Ireland’s Darragh Kenny finishes third on Miami Beach
Mayo’s Cameron Hanley won Saturday’s 1.45m jump-off class at Arezzo in Italy
Darragh Kenny was in action in Florida on Saturday evening. Photograph: Inpho
Ireland’s Darragh Kenny riding Cassini Z finished third in Saturday evening’s Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Florida where jumping takes place on Miami Beach.
From a starting line-up of 35, just five combinations advanced to the jump-off round of the 1.60m competition. Co Offaly native Kenny and Ann Thompson’s 11-year-old bay gelding posted the fastest round against the clock in 30.87 but had the final fence down for third place.
Victory went to Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander with California, after jumping clear in 32.07, while Qatar’s Bassem Mohammed on Gunder was the only other rider to jump double clear in a time of 35.47 to finish second.
Kenny was delighted with Cassini Z’s performance: “I felt super about my horse, he jumped brilliantly today. I was a bit disappointed about how I rode the jump-off. I think I could have played it a little bit safer at the last and made the others have to catch me. However, Edwina is fast anyway and Bassem was super [TO WIN]in Doha too, so I thought I had to go a bit quick and unfortunately had the last jump down. I’ve had Cassini Z about six months and I think he’s going to be a very good horse.”
Germany-based Bertram Allen finished seventh overall after picking up four faults in the first round with Gin Chin van het Lindenhof. The Wexford native, who, in 23rd, is Ireland’s highest-placed rider on the recently-published FEI rankings, had earlier taken a runner-up finish in the Global Champions League with Valkenswaard United.
At senior level in Europe, Co Mayo’s Cameron Hanley won Saturday’s 1.45m jump-off class at Arezzo in Italy where he was the fastest in a 25-runner second round against the clock riding the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare EIS Laura. The combination was on the mark at the same venue a week previously.
In Belgium, the Garry Marshall-managed Irish team won the FEI Youth Nations’ Cup at Opglabbeek, having led at the half-way stage.
Francis Derwin was first to go with the family-owned Irish Sport Horse Rincoola Babog and finished with one fence down in both rounds. He was followed by Max Wachman with the Coolmore Showjumping-owned Cuffesgrange Cavalidamn (ISH) who didn’t put a foot wrong over two rounds to finish on a zero score. Wachman’s effort was matched by his brother Tom who also jumped double clear with Coolmore’s Quaprice d’Astree.
Seamus Hughes-Kennedy and the Barbara O’Reilly-Hyland-owned Rock Dee Jay had a foot in the water in the first round but produced a vital clear when last to go in the second leaving Ireland one fence ahead of Belgium who finished on eight faults with The Netherlands third on 14.
“The whole team were fantastic and we are really delighted to win,” said Marshall. “Belgium beat us here last year so to win this year is fantastic. The course designer Frank Rothenberger is well-known for not building easy courses and I am really proud of how we jumped. I want to thank everyone involved who played their part in what was a real team effort.”
The main jumping action at home this weekend takes place in Mullingar where 60 horses have been declared for Sunday’s Connolly’s Red Mills spring tour Grand Prix.
The weather continues to have an effect on the eventing scene in Ireland but, following the loss of Saturday’s one-day event at Tyrella in Co Down, nearly 190 horses or ponies are due to compete on Sunday at Millstreet in Co Cork where all three phases - dressage, show jumping and cross-country -take place on an all-weather surface.
Ireland has one rider, Tim Bourke, competing at the trial event for next September’s World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina while also in attendance is Horse Sport Ireland’s senior eventing team manager, Sally Corscadden.
From Westport, Co Mayo but based in Virginia, Bourke and the Irish Sport Horse gelding Luckaun Quality, a 13-year-old by OBOS Quality 004, is lying 13th of 38 following the dressage and cross-country phase on a penalty score of 36.9. The lead before Sunday’s show jumping phase is held by the USA’s Phillip Dutton on Z (28).
Sunday sees members of the Association of Irish Riding Clubs converge on the Flowerhill Equestrian Centre outside Ballinasloe for their annual Connolly’s Red Mills National hunter trials championships while in Cavan it’s day two of Dressage Ireland’s national winter championships.
Among those who claimed titles on Saturday were Sorrell Klatzko with Highlight in the Intermédiare II section and Heike Holstein who finished first and second in the Prix St George with Sambuca and Chamur respectively.