McGuigan takes Fifth for Ireland in Florida Grand Prix

  • 2 February 2014, 14:49

OMAGH’S Ronan McGuigan was the best of the Irish in tonight’s (Sunday) Grand Prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida, clinching fifth place with his ten year-old gelding Capall Zidane.

The New Jersey-based Ulsterman was one of two Irish riders through clear to the jump-off at the Wellington venue, but a single fence down denied him a chance at the winner’s trophy, which went instead to the USA’s Jack Hardin Towell and Man In Black, on a zero score.

Cork’s Shane Sweetnam also qualified for the final round from a starting field of 45, but failed to repeat his opening clear score, picking up eight faults on the Irish Sport Horse Solerina for an eighth place.

Sweetnam and Solerina, however, were in the prize money with a second place at Wellington’s opening competition on Friday, while later that day Offaly’s Darragh Kenny produced an Irish victory in the feature class on board the French-bred Quiz.

Kenny said after his victory: ” “He seems to be doing great. He was second last week and he won this week.

“He is going to have a week off next week. I really think a lot of the horse, so I am going to take my time with him.”

At the Austrian Grand Prix in Villach Treffen, meanwhile, Denis Lynch produced Ireland’s best result with an 11th place on All Star 5, faulting once in the jump-off, and with victory going to Italy’s Filippo Moyersoen and Loro Piana Canada on a double clear round. Irish riders had a good weekend in the Austrian classes, with Mayo’s Cameron Hanley and 18 year-old Wexford rider Bertram Allen both featuring in top ten placings.

Dubai’s three-star Grand Prix saw Kilkenny’s Marion Hughes take eighth place on the Irish Sport Horse Heritage HHS Fortuna, with first being taken by Qatar’s Hamad Ali Al Attya and LB Casanova.

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