Equestrian: Darragh Kenny edged out in Verona
Highest-placed Irish rider in FEI show jumping rankings has to settle for second
Darragh Kenny on Romeo. Photograph: FEI
Co Offaly’s Darragh Kenny, who, in eighth, is the highest-placed Irish rider on the recently-published FEI show jumping rankings, was narrowly beaten into second when the five-star show in Verona, Italy concluded on Sunday with the 1.60m Grand Prix, a Longines FEI world cup qualifier.
Sixteen of the 38 starters got through to the jump-off where, ninth to jump, Kenny looked set for victory when setting a time of 36.06 on Ann Thompson’s 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding, Romeo. However, as last to go, Britain’s Scott Brash had the advantage of seeing many of his rivals take on the shortened track and he claimed the €47,500 first prize when stopping the clock on 35.55 with the 13-year-old mare, Hello M’Lady.
There was an Irish success on Sunday at three-star level in Opglabbeek, Belgium where Sligo’s Richard Howley won the 54-runner 1.55m Grand Prix with Portfolio Horses’ eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Gaesbekers Glamour Girl.
At the one-star home international in Cavan Equestrian Centre, Sunday’s 1.40m Grand Prix was won by Donegal’s Kenneth Graham riding the Irish Sport Horse mare, Beir Bua. The nine-year-old grey by Lancelot was bred by the late Harold McGahern out of the Cruising mare Rincoola Bua. In recording this success, Graham also won the Horse Sport Ireland international show jumping bonus of €10,000.