World Cup win for Howley

  • 17 October 2023, 08:56
In another weekend of top sport, Howley won in Oslo, while O’Shea, Sweetnam and Swail shone in Mill Spring

Richard Howley had a weekend to remember at the FEI five-star World Cup show in Oslo. Following a ninth-place finish with HK Horses’ Zodiak du Buisson Z on Friday, Howley went on to win the 1.60m World Cup on Sunday evening with Consulent de Prelet Z, owned by HK Horses and Sarah Borthwick.

He faced stiff competition from some of the best riders in the world with 17 combinations jumping clear in the opening round. Of these 17, only ten riders successfully jumped clear in the timed phase with Howley posting the fastest time of the day – 34.55 seconds – to win the class.

Simon Delestre finished second for France, Britain’s Jack Whitaker was third and also for France Kevin Staut was fourth. Ireland’s Shane Breen finished fifth with Cuick Star Kervec, owned in partnership between Breen Equestrian Ltd and Quirke Sport Horses Ltd.

Richard Howley and Consulent de Prelet Z winners of the Cashel Palace at the Dublin Horse Show earlier this year
Photo: Laurence Dunne /

Stateside Success

In the CSI4* in Mill Spring (Tryon) Irish athletes showed their class. In Friday’s 1.50m Welcome Stakes Grand Prix qualifier there were four Irish combinations inside the top ten. Conor Swail finished second with Vital Chance De La Roque, owned by Mannon Farm. Shane Sweetnam was third with the Gizmo Partners LLC’s Irish Sport Horse James Kann Cruz.

Swail also filled fifth place with Casturano, also owned by Mannon Farm. David O’Brien was seventh with El Balou Old, owned in partnership between Chansonette Farm LLC and Leap Year Farm LLC.

In Saturday’s 1.60m Grand Prix it was Paul O’Shea and Imerald Van ‘T Voorhof who finished best of the Irish. O’Shea posted the fastest time of the four riders who progressed into the jump-off, however, an unlucky four faults pushed him into second behind Nayel Nasser for Egypt.

The 15-year-old gelding is owned in partnership between Imerald Partners LLC, Tequestrian Farms LLC and O’Shea. This result comes on the back of a series of good performances on late including a win at the CSI3* in North Salem. Sweetnam finished in tenth with James Kann Cruz.

In the CSI2* show at the same venue Irish athletes once again recorded top results. In the 1.45m Grand Prix qualifier Swail finished second with Count Me In. The 16-year-old gelding is owned by Sandy Lupton and Mannon Farm. O’Shea finished sixth with Team Eye Candy’s 9-year-old mare Dirty Girl.

Darragh Kenny also featured within the top ten, finishing in seventh place with Diva Karef BH, owned by Mimi Snow Sport Horse LLC.

Sunshine Tour Victories

Many Irish riders are competing in warmer climates at the moment, with international shows taking place across Europe. Over the course of the weekend, multiple Irish athletes recorded top ten placings in ranking classes, especially in Spain and Portugal.

In the CSI3* in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain, Irish Young Rider Niamh McEvoy got the weekend off to a brilliant start winning the 1.45m two-phase ranking class with the Irish Sport Horse Templepatrick Welcome Limmerick, owned by Robin Bingham.

In the same class Cian O’Connor finished third with Maurice, owned by Pat Crean. This is only the second international outing for O’Connor and the 11-year-old gelding.

This pattern continued on Saturday with McEvoy picking up her second international victory in as many days. This time she partnered DHF Lift Off (ISH) – a 9-year-old mare owned by GBBBS International Ltd – in the 1.45m speed class. O’Connor finished fourth with Fancy de Kergane, owned by Coolmore Showjumping.

McEvoy completed the weekend with a tenth-place finish in the 1.50m Grand Prix with Templepatrick Welcome Limmerick.

In the CSI3* show at Oliva, Spain it was Nano Healy who finished best of the Irish. Healy claimed third place in Sunday’s 1.50m Grand Prix riding Oak Grove’s Clown FRH – 9-year-old stallion, owned by Gestüt Eichenhain GmbH

Moving to Portugal, for the CSI2* at Vilamoura, Alexander Butler had two inside the top 10 in Thursday’s 1.45m speed competition. He was fourth with Chilli B and sixth with Pico (ISH).

In Sunday’s €52,600 1.45m Grand Prix, Seamus Hughes Kennedy was best of the Irish, taking the runner-up spot behind Victory Bettendorf for Luxemburg. Hughes Kennedy was on board the Irish Sport Horse Cuffesgrange Cavadora, owned by his mother Clare.

Of the nine riders that progressed through to the jump-off, three combinations were Irish.

Butler finished fifth in the same class with Pica. Hughes Kennedy also finished inside the top ten with Castlefield Hera, another Irish Sport Horse owned by Clare Hughes.

Nations Cup

Following another excellent performance from Irish teams throughout the year at FEI Nations Cup shows across all levels, Ireland once again produced another top five finish. Competing in the CSI4* Nations Cup in Rabat, Morocco, The Underwriting Exchange Irish Show Jumping Team, under the leadership of Taylor Vard, finished fourth out of eight teams competing.

The team of Billy Twomey riding Diego Del Caribe, Christopher Megahey riding Doriano de Blondel, Deirdre Reilly riding Cocktail de Talma and Jessica Burke riding Nikey HH finished on a team total of 22.

Belgium won the Nations Cup on a score of 4, with Switzerland hot on their heels on a score of 5 to take the runner-up position. Third went to France on 16.

As well as being part of the Nations Cup team, Burke also won Saturday’s 1.50m ranking class with the Irish Sport Horse Express Trend, owned and bred by Liam Nicholas.

Twomey also finished sixth in the 1.55m Grand with Doriano de Blondel, owned by David Lecach and Clement Lefebvre.



Templepatrick Welcome Limmerick (ISH) – 2010 mare by Limmerick (HOLST) out of Go Luckey (ISH) by Lux Z (HANN). Breeder: Dorothea Wilson. Owner: Robin Bingham. Rider: Niamh McEvoy (IRL).

DHF Lift Off (ISH) – 2014 Mare by Harlequin Du Carel (SF) out of Missy K (ISH) by Mr Clover (ISH). Breeder: Stephen Keane. Owner: GBBS International Ltd. Rider: Niamh McEvoy (IRL).

Pico (ISH) – 2011 stallion by Chekhov PZK (OLD) out of Da Soffer (AES) by Carrolls Flight (AES). Breeder: Norman Allen, Co. Westmeath. Owner: Timaskea Stud. Rider: Alexander Butler (IRL).

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

Castlefield Hera (ISH) – 2014 mare by Plot Blue (KWPN) out of Little Miss Puissance (ISH) by Puissance (ISH). Breeder: Jim O’Neill. Owner: Clare Hughes. Rider: Seamus Hughes Kennedy (IRL).

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).