Super Sweetnam takes top honours on Day 1 of Dublin Horse Show

  • 10 August 2023, 00:01

Shane Sweetnam and Out of the Blue SCF. Credit: Laurence Dunne /

Burke and Pender also shine on magical Irish afternoon

The 2023 Dublin Horse Show is off to a flying start, with Irish riders utterly dominant at the five-star show.

In the feature class of the afternoon, the Sport Ireland Classic, it was Cork’s Shane Sweetnam who claimed victory with Out of the Blue SCF, the nine-year-old grey mare owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC.

One of the last riders into the Main Arena, Ireland Nations Cup squad member Sweetnam had to beat the time of 66.88 seconds, set by Spanish rider Eduardo Alvarez Aznar.

It was a challenge he gladly accepted and jumped brilliantly before stopping the clock in 66.15 seconds around the 1.60m course.

Irish riders filled the majority of the placings within the top ten. Max Wachman was third with Quintini, owned by Coolmore Show Jumping. Hot on his heels was Sweetnam’s Ireland squad mate Cian O’Connor and Susan Magnier’s Tipperary.

Shane Breen came home in sixth place with Cuick Star Kervec. Following victory earlier in the day Jessica Burke finished seventh with the Irish Sport Horse Express Trend.

Jack Ryan and BBS McGregor (ISH), the combination who jumped a superb double clear for Ireland in the Nations Cup of Great Britain just a couple of weeks ago, were excellent again and finished ninth. Completing the top ten was Trevor Breen and Highland President.

Jessica Burke and Inpulss jumping to victory. photo by laurence dunne

In the 1.45m Minerva Stakes, Galway’s Burke proved much the best to add another five-star success to her CV on 10-year-old mare Inpulss.

Utterly dominant, Burke finished over three seconds ahead of runner-up Sienna Charles with Valkiry de Zance, with Tipperary’s Shane Breen in third with an old favourite of his, Z7 Ipswich.

To kick off the day, Mikey Pender – himself a Nations Cup squad member for Friday’s main event – and HHS Vancouver (ISH) were last into the arena but also fastest and stopped the clock after a clear round in 57.23 seconds.

It was a 1-2-3-4-5 for Irish riders with Richard Howley taking the runner-up spot with Mansini LTD in a time of 57.62 seconds, with third place going to European Champion Young Rider Seamus Hughes Kennedy on board Cuffesgrange Cavadora (ISH).


Express Trend (ISH) – 2010 gelding by Future Trend (OLD) out of Condios Express (ISH) by Condios (HOLST). Breeder and owner: Liam Nicholas. Rider: Jessica Burke (IRL).

HHS Vancouver (ISH) – 2013 gelding by Indoctro (KWPN) out of La Juanita by  Don Juan de La Bouverie (SBS). Bred and owned by Marion Hughes. Ridden by Mikey Pender.

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

BBS McGregor (ISH) – 2012 gelding by Cardento (HOLST) out of Random Chance (ISH) by Mark Twain (TB). Breeder and Owner: Marguerite Ryan, Co. Kilkenny. Rider: Jack Ryan (IRL).