Gavin Harley wins Belgian Young Rider Grand Prix while Twomey features at five-star Rome

  • 29 May 2016, 18:06

Co Donegal’s Gavin Harley was in scintillating form at the international show in Opglabbeek, Belgium today, winning the Young Rider Grand Prix aboard the 12-year-old stallion, Understone Van De Kapel.

Twenty-year-old Harley was the only Irish rider in the 42 strong field and produced a foot-perfect double clear round to win the competition with half-a-second to spare over his nearest challenger.

Gavin Harley

Photo: Gavin Harley and Understone Van De Kapel pictured following their Young Rider Grand Prix win with John Ledingham (left) and Michael Blake (right)

At the same venue, Co Tyrone’s Anabelle Heffron had earlier scored a sixth place finish in the Under 14 (Children On Horses) competition with The Irish Sport Horse Porsha.

Three Irish riders featured in the top 10 in the Pony Grand Prix at Opglabbeek. Sean Monaghan grabbed fifth place with Ballyowen Maybell Molly (ISH)(TIH), with Kate Derwin finishing eighth aboard Vales Blue Melody, while Robbie Clancy finished 10th riding For Kids Only. Kate Derwin had earlier scored a win in Saturday’s Two Phase class with Springhill Rebellious (ISH), while she was also part of the Irish pony team who finished third in the Pony Nations Cup on Friday along with Sean Monaghan, Jack Ryan and Ciaran Nallon.

Meanwhile at the Italian five-star show at the Piazza Di Siena in Rome, Cork’s Billy Twomey recorded a top 10 finish in the Longines Grand Prix.
Twomey lowered one fence in the opening round with Diaghilev, but their fast time saw them advance to the 13 horse jump-off. Twomey went clear second time out to finish in eighth place behind American winner McLain Ward with HH Azur.

Offaly-born Darragh Kenny recorded a double of wins on Saturday at the Belgian two-star show in Bonheiden. Kenny first took the top prize in a 1m40 speed class with Wan Architect, before also claiming victory in the 1m45 jump-off class with Bolero III.

In Dressage, Italian-based Irish rider Anna Merveldt rounded off an excellent weekend at the three-star show in Lipica, Slovenia, by finishing fourth in the intermediate Freestyle To Music with the 12-year-old gelding Forget Me Not.

Merveldt also recorded a double of wins, starting last Thursday with the  9-year-old stallion Idamantes LLC and added a second win with the same horse on Saturday scoring 69.553%.


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