Equestrian: Paul O’Shea wins in Kentucky

Irish rider takes Grand Prix in Lexington on Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu

Paul O’Shea was victorious in Kentucky. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Paul O’Shea was victorious in Kentucky. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

 

Ireland’s Paul O’Shea won Saturday’s Grand Prix in Lexington, Kentucky riding the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu.

From a starting line-up of 26 competitors, 10 progressed to the second round of the 1.60m competition including three Irish riders. Co Down’s Conor Swail finished 10th, having retired Gk Coco Chanel in the jump-off, while Derry’s Daniel Coyle slotted into eighth as Farrel lowered a fence against the clock.

Four riders recorded double clears with Co Limerick native O’Shea, who was last to jump, being the fastest in 41.91 to win on Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu ahead of Mexico’s Eugenio Garza riding Armani Sl Z (42.42) and Australia’s Rowan Willis on Blue Movie (43.69).

On Friday, O’Shea and Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu finished fifth (68.61) in the 1.45m speed class which was won by the USA’s Karl Cool on Caillou 24 (65.47). Swail was narrowly beaten into second on Gk Coco Chanel (65.68) with Tipperary-born Kevin Babington finishing third on Shorapur (66.02).

These three-star invitational show jumping classes were run in conjunction with the long-established five-star Land Rover three-day event. There are no Irish riders competing in the event but there are plenty of Irish-bred horses among the 42 including the 14-year-old Ramiro B gelding Cooley Master Class which tops the leaderboard going into Sunday’s concluding show jumping phase under Britain’s Oliver Townend.

At the three-star para dressage show at Waregem in Belgium, Ireland’s Michael Murphy (Skoldsgaard Hippo-Vo), Kate Kerr Horan (Serafina T), Rosemary Gaffney (Werona) and Tamsin Addison (Donna Siesta) finished 10 (398.800) of 13 in the team competition won by Denmark (427.288).

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