Australia’s Kevin McNab awarded €10,000 after winning the Horse Sport Ireland Eventing Challenge

  • 27 September 2018, 20:24

The inaugural Horse Sport Ireland Eventing and Show Jumping Challenge was set up to encourage more riders, both national and international, to compete in 1* and 2* international Eventing and Grand Prix Show Jumping competitions held in Ireland.

Kevin McNab (AUS) with Willunga (ISH) on their way to winning the CIC2* at Camphire International in July 2018 (Photo: Equuspix)

Horse Sport Ireland allocated a prize fund of €20,000 to this initiative (€10,000 for Eventing and €10,000 for Show Jumping) as well as an extra €1,000 for the groom of each winner.

The Eventing Challenge consisted of eight 2* competitions held at Ireland’s five international events; Tattersalls (CCI 2*), Kilguilkey (CIC 2*), Camphire (CCI 2* and CIC 2*), Millstreet (CCI 2* and CIC 2*) and Ballindenisk (CCI 2* and CIC 2*). Points were awarded to the riders who placed first to third in each of the eight classes (100pts – 1st, 65pts – 2nd and 45pts – 3rd). However, only the rider’s three highest placings would count towards their final score.

The final event of the series took place last weekend at Ballindenisk, However, Australia’s Kevin McNab, who is now based in the UK and is currently ranked 152nd in the FEI Eventing World Athlete Rankings, had already secured the €10,000 prize having won two of the eight classes on offer earlier in the season – the CIC 2* at Kilguilkey and the CIC 2* at Camphire. Kevin also had a third-place finish in the CCI 2* at Tattersalls which gave him a tally of 245 points.

Kevin’s podium finishes at the Kilguilkey CIC2* and the Camphire CIC2* were secured aboard the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Willunga (Olympic Lux X Coevers Diamond Boy) bred by Christopher O’Sullivan. Since 2016, the pair have competed at several national and international events together up as far as 3* level. Kevin’s other podium finish at Tattersalls CCI2* came from Brookfield Quality, a nine-year-old gelding (OBOS Quality X Cavalier Royale) who was also bred in Ireland by Sean Kelly. Brookfield Quality has competed at 2* level under both Kevin and Emma McNab since 2016, he has also qualified for a number of 3* events.

Speaking about the Irish International Events and the Horse Sport Ireland Eventing Challenge, McNab commented:

“I have definitely enjoyed the Irish events. There is always a great atmosphere and they are very rider friendly events which I really like coming to. As well as that I feel my horses have always come away as better horses for running at these events. I think the series has been great, and going forward it will certainly attract riders from abroad.”

Horse Sport Ireland’s Marketing Manager Sophie D’Alton commented;

“I would like to congratulate Australia’s Kevin McNabb on this fantastic achievement, a worthy winner of the €10,000 bonus, three podium places including two wins is no mean feat. The aim of this series was to encourage Internationally based event riders to compete here in Ireland and with the success of this year’s challenge in mind we will aim to promote the series as much as possible in the run up to the 2019 season, hopefully increasing the number of riders competing in the series next year.”

World Equestrian Games Irish team silver medallist, Cathal Daniels was very consistent throughout the series clocking up a total of four podium finishes. He placed second in the CIC 2* at Kilguilkey and Camphire and placed second in the CCI 2* at the final event in Ballindenisk. These three placings gave him a total score of 195 points for second place. To his credit, Cathal also placed third in the CIC 2* at Millstreet, but as only a rider’s three best scores could count, this score was discarded.

Final round of the Show Jumping Challenge:

Susan Fitzpatrick is top of the leader board heading into the final leg of the Show Jumping Challenge which takes place during the Cavan Indoor International Horse Show CSI1* at Cavan Equestrian Centre from 7-11th November, 2018.

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