Darragh Kenny wins Longines FEI World Cup Grand Prix in Florida

Offaly native was riding his own and Ann Thompson’s Classic Dream at Deeridge Farms

Darragh Kenny and Classic Dream claimed victory in the Longines FEI World Cup Grand Prix at Deeridge in Florida. Photograph: Shannon Brinkman

Darragh Kenny and Classic Dream claimed victory in the Longines FEI World Cup Grand Prix at Deeridge in Florida. Photograph: Shannon Brinkman

 

Darragh Kenny recorded a comfortable victory in the four-star Longines FEI World Cup class at Deeridge Farms, Florida on Sunday.

Riding his own and Ann Thompson’s Classic Dream, the Offaly native Kenny was one of three riders, out of a starting line-up of 40, who progressed to the second round of the 1.60m Grand Prix where the course was designed by Tipperary’s Alan Wade.

Kenny was last of the three to take on the shortened second-round track where his time of 36.70 seconds easily bettered that of Brazil’s Cassio Rivetti riding Bacara d’Archonfosse (38.29). Also going clear against the clock, the USA’s Devin Ryan finished third with Eddie Blue (39.00).

“He is a green horse in jump-offs but is an incredible jumper,” said Kenny of Classic Dream, a 10-year-old gelding by Colestus. “I just went as fast as I could; he felt great and was trying hard.

“We always felt he was a top Grand Prix horse and could go to the highest level,” Kenny continued. “I think he’s only starting to show that now. He was incredible as a seven and eight-year-old but had had a bit of a rough last year-a few little mistakes here and there getting used to the height. Now, this year he started out fantastic. I think in the future, he’ll be one of the best horses in the world.”

Derry’s Daniel Coyle posted Ireland’s best result at Deeridge Farms on Saturday when finishing fourth with Ariel Grange’s Farrel (33.94) in the 1.50m jump-off class won by the USA’s Nicole Shahinian-Simpson riding Akuna Mattata (33.01).

Also on Saturday, but at three-star level in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, Kilkenny’s Jack Ryan continued his good run of from when landing the 1.45m jump-off class on Stal De Sjiem and Stoeterij de Verloren Hoek’s 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion, Diesel.

This coming week, three fund-raising functions are being staged for the Irish Olympic eventing team.

Termed the 2020 Take On Tokyo Eventing Tour, Irish Olympians, World Equestrian Games medallists and Tokyo squad riders will train with Team Ireland coaches, Ian Woodhead and Grant Wilson at Maryville, Co Cork on Friday (start time 6pm), Ravensdale, Co Louth on Saturday (4pm) and Spruce Lodge, Co Wicklow on Sunday (2pm).

Each of the three tours will focus on arena familiarisation, young and advanced horse dressage and show jumping training. Tickets cost €30 for adults, €20 for those under 16 and are available through the Eventing Ireland website.

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