Lynch hits Heights with Valkenswaard five-star win

  • 21 August 2023, 11:51

Denis Lynch and Brooklyn Heights after winning the CSI5* 1.50m Grand Prix at Valkenswaard. Pic: Longines Global Champions Tour

Brooklyn Heights showed why Denis Lynch holds him in such high regard with a superb win in the CSI5* 1.50m Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix at Valkenswaard yesterday.

Lynch and his 14-year-old mount, owned by Molly Ohrstrom, were fantastic throughout and progressed to a jump-off with five other combinations, including Mikey Pender and the nine-year-old Chacco Bay after an excellent clear first round.

In the end, a foot-perfect second round completed in a time of 40.95 seconds was quick enough to win the class with 0.13 seconds to spare over Italy’s Lorenzo De Luca and Don Vito in second. Pender and Chacco Bay completed the podium for an excellent third.

After a busy opening to the year, which included a double clear in the Longines FEI Wold Cup Final in Omaha, Lynch has been steadily bringing him 2022 World Championships mount back to the boil, and he was delighted with the performance, particularly after a near miss on Friday when a pole down at the last fence down prevented them from landing another five-star victory.

Lynch said: “He was very unlucky on Friday not to win – the last fence, that was my fault. Today we could’ve gone up two more gears, so he did the jump off nicely, and to win it – even better as we didn’t ask everything of him today and that’s brilliant.”

Lynch’s five-star win on Sunday followed some top-class performances across the water from Irish riders the previous night.

In the CSI5* FEI Sprucewood 1.45m Winning Round class, Daniel Coyle led home an Irish 1-2 on board Ivory TCS, owned by Coyle himself and Ariel Grange, in the Major League Showjumping, Toronto at Angelstone.

The classy combination finished with a double clear, stopping the clock in round two in a time of 40.81 seconds (see video below), with compatriot Darragh Kenny in second with Oakland Ventures LLC’s Vancouver Dreams, finishing in a time of 41.12 seconds.


Completing the podium was American Audrev Shulze on Darquito, just 0.34 seconds behind in third, with the podium finishers the only three combinations to jump two clear rounds.

Later in the evening, Kenny went one better in the FEI CSI2* RAM Grand Prix on board up-and-coming Irwin, jumping double clear in a time of 35.13 seconds to beat America’s Kent Farrington and Greya (35.97) into second. Limerick’s Paul O’Shea and Dirty Girl crossed the line clear in 36.51 seconds to finish third.

Conor Swail and Calciet EB Z were best of the Irish when finishing fourth in Saturday night’s $250,000 five-star Grand Prix. Farrington and Toulayna took home the victory.

At home, Young Rider European Championships hero Seamus Hughes Kennedy single-handedly dominated the two-star Grand Prix at Millstreet International Horse Show in Co Cork, finishing in first and third place.

Hughes Kennedy landed the spoils on his mother Clare Hughes’s 11-year-old Cuffesgrange Cavadora (ISH), one of only two combinations to jump double clear. They stopped the clock in 55.18 seconds, much faster than Tim MacDonagh with Hollypark Galloway (ISH) in a time of 58.39. Hughes Kennedy finished in third with Castlefield Hera (ISH).


Cuffesgrange Cavadora (ISH) – 2012 mare by Z Wellie 72 (KWPN) out of Cuffesgrange Cavalidam (ISH) by Luidam (KWPN). Breeder: Eamonn Sheehan, Co. Kilkenny. Owner: Clare Hughes. Rider: Seamus Hughes-Kennedy (IRL).

Hollypark Galloway (ISH) – 2010 gelding by Castlelawn Galloway (OLD) out of Whitestown Diamond (ISH)[TIH] by Diamond Lad (ID). Breeder: John McCann. Owner: Cora Sharkey. Rider: Tim MacDonagh

Castlefield Hera (ISH) – 2014 mare by Plot Blue (KWPN) out of Little Miss Puissance (ISH) by Puissance (ISH). Breeder: Jim O’Neill. Owner: Clare Hughes. Rider: Seamus Hughes Kennedy (IRL).