Irish riders among the prizes at Florida’s Winter Equestrian Festival

  • 14 February 2016, 19:18

Photo: Cian O’Connor and Good Luck

IRISH riders featured strongly at the five-star Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida this weekend, scoring a number of top 10 finishes.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, Meath-based Cian O’Connor was the sole Irish rider to make it into the jump-off in the $380,000 Grand Prix with Good Luck. O’Connor and the 10-year-old stallion, who is owned by Adena Springs and Ronnoco Jump Ltd, eventually finished in eighth place overall with victory going to American rider McLain Ward with Rothchild.

Cork-born Shane Sweetnam recorded a fourth place finish in Sunday afternoon’s Suncast Championship in Florida, with the Spy Coast Farm-owned stallion Cyklon. They finished just over a second behind Jessica Springsteen, daughter of rock legend Bruce Springsteen, who posted the winning round with Davendy S.

Co Down’s Conor Swail had produced the fastest jump-off round of the competition with Martha Louise but one fence down dropped them down to ninth place at the finish.

Sweetnam and Cyklon had earlier recorded a win for Ireland in Friday’s $35,000 Illustrated Properties Classic, while Swail finished fourth with the 10-year-old mare Cita.

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