Memorable five-star win in Spain for Sligo’s Richard Howley while Shane Sweetnam takes runner-up spot in Hampton Classic
- 2 September 2018, 21:52
Sligo’s Richard Howley has scored one of the biggest wins of his career, coming out on top in tonight’s (Sunday) €150,000 five-star Grand Prix at the Spanish Nations Cup show in Gijon.
A hugely competitive jump-off saw 13 riders go forward to the second round, but none could match Howley’s winning clear in 59.86 seconds with the 10-year-old mare Dolores who is owned by Morgan Kent.
The result crowned a very successful week for Irish riders at the Spanish venue where Cork’s Billy Twomey recorded a double of wins along with victories for Limerick’s Paul Kennedy and Waterford’s Anthony Condon.
Richard Howley was crowned Leading Rider of the Show after also winning Saturday’s Accumulator competition with Cruising Star. The Irish team, led by Michael Blake, finished joint fourth in Friday’s Gijon Nations Cup.
At the Hampton Classic show in New York, USA, Cork’s Shane Sweetnam and Main Road took a runner-up finish in the $300,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix. Five combinations made it into the decider where American rider McLain Ward came out on top with HH Gigi’s Girl. Sweetnam was awarded the Longines Leading Rider of the show, collecting a $30,000 bonus and Longines watch after two wins along with his Grand Prix runner-up finish.
Meanwhile at the Brussels Stephex Masters in Belgium, Tipperary’s Denis Lynch finished sixth in the €300,000 Rolex five-star Grand Prix with the 10-year-old gelding The Sinner. Victory went to Germany’s Marcus Ehning with Comme IL Faut.
Lynch was crowned Leading Rider of the five-star classes at the show while Waterford’s Peter Moloney was also the Leading Rider in the three-star competitions. Both Irishmen collected brand new STX 2 Horses Trucks which they will keep for one year.