Irish showjumpers had a triumphant opening day on Wednesday at the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show, with back-to-back wins in the two international classes.
Mayo’s Cameron Hanley dominated the first competition, the Speed Stakes, romping home with two fellow-countrymen on his heels, but stopping the clock with over a second in hand.
Thomas Ryan and the Irish Sport Horse Cruise on Clover placed second, with another Irish Sport Horse, Westland Ruby, claiming third with Michael Duffy on board. Tipperary’s Shane Breen was also placed equal fourth in the Speed Stakes with Ominerale Courcelle, forcing the USA’s Jessica Springsteen and Davendy S into sixth overall.
Two members of the Irish Aga Khan squad featured in the second big class of the day, the Irish Sports Council Classic, which had two rounds with top international riders facing a formidable maximum fence height of 1m60.
While 19 year-old Wexford rider Bertram Allen finished in ninth place with the stallion Romanov, it was Offaly’s Darragh Kenny who took the trophy and its €8000 prize money with the gelding Picolo, much to the delight of the home crowd. Kenny outpaced the world’s No. 3 rider, Britain’s Scott Brash, to give Ireland its second victory of the day in the main arena.