Equestrian: Denis Lynch victorious in La Coruna
Irish rider scores the only double clear in Saturday night’s Longines Grand Prix
Denis Lynch was victorious in Spain. Photograph: Giuseppe Fama/Inpho
Ireland’s Denis Lynch, who has a string of mainly young horses and hasn’t scored at five-star level since winning on Chablis in Hong Kong early this year, landed Saturday night’s Longines Grand Prix in La Coruna, Spain with the only double clear.
Eleven of the 37 starters failed to complete the first round of this 1.60m competition with Tipperary native Lynch being one of just four riders to progress to the jump-off where, second to go, he again went clear on Onyx Consulting Ltd’s Rubens LS la Silla (40.33 seconds). The Netherlands’ Marc Houtzager, who was last to jump, was faster (39.79) but had a fence down with Sterrehof’s Dante to finish second.
Lynch, who pocketed a first prize of €75,900, only started competing Rubens LS la Silla towards the end of August, the 13-year-old stallion having been previously campaigned in the United States and Canada by Co Down’s Conor Swail.
“I was lucky because my horse is not the fastest, but it has a lot of experience,” commented Lynch. “He was calm, he turned very well and I am very happy.”
Earlier in the day, at Geneva in Switzerland, there were top four placings for the two Irish riders competing in the 1.45m Grand Prix for riders under 25.
Fastest of the quartet who jumped a double clear was the USA’s Coco Fath who stopped the clock on 34.89 with Exotik Sitte. Co Westmeath’s Kate Derwin (18), the reigning junior European champion, partnered her uncle Jim Derwin’s Deep Pockets, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by OBOS Quality 004, to finish second (35.05). Third place went to Switzerland’s Ken Balsiger riding Heros du Roumaillard (35.32) while Co Wexford-born Harry Allen (18) finished fourth with Ballywalter Farms’ Dancing Queen Z (36.56).