Equestrian: Darragh Kenny secures second at Rolex Top 10 final
Irish rider briefly led before being overtaken by USA’s Kent Farrington
Darragh Kenny, Kent Farrington and Christian Ahlmann stand on the podium following the 2019 Rolex Top 10 final.
Irish riders recorded some excellent results in Geneva on Friday, with a win and third-place finish in the early evening’s indoor cross-country competition and a runner-up spot later in the night in the 19th running of the Rolex International Show Jumpers Club top 10 final.
Ranked No 8 in the FEI world rankings, Co Offaly’s Darragh Kenny was one of three riders who was clear in the first round of the Rolex final, a 1.60m competition, and, second last to go in round two, again went clear to lead briefly with his own and Ann Thompson’s 10-year-old Zangersheide stallion, Romeo 88 (42.54).
Disappointingly for Kenny, he had to settle for second place when the USA’s Kent Farrington, who was last to jump, also completed a double clear with Austria 2 (40.32). Germany’s Christian Ahlmann, who too left all the poles intact in both rounds with Clintrexo Z, finished third having picked up a single time penalty in round one.
Kenny, who, last Saturday, was crowned Irish international rider of the year at the Show Jumpers Club’s annual awards night, earned roughly €105,000 for his efforts.
Tipperary-born Irish international event rider Padraig McCarthy was second to jump in the 16-runner indoor cross-country competition and, with just six-time penalties, looked on course to follow up on his win last year with Tatiana Brent’s 12-year-old mare, Rosemaber Lancuest.
However, the Devon-based competitor, who won team and individual silver at last year’s World Equestrian Games in North Carolina, was pushed down into second when the penultimate rider, his Tryon teammate, Cathal Daniels, picked up just four faults on Alcatraz. McCarthy then had to settle for third when France’s Karim Laghouag, who won a similar competition the previous weekend in Paris, was awarded six time penalties to finish second with Punch de l’Esques.
This was a second win in just three starts in the indoor cross-country season for Galway native Daniels and Sarah Hughes’s Alcatraz which was ridden by Britain’s Alexander Bragg when second in Geneva last year. Daniels (23), who is based in Co Kildare, won with the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding in Stuttgart where McCarthy finished second.
Earlier in the day, Co Louth native Mark McAuley partnered Eva Lundin’s Miebello to place second in the 1.50m speed class while Co Wexford’s Harry Allen was third in the early afternoon’s 1.45m speed competition for riders under 25 on his family’s Ballywalter Farms-owned, Dancing Queen Z.
At the Swiss venue on Thursday, Co Carlow’s Mikey Pender was second in the night’s 1.55m jump-off competition with Miguel Bravo’s nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding HHS Burnchurch having finished fifth in the early afternoon’s 1.40m speed class on HHS Fortune, an eight-year-old ISH mare owned by Bravo’s wife, Marion Hughes. Between times, Co Westmeath’s Kate Derwin partnered her uncle Jim Derwin’s 10-year-old ISH gelding Deep Pockets to place fourth in the 1.40m speed class for riders under 25.
One of five Irish riders competing at the five-star show in La Coruna, Spain, Tipperary native Denis Lynch finished sixth in Friday night’s 1.55m speed class with Onyx Consulting Ltd’s GC Chopin’s Bushi.