Lynch 4th in Rich Qatar Grand Prix
- 15 March 2014, 15:33
AFTER a nail-biting three rounds of competition, Tipperary’s Denis Lynch finished fourth and 52,000 euro richer in Qatar’s Grand Prix at Al Shaqab tonight (Saturday).
Jumping under lights, 27 combinations did battle for a share of the monster 650,000 euro prize purse, with 18 going through to the second round.
Lynch, riding Thomas Straumann’s bay stallion All Star 5, picked up an unfortunate time fault in an otherwise perfect first round, but this was good enough to see him through to the next round, which was run over just eight forbidding fences.
Clear once more, the Irish rider led the field for a time on his single fault, but eventually two Belgian riders and one German broke away from the pack with double clear rounds and qualification for the final jump-off.
Germany’s veteran show jumper Ludger Beerbaum and the grey mare Chiara produced a third zero score to claim the 214,000 euro first prize, with Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet and the gelding Sea Coast Forlap DC also going clear but finishing one-and-a-half seconds slower than Beerbaum for a runner-up consolation of 130,000 euro.
Last man in, Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts, went for speed on the bay gelding Cortez, but paid the price for the fastest jump-off round with a single fence down. Philippaerts’s prize money was nevertheless a substantial 68,000 euro.
Yesterday another Tipperary rider, Shane Breen, slotted Confident of Victory into equal third place in the speed class at Al Shaqab, losing out to Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat and Sidney VIII.
At the five-star Saut Hermès show in Paris, meanwhile, Jessica Kurten and Arezzo VDL followed up their second place in Friday’s opening two phase competition with another runner-up spot in tonight’s Pairs competition alongside France’s Kevin Staut with Reveur de Hurtebise HDC.
In the Under-25 classes at Paris, Mayo’s Michael G. Duffy and Murchu finished fourth in the jump-off competition this morning, while on Friday Alex Duffy and Felix XXVIII took second place in the Two Phase competition behind Sweden’s Alexandra Eriksson and Cassian 7.