TIPPERARY'S Shane Breen made a winning start to the indoor show jumping season when claiming the top prize in the 1m50 five-star speed class at Oslo in Norway on Friday evening.
He guided the 13-year-old stallion Golden Hawk to the fastest clear round, in 65.09 seconds, to take home just over €6,500.
Breen was also among the prizes in the later puissance competition when finishing third with the eight-year-old stallion Colmar.
On Sunday, Oslo will host the opening leg of the 2018/2019 Longines FEI World Cup. The World Cup in Oslo is immediately followed by legs in Helsinki (FIN) and Verona (ITA) later this month before the action moves on to Lyon (FRA), Stuttgart (GER) and Madrid (ESP) in November.
Shane Breen is joined in Oslo by fellow Tipperary rider Denis Lynch, Galway’s Michael Duffy and Offaly’s Darragh Kenny.
La Coruña (ESP) will mark the half-way point in early December, and then, after the Christmas shows at London, Olympia (GBR) and Mechelen (BEL), there will be just four chances left to chase down those precious points.
Basel in Switzerland will be a welcome new addition in January when Leipzig (GER) and Amsterdam (NED) will also attract the best riders to the closing stages. Bordeaux (FRA) will host the 13th and last qualifier in February.
The Longines FEI World Cup final will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden next April.