Tipperary native Denis Lynch and Galway-born Michael Duffy won the first leg of the Longines Global Champions League in Mexico on Saturday where they represented Miami Celtics.
Lying in sixth place after Friday’s opening round, league first-timer Duffy (EFS Top Contender) and Lynch (RMF Cadeau De Muze) staged a remarkable second round comeback with two clear rounds leaving them on a final score of six faults.
As the teams around them picked up faults, the Irish pair found themselves on top of the podium at the finish ahead of the Paris Panthers team (which included Offaly’s Darragh Kenny) in second with 12 faults. Bertram Allen’s Valkenswaard United finished third also on 12 faults but in a slightly slower time than Paris Panthers.
Allen finished second individually with Gin Chin van het Lindenhof behind Swiss winner Pius Schwizer (Balou Rubin R) while Shane Sweetnam and Main Road came home in fourth.
Meanwhile at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida, Irish riders were also in top form filling two of the top three places in the $205,000 CaptiveOne Grand Prix. Derry’s Daniel Coyle guided Cita to a runner-up finish while Kilkenny’s Richie Moloney finished third with Freestyle De Muze. Victory went to America’s Bezzie Madden with Breitling LS.
Ireland’s Trevor Breen followed up his victory at Vejer de la Frontera on Friday with another win at the four-star Spanish venue on the same mare, Bombay, in Saturday’s €100,000 Invitational Grand Prix.
Eleven combinations progressed to the second round of the 1.55m competition where, from seven double clears, Tipperary native Breen set the fastest time of 38.84 with Willy Matton’s 11-year-old Swedish Sport Horse grey by Lord Z. Belgium’s Karel Cox finished second in 39.27 on Dublin Van Overis with British rider Harriet Nuttall claiming the third sport on Galway Bay Jed (40.52).
Kildare’s Mikey Pender also maintained his good form at Vilamoura in Portugal where he landed Saturday’s 1.45m jump-off class with Mark Williams’s eight-year-old Darco gelding Dome van Overis Z.