Babington chalks up first Irish win at Ocala, is named for Nations’ Cup team

  • 12 February 2015, 23:07

TIPPERARY’S Kevin Babington produced Ireland’s first win at this weekend’s US Nations’ Cup show in Ocala, Florida, with a victory in tonight’s (Thursday) Grand Prix Qualifier.

A capacity crowd at the four-star venue saw the 46 year-old pull into the lead when 35th of 59 riders to jump, piloting the Irish Sport Horse Mark Q, which Babington owns jointly with Deirdre Bourns.

A time of 69.44 seconds proved impossible to beat, despite the best efforts of the strong international field that followed. The Obos Quality gelding’s turn of speed earned Babington just over 8,000 euro in prize money, and qualifies him for Sunday’s Ocala Grand Prix, where a total of 110,000 euro will be on offer..

Meanwhile Irish Show Jumping Manager Robert Splaine has confirmed Babington as third to jump in Friday’s Furusiyya Nations’ Cup in Florida, this time riding the ten year-old mare Shorapur.

Ireland’s team will line out at Ocala as:

Darragh Kenny/Picolo (Owner Oakland Ventures)
Lorcan Gallagher/Diktator Van De Boslandhoeve (Owner Lisa Lourie, Spy Coast Farms)
Kevin Babington/Shorapur (Owner The Shorapur Group)
Conor Swail/Grafton (Owners Ariel and Susan Grange)

All the Irish horses will be making their debut at Nations’ Cup level, but the competition is not a 2015 points-earner for Ireland.

Kevin Babington and Mark Q (ISH). Picture © ESI Photography.

Kevin Babington and Mark Q (ISH). Picture © ESI Photography.