Darragh Kenny just misses out on top spot in Shanghai
Irish rider wins €122,000 at Longines Global Champions Grand Prix
Darragh Kenny finished second in the Longines Global Champions Grand Prix of Shanghai on Saturday, Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Ireland’s Darragh Kenny was narrowly beaten into second in the Longines Global Champions Grand Prix of Shanghai on Saturday.
Nine riders were clear over Uliano Vezzani’s first-round 1.60m track with Offaly native Kenny third to take on the shortened course. Riding Ann Thompson’s 13-year-old Cornet Obolensky stallion Balou de Reventon, he was home in 38.06 to take the lead and then had to wait and see how the remaining six would fare in the jump off.
It was the second-last to go, Israel’s Danielle Goldstein, who toppled the Irishman from the top spot as, taking a stride out down to the final fence, she stopped the clock on 37.08 with Lizziemary to take the first prize of €201,300 while Kenny’s second-place finish netted €122,000.
At the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton international horse trials in England, Irish-bred horses filled the top seven places following cross-country while three Irish riders moved into the top 20, and all but one of the six competing at the five-star event completed the phase.
Britain’s Oliver Townend continues to lead but not on his dressage winner, Cillnabradden Evo, on which he picked up 12.4 time penalties and now lies seventh (32.1), but on his second ride, Ballaghmor Class, on which he came through the finish just a second over the time for the addition of 0.4 of a penalty and a two-phase total of 21.5.
Going into Sunday’s concluding show jumping phase, Townend has a fence in hand over fellow British rider Piggy French on Vanir Kamira (26.8) with Australia’s Chris Burton lying third on Graf Liberty (27.7). Burton was home within the time allowed on that Irish-bred gelding as were New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson on Swallow Springs (27.8), Burton on his second ride Cooley Lands (28.1) and New Zealand’s Tim Price with Ringwood Sky Boy (30.1).
Hillsborough’s Clare Abbott was best-placed of the Irish with Euro Prince on which she amassed 10.8 cross-country time penalties to lie 12th (42.2) on the combination’s fifth start at Badminton.
England-based Tipperary native Pádraig McCarthy was faster (3.2 time penalties) around the course with Mr Chunky (on which he won team and individual silver at last year’s World Equestrian Games) but was awarded 11 penalties for ‘breaking’ a frangible pin late on the track so finished in 19th place on 45.4. Although picking up six time penalties on Saturday, an otherwise excellent clear round from north Co Dublin’s CiarÁn Glynn saw him move up 46 places on the leaderboard to lie 20th with the mare November Night (45.7).
Tipperary’s Michael Ryan and Dunlough Striker also climbed the leaderboard following a clear round with 13.6 time penalties and occupied 26th place on 50.3, while Co Down’s Jim Newsam and Magennis also added only time penalties to their dressage score to finish 43rd (up from 74th) on 64.3. Fellow Co Down resident Joseph Murphy retired Sportsfield Othello following a glance-off at the second element of fence 10, the Shogun Sport Hollow.
Disappointingly, Mr Chunky and Magennis were withdrawn overnight while Britain’s Laura Collett withdrew Mr Bass with which she had been lying 18th.