those who had been ahead of him lowered fences.
Kenny’s hopes of winning now hinged on Ben Maher erring with Explosion W but the British combination was again foot-perfect over course designer Uliano Vezzani’s second round track and Maher, winner of the GCT series, netted the €300,000 first prize with Kenny picking up €250,000 for finishing second. Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs, one of five riders who were on four faults after round one, jumped clear in the second to place third with Clooney 51 and earn €180,000 for his efforts.
Maher was a member of the London Knights who won this season’s Global Champions League series but, most surprisingly, failed to qualify for Sunday’s GCL Super Cup final in which six teams will start.
Kenny will line-out with Thompson’s Romeo 88 as a member of the Paris Panthers, winners of Friday’s semi-final and so last to jump in Sunday’s first round. Co Meath’s Cian O’Connor rides Ronnoco Jump’s PSG Final for Valkenswaard United while Co Louth’s Mark McAuley has been selected to compete for Madrid In Motion with SCEA Kalimba’s Vivaldi du Theil.
The Final will get underway at 3.30pm local time.