Seamus Hughes Kennedy Wins Horse Sport Ireland and Bottlegreen Grand Prix in Balmoral

  • 12 May 2023, 20:07
Irish riders fill the podium in Balmoral 1.45m CSI2* Grand Prix

Seamus Hughes Kennedy and EIS Ali (ISH) pictured with CEO of Horse Sport Ireland Denis Duggan and Head of Breeding, Innovation and Development Sonja Egan
Photo: Prime Photography

Kilkenny’s Seamus Hughes Kennedy riding the Irish Sport Horse ESI Ali wins this afternoon’s thrilling Horse Sport Ireland and Bottlegreen sponsored 1.45m Grand Prix in the main arena at the CSI2* Balmoral Show.

It was an all-Irish podium with Anthony Condon in second and Susan Fitzpatrick in third.

Owned by Clare Hughes, the eight-year-old gelding bred by Ennistag Stud is by Stakkato Gold (HANN) and out of Adelheid (KWPN) by Tygo (UNK). This victory comes on the back of a win in a 1.45m in Paris CSIU25 last month and in Vejer de la Frontera in the CSI1* in February.

Speaking to Horse Sport Ireland after his winning round Hughes Kennedy explained how special winning with ESI Ali was after what had been a tough week. He said: “Thanks to all the organisers and course builders at Balmoral, my family and to all those at Enisnag Stud (ESI) as Aunty Mary looks over all of us who we sadly lost last week.”

Eight riders progressed to the jump-off, five of which were Irish. First into the arena was Susan Fitzpatrick with Miss Paris, owned by Manny O’Hara. A competitive clear round in a time of 45.22 seconds saw them stay at the top of the leader board until Anthony Condon and SFS Vincomte came into the arena, stopping the clock in 42.97 seconds. The 13-year-old gelding is owned by Pat Hales and Anthony Condon.

Condon didn’t get a chance to get too comfortable, next into the arena was Seamus Hughes Kennedy and ESI Ali (ISH) who jumped clear in an impressive time of 42.39 seconds, proving unbeatable.

British riders William Fletcher and William Walker finished in fourth and fifth place respectively. James Brennan finished sixth with MHS I’m The One (ISH), Jonathan Smyth was seventh with Mulvin Lui (ISH) and British rider, and leading rider at this year’s Balmoral Show, Louise Saywell was eighth with Daniel.

An unfortunate four faults in the first round kept some of Ireland’s top riders from progressing to the jump-off including Dermot Lennon, Emily Turkington, Tom Wachman, Max Wachman, Niamh McEvoy and Shane O’Reilly.

The Irish Show Jumping team is sponsored by The Underwriting Exchange

Charles Ancona – Official athlete clothing supplier to HSI’s Senior Olympic programmes


ESI Ali (ISH) – 2015 gelding by Stakkato Gold (HANN) out of Adelheid (KWPN) by Tygo (UNK) Breeder: Ennisnag Stud. Owner: Clare Hughes. Ridder: Seamus Hughes-Kennedy.

MHS Im The One (ISH) – 2014 gelding by Lancelot (KWPN) out of Cavalier Kells Lady (ISH) by Cavalier Royale (HOLST). Breeder: Thomas Brennan. Owner: Sinead Byrne. Rider: James Brennan (IRL).

Mulvin Lui (ISH) – 2010 gelding by Luidam (KWPN) out of Castleconnor Baron (ISH) by Baron De Chantepie (SF). Breeder: Vincent Loftus. Owner: Noletta Smyth, Roy Craig. Rider: Jonathan Smyth (IRL)

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