Breen and Howley in the ribbons on opening day of Hickstead

  • 25 June 2015, 18:58

IRISH riders once again made their presence felt on the opening day of the famous four-star show at Hickstead in England, with Shane Breen taking second place in this evening’s (Thursday) feature class, while earlier Richard Howley won two of the day’s speed classes.

Tipperary-born Breen and his bay gelding Farao van’t Vennehof were one of 20 to register a clear first round, and in the ensuing jump-off the duo also came home with a zero penalty score, but were just over a third of a second slower than British winner Guy Williams with the grey Depardieu van’t Kiezelhof.

Breen picked up 3,000 euro for his runner-up spot, while Williams collected the winner’s reward of 5,000 euro.

Earlier, Richard Howley opened the batting for Ireland at Hickstead with two wins.

The Speed Derby Qualifier, the first class of the day, saw him romp home in both first and second places, winning with HK Horses’s mare Belinka and taking second place with Laura Irving’s gelding Chinook. David Simpson confirmed Ireland’s dominance of the competition with a third place on Caroline Jeanne’s Baby David, while for good measure Daniel Coyle also took sixth place on Neill McCluskey’s Loughern Built To Last.

Howley returned later in the day with a win in the feature speed class aboard HK Horses’s gelding Verlindo, earning a further 1600 euro, while Michael Duffy and Shelley Redbart’s mare Miss Untouchable placed second. Ger Clarke and the Irish Sport Horse Rafiki, which he owns jointly with Pat and Clare Sutton, came home in sixth place.

The world famous Hickstead Derby takes place at the West Sussex venue on Sunday afternoon.

Richard Howley (left) and Shane Breen

Richard Howley (left) and Shane Breen