Irish eyes smiling with five-star success in Sharjah

  • 19 February 2023, 20:07

Irish riders capped off a sensational weekend at Sharjah, UAE, on Sunday with a pair of wins added to a podium finish in the five-star Grand Prix.

Shane Breen kicked things off with a hugely impressive success in the 1.45m two-star Grand Prix on his new mare Instrumental before on-fire Jessica Burke added a second five-star win of the weekend, this time at 1.55m on board the Irish Sport Horse Express Trend.

Not to be outdone, Trevor Breen wrapped off the Middle Eastern tour with a superb double clear on Germaine W to finish in an excellent third place in the €160,000 five-star Grand Prix, with Billy Twomey also in the placings.

Having also finished third on Saturday night in the five-star Six Bars competition, Trevor Breen said: “I’m so delighted with a podium finish in the five-star Grand Prix.

“Germaine has been a fantastic horse for me to bring up through the levels and a great result for our Team Breen Sport Horses and Team Z7.

“I’m now really looking forward to my team debut on the Global Champions Tour with Rome Gladiators next week.”

Trevor Breen after his third-place finish in the CSI5* Grand Prix in Sharjah

Corkman Billy Twomey has also been in fine form recently with Chat Botte ED, owned by the late Sue Davies, and he was delighted to finish in the placings.

Twomey said: “I’m extremely happy with the horse’s performance over the Arab tour, we’ve been very consistent and placed in every Grand Prix.

“So I’m very happy with all the horses performances out here and I’m looking forward to moving on to the Sunshine Tour now.”

Galway girl Burke was magic on the Liam Nicholas-owned Irish Sport Horse Express Trend when landing her second five-star of the weekend, outgunning arguably the speediest rider in the world at present, Emanuele Gaudiano, for the second time, this time by one tenth of a second.

She said: “I’m delighted, I have no words, he’s just brilliant.

“I’m just over the moon with the horses’ results out here, to be honest. Inpulss has always been knocking on the door so I was delighted she got to win her five-star and Express Trend was just brilliant.

“Also, to beat some of the fastest riders in the world was a very satisfying feeling and I can learn a lot from competing alongside them.”

Jessica Burke was in imperious form in Sharjah, winning two five-star classes

Shane Breen is dreaming big with his new mare Instrumental after combination landed the two-star 1.45M Grand Prix.

The Tipperary man and his eight-year-old mare have caught the eye in recent weeks and gained a deserved success in the €26,200 class.

Breen finished fifth last week at the same level on board Instrumental and the mare used that experience to great effect as they were one of 10 combinations to jump clear in round one, finishing in a time of 76.22 seconds.

David Simpson, himself in fine form at the Middle East venue in recent weeks, also jumped clear in the first round and joined countryman Breen in the jump-off.

With four faults in the jump-off, Simpson and Billy Olga finished sixth, but imperious Breen was flawless and jumped double clear in a time of 37.51 seconds to land the spoils.

Breen recently bought the mare from Sweden’s Peder Fredricson, who only recently retired the legendary H&M All In, and he is hoping that Instrumental could reach the dizzy heights of that all-time great.

Shane Breen and Instrumental jumping to victory in Sharjah. Photo: Equisportif

“I’m absolutely delighted with Instrumental,” Breen said. “Since we came out here it’s her first couple of shows, and only her second Grand Prix.

“She jumped double clear and finished fifth last week and was superb today. She’s only eight so I thought I’d go in and do my round, do the numbers between the jumps – leave out a stride on the lines.

“I did that and I thought she jumped fantastic – I bought her off Lisen and

Peder Fredricson just before Christmas, and he was straight on the phone there to me after her win today – he’s obviously delighted.

“I was saying to Peder that maybe this is my All In horse – I’m very excited about the futire with her.”

Express Trend (ISH) – 2010 gelding by Future Trend out of Condios Express (ISH) by Condios (HOLST), bred by Liam Nicholas, Co Clare. Owner: Liam Nicholas. Rider Jessica Burke.