IRELAND’s Darragh Kenny and Billy Manjaro were best in the opening $8,000 1.40m Palm Beach Masters Warm-Up at the five-star Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup show at Deeridge Farms, Wellington, Florida, on Thursday.
Israel’s Sydney Shulman placed second with Azilis du Mesnil, while Canadian Olympian Amy Millar and Ericson were third.
“He was a little bit fresh, so he was cantering a bit quick. Not many people went very fast, and he was kind of running away with me, so I was just kind of going along with it,” said Kenny, adding that he has high hopes for the Animo-sired 10-year-old British-bred gelding.
“He still is green, and he gets a little bit tense sometimes, but he has a lot of quality, and a lot of scope, and I think he’s going to be a really incredible horse.”
This season is a reunion of sorts for Kenny and Billy Manjaro, who haven’t competed together in two years. “I bought him when he was seven, and I’ve slowly produced him until now. The two boys that ride for me, they [helped produce] him,” he explained. “I rode him a little as an eight-year-old, and I took him back over as a 10-year-old.”
He plans to compete Billy Manjaro in Saturday’s 1.50m $36,600 CSIO5* PBM Classic, and will also be part of the Irish team in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup on Sunday.
“The Jacobs, they do a fantastic job with the show, and they always have tried to have the best of everything for all the riders and the horses and the owners,” Kenny said. “It’s one of the best rings in the world.”
Irish chef d'equipe Michael Blake will name his starting four from the squad of Kenny, Cian O'Connor, Paul O'Shea, Captain Brian Cournane and Shane Sweetnam in the coming days.
Source: Palm Beach Masters