Equestrian: Irish riders have to settle for placings in Florida

Home favourite Mclain Ward takes top honours with Brian Cournane second

Brian Cournane and Penelope Cruz. Photograph: Sportfot

Brian Cournane and Penelope Cruz. Photograph: Sportfot

 

Three Irish riders were among the six who progressed to the second round of the five-star Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix in Wellington, Florida on Saturday night but they had to settle for the placings as victory went to the host nation’s Mclain Ward.

The dual-Olympic team gold medallist took the lion’s share of the $401,000 prize-fund when recording the faster of two double clears on HH Azur (39.85) with Kerry native, Brian Cournane, slotting into second on the Irish Sport Horse mare, Penelope Cruz (44.19).

The USA’s Alex Granato finished third having lowered one fence with Carlchen W in a good time of 38.87 seconds while, also having one pole down against the clock, Co Offaly-born Darragh Kenny placed fourth on his own and Ann Thompson’s 11-year-old Zangersheide stallion Romeo 88. Having picked up eight faults in the jump-off round, Derry’s Daniel Coyle had to settle for sixth on Ariel Grange’s 10-year-old Zangersheide mare Legacy (43.36).

Cournane is now in his third season riding Penelope Cruz, a 12-year-old by Ustinov which he owns in partnership with his parents-on-law, Christine and Robert Stiller. “Tonight, she really felt on form and jumped great,” said Cournane of the bay who was bred in Co Derry by Liam McKee out of the Peter Pan mare, Tendelin. “It was very clever course building,” he continued. “The water jump came up early and got the horses really open. The skinny at the in-gate really got a lot of people. The combination was also very difficult.”

Earlier, at Gothenberg in Sweden, Co Tipperary-born Denis Lynch also filled the runner-up slot in the night’s featured five-star 1.55m jump-off class where, again, only two riders recorded double clears. Riding Onyx Consulting’s 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding GC Chopin’s Bushi, Lynch stopped the clock on 39.27 as Germany’s Daniel Deusser won in 38.52 with Calisto Blue.

At three-star level, Co Tyrone’s Jonathan Smyth landed Saturday’s 1.40m small tour Grand Prix at Vilamoura in Portugal on the Doherty family’s home-bred ISH gelding Crystal Tom, a 10-year-old chestnut by Silvano out of the Graf Magna mare, Lady Graf.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.