Ireland’s Darragh Kenny beat off a top-class international field to win the Connolly’s Red Mills International class for 7 and 8-year-olds at the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show on Wednesday.
Several of the world’s top riders including Britain’s Scott Brash, Swedish supe star Malin Baryard Johnsson and current World Cup Champion Daniel Duesser from Germany, took on Irish riders including Cian O’Connor and Denis Lynch.
But it was Darragh Kenny who came through, producing a stunning round with the eight year old stallion Chin Quidam VDL, to win the first of two qualifiers for Sunday’s Connolly’s Red Mills International 7 and 8 year old final.
Tipperary’s Greg Broderick,who finished third in the class in 2013, took runner up spot behind Kenny with the eight year old Javas Keltic Mist, while Alexander Butler finished third with Hallowberry Cruz.
“It’s great to come back to this show having been away for so long,” Kenny said afterwards. “I think Connolly’s Red Mills have turned this into a great class with the introduction of International riders. The lads that have good 7 and 8 year olds here at home get a chance to see what the best horses of the same age are like in Europe.”
Kenny said he was looking forward to Friday’s second qualifier. “He (Chin Quidam) is a very good young horse, he won the 7 & 8 year old championship in Aachen, Germany and he is going really well again here this week so hopefully he will keep it up.”
After the second qualifier the top half of the field will then go forward to Sunday’s prestigious Connolly’s Red Mills 7 & 8 year old International Final at 10.30am in the RDS main arena, where a two round competition including a jump-off will decide the overall winner.
Along with a very generous prize-fund, the owner of the winning Connolly’s Red Mills7 & 8 year old horse will receive The “John Higgins” Memorial Perpetual Challenge Trophy, while The “Corry” Perpetual Challenge Trophy will be presented to the rider of the winning horse.