Equestrian: Shane Sweetnam opens Irish account in Mexico City
Cork rider took the 1.45m two-phase class at the five-star-show
Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam won the 1.45m two-phase class in Mexico City. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Shane Sweetnam recorded Ireland’s first win at this week’s five-star show in Mexico City when landing Friday afternoon’s 1.45m two-phase class with Spy Coast Farm’s Cyklon 1083.
As 42 combinations went double clear, Cork-born Sweetnam had to pull out all the stops with the 17-year-old Swedish Warmblood stallion, stopping the clock on 19.33 to win the first prize of €16,500.
Galway’s Michael Duffy finished fourth with Jule van den Tinnenport (19.71) while Shane Breen also picked up some prizemoney when ninth on Brian Cassidy’s Irish Sport Horse mare CSF Vendi Cruz (20.31) on which he had placed second in Thursday’s 1.45m speed class.
The Mexican show is staging the first leg of this season’s Global Champions Tour and there were third- and fourth-place finishes for Sweetnam (Main Road, 68.08) and Co Offaly’s Darragh Kenny (Cassini Z, 68.37) in Friday’s opening speed class. Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca won the 1.50m/1.60m competition in 64.95 on the ISH gelding Limestone Grey, a 12-year-old grey by Try-Time which was bred in Co Limerick by David Moran.
In Florida, Kilkenny’s Richie Moloney won the 1.45m class at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center with Equinimity LLC’s Rocksy Music. The 10-year-old ISH gelding by Ars Vivendi was bred in Co Waterford by Stephen Keane out of the Diamond Serpent mare Kraty Kate.
Earlier in the day, at Vejer de la Frontera in Spain, Tipperary native Trevor Breen won the 1.50m jump-off class on Bombay while the 1.45m speed competition went to Sligo’s Richard Howley riding Cruising Star. Kildare’s Mikey Pender rode Elle Van Overis Z to victory in the 1.40 speed class at Vilamoura in Portugal.
At home, two legs of the Connolly’s Red Mills spring tour take place on Sunday at the Kernan Equestrian Centre, Crossmaglen and at Maryville Stables, Carrigaline. Following a week’s delay because of the weather, the national eventing season gets under way on Sunday in Millstreet.