Equestrian: Anthony Condon lands a victory in Olympia
Waterford native took the 1.55m jump-off class
Anthony Condon became the latest Irish rider to record a win at this year’s five-star London international horse show in Olympia when landing Thursday night’s 1.55m jump-off class with his own and breeder Pat Hales’s SFS Vincomte.
Over a track designed by Tipperary’s Alan Wade, the Waterford native was first to jump in the 33-strong field and was one of just six riders to progress to the second round. There, his time of 38.53 was beatable, and the other five were faster, but they all faulted while he recorded a double clear with SFS Vincomte, a nine-year-old gelding by Veni Vidi Vici.
Britain’s William Whitaker placed second when quickest of those on four faults with RMF Echo (34.48) while Germany’s Marcus Ehning was third on Comme Il Faut (34.56).
“I wasn’t expecting to win the class looking at the list of riders behind me – Marcus Ehning, Scott Brash, Laura Kraut and Niels Bruynseels,” said 32-year-old Condon who will partner SFS Vincomte in Sunday night’s Grand Prix. “I just thought I would try and jump a clear round. The horse is still quite green at this level but he jumped a brilliant clear round and luckily that was enough to win.”
The evening performance on Friday will start with the popular jockeys’ team jumping competition in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund. The men’s team is due to be led by retired 20-time British National Hunt champion A.P. McCoy with Bridget Andrews, whose husband Harry Skelton is on the men’s team, being captain of the ladies’ team.