Victory for Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam at Bridgehampton in New York

  • 1 September 2018, 09:42

Cork-born Shane Sweetnam has continued his good form at the Hampton Classic in New York, scoring a win in Friday’s Douglas Elliman 1m60 Grand Prix qualifier with Indra van de Oude Heihoef.

Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam won the $75,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix Qualifier CSI4* Presented by Longines. L-R Kathryn Gilbertson of the Blue Buckle Group (owners of the horse); Carl Benincasa Regional VP of Sales, Douglas Elliman and Paul Tracey of the Blue Buckle Group. © Shawn McMillen

Sweetnam had the luxury of having two horses in the jump-off and took full advantage of having a second opportunity to ride the course, putting into place changes that would ultimately help him win the class. Nine combinations made it into the jump-off where Sweetnam took the early lead with Main Road, jumping clear in a time of 39.42 seconds. He then had to turn his attention to his second horse, Indra van de Oude Heihoef and plan his return.

Sweetnam, who was second with Indra in the $10,000 Palm Beach Masters 1.45m class on Wednesday, made full use of his advantage of having two horses in the jump-off.

“I was lucky to have both go clear,” said Sweetnam after receiving the winner’s check from Carl Benincasa, the Regional VP Sales, Douglas Elliman, and a lovely new timepiece courtesy of Longines. “The plan is for Main Road to jump Sunday, so I was never going to go all out with him today. I was lucky enough to go quick enough to still get a good piece of it with him and finish fourth.

“Having been around once, it gave me the real advantage of knowing the route, how it felt, and where I could leave a stride out. I had to work for it, but she does cover the ground.”

Sweetnam blazed home in a time of 37.72 seconds for the win. Mexico’s Fernando Martinez Sommer finished second with Cor Bakker (38.19), while Devin Ryan finished third with Cooper in a time of 38.25. Sweetnam finished fourth with Main Road, while Mayo’s Cormac Hanley took seventh place with VDL Cartello.

The $300,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix takes place on Sunday.

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