Kelly takes runner-up place in Cork Grand Prix

  • 18 August 2013, 15:03

ARMY rider Capt. Michael Kelly was the best of the Irish in a hard-fought Grand Prix at Millstreet in Co. Cork today (Sunday).

The 29 year-old Longford rider piloted the Minister for Defence’s Irish Sport Horse gelding Ringwood Glen to second place behind Britain’s Ellen Whitaker and the stallion Zanzibar V in an 11 horse jump-off.

On a challenging Grand Prix course that yielded no double clear rounds, both Kelly and Whitaker finished with a total of four faults, with the English rider stopping the clock just a sixth of a second ahead of the Army man.

Whitaker collected 16,500 euro for her win, with Kelly taking 10,000 euro for his runner-up spot.

Fourth place today went to Ireland’s Neal Fearon and Exelsoir van de Noordheuvel, also on four faults, while 18 year-old Wexford rider Bertram Allen went clear in the first round but dropped two poles in the jump-off to finish in fifth on the grey mare Molly Malone. Allen had won two major classes at Millstreet’s Green Glens arena earlier in the week.

Other top ten places in the Grand Prix went to Stephen Moore (seventh) with Merlins Magic, Peter Smyth (ninth) on Victoria Rose, and in tenth Dermott Lennon on Newmarket Venture Clover. All three are Irish Sport Horses.

Elsewhere, Louth’s Mark McAuley took tenth place on Isco De Amorande in the five-star jump-off at Valkenswaard in the Netherlands, which was won by local rider Harrie Smolders and Regina Z.

In Eventing’s World Equestrian Games Test event at Haras National du Pin in France, Ireland’s Camilla Speirs and the Irish Sport Horse BT Border Bandit finished in 11th place on their dressage score after going clear in jumping and cross country, while Jonty Evans on another Irish Sport Horse, Cooley Rorke’s Drift, took 15th place. The event was won by Italy’s Vittoria Panizzon and Merlots Magic, who had also been the victors in Ireland’s Ballindenisk event last September in Co. Cork.

The Eventing competition was the second in the series of test events that will be staged by the organising committee in the build-up to next year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

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