IRISH RIDERS MAKE THEIR MARK ON OPENING DAY OF FIVE STAR SPRUCE MEADOWS
- 5 June 2014, 15:59
IRELAND’S Shane Sweetnam delivered his now almost traditional opening day win at the five-star show in Spruce Meadows, Canada, pushing Spy Coast Farm’s stallion Cyklon across the line a fraction of a second ahead of Mexican runner-up Santiago Lambre and the gelding Zeus du Buison Z in yesterday’s (Wednesday) first speed class.
Co. Down’s Conor Swail, back in international classes after a long injury lay-off, placed a creditable third in the second competition of the day with Susan Grange’s mare Ariana, with US champion McLain Ward and the gelding HH Carlos Z taking the trophy at the Calgary venue with three seconds in hand over the Irishman.
In the feature class of the evening Offaly’s Darragh Kenny claimed a fourth place in the big 16-horse jump off aboard Hyperion Stud’s stallion Imothep, recording one of 12 double clear rounds from a starting field of 43. The win went to an in-form McLain Ward, this time riding the stallion HH Cannavaro.
The competition was also notable for the third place finish of the famous 18 year-old Irish Sport Horse Flexible, who, under the guidance of the USA’s Rich Fellers, outpaced many horses up to ten years younger.