OFFALY’s Darragh Kenny added yet another top drawer podium finish to his incredible year when finishing second in the Rolex Top 10 final at CHI Geneva tonight (Friday). He was beaten to the top spot by America’s Kent Farrington.
One of the most prestigious classes in the world, Kenny’s goal at the beginning of the year was to make it into the top 10 ranking before December in order to compete in the class.
He rode Ann Thompson’s 10-year-old gelding Romeo 88 to one of three clear rounds in the first round of the 1.60m competition. Just eight returned for the jump-off when Swedish rider Henrik von Eckermann and Peder Fredricson both withdrew.
Coming in reverse order, there was no combination on a zero score when Kenny entered the arena as the penultimate rider. A second world class clear round with the Contact van de Heffinck-sired gelding in a time of 42.54 seconds saw him take the lead and put all the pressure on Kent Farrington.
One of the fastest riders in the world, Farrington guided Austria 2 to an effortless lightning fast round, taking two seconds off Kenny’s time to land the top sport and 160,00CHF (€146,000). Kenny earned 115,000CHF (€105,000).
Farrington, ironically, is ranked 11 in the world but in the absence of Beezie Madden (seventh) was eligible to compete in the final.
Speaking afterwards, Kenny said: “It’s an amazing feeling to ride in the Top 10 Final here. The crowd is incredible. It was a fantastic feeling, my horse was amazing. I am so thankful to have a horse like him.”
Daniels wins cross-country class
For the second year in-a-row, the indoor cross-country competition at the prestigious show was won by an Irish rider, when Galway’s Cathal Daniels claimed a magnificent victory tonight with the Sarah Hughes-owned gelding Alcatraz. Drawn second last to go in the competition, Daniels took the lead with a superb round which brought the Swiss fans to their feet, as he overtook his Irish team mate and defending champion Pádraig McCarthy, who had held the lead for much of the competition with Rosemaber Lancuest.
Daniels had an anxious wait before being confirmed as winner, when Karim Florent Laghouag produced a great round with Punch de L’Esques as last to go, with the French rider taking runner-up spot at the finish.
The result crowns an exceptional year for Cathal Daniels, with a string of top results during the season that included a bronze medal win at the European Eventing Championships.