Incredible day for the Irish Showjumpers with wins in Mexico, United States and Spain
- 24 March 2018, 11:54
Victories in Mexico for Shane Sweetnam and Darragh Kenny, Trevor Breen and Richard Howley come out on top in Spain, while Richie Moloney adds to Irish haul in Florida
Irish riders have continued their impressive start at the first Longines Global Champions Tour fixture of the season in Mexico City. Following a runner-up finish for Tipperary’s Shane Breen on the opening day on Thursday, Cork’s Shane Sweetnam went one better with victory in Friday’s Broxel Trophy two-phase 1m45 competition.
Sweetnam partnered the 17-year-old stallion Cyklon to the fastest clear to take the top prize of €16,500, while Galway’s Michael Duffy finished fourth with Jule van den Tinnenpot.
In the opening Global Champions League competition at the Mexican venue, the Paris Panthers team that includes Offaly’s Darragh Kenny hold the lead after Friday’s first round. Kenny jumped clear with Cassini Z while team mate Gregory Wathelet (BEL) also jumped clear with Coree. Bertram Allen’s Valkenswaard United are in third while the all-Irish Miami Celtics team of Michael Duffy and Denis Lynch are in sixth.
“It’s a very good start for us — Gregory did a great job and I had to follow,” commented Kenny ahead of the Global Champions League decider tonight when all 19 teams will return for the second round. There was success for Irish breeding in the Massimo Dutti Trophy, as The Irish Sport Horse Limestone Grey took the top prize with Italian rider Lorenzo De Luca, while Shane Sweetnam was again in the prizes taking third place with Main Road.
There was further Irish success at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida, as Kilkenny’s Richie Moloney claimed the winners prize in the four-star $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1m45. Riding The Irish Sport Horse Rocksy Music, Moloney (pictured) finished two tenths of a second ahead of American rider Molly Ashe to take the top prize of $11,500.
“Rocksy Music was third in a two-star grand prix [in Tryon, in October 2017], but this is our first win,” said the 36-year-old Irish rider.
Moloney first heard about Rocksy Music through his brother when the horse was a seven-year-old.
“My brother Eddie, who is based in Ireland and also jumps, told me about him and said that I should sit on him,” he recalled. “I wasn’t really sure about him until I sat on him, but he gave a great feeling; very careful and very scopey — so it seems to be working out so far.”
Meanwhile back in Europe at the Spanish Sunshine Tour in Vejer de la Frontera, Tipperary’s Trevor Breen and Bombay took victory in the 1m50 Grand Prix qualifier after a 20 horse jump-off.
Breen and the 11-year-old Bombay who is owned by Willy Matton, stopped the clock in 36.16 seconds to finish just ahead of German rider Marcel Marschall. The 1m45 contest at the same venue also went to Ireland, with Sligo’s Richard Howley and Cruising Star finishing ahead of Britain’s Guy Williams in second.