DARRAGH Kenny took the final four-star win of week 10 at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida, USA when galloping to victory in Sunday’s 1.50m Classic aboard Volnay Du Boisdeville.
Just eight of the starting 58 made it through to the jump-off over the tricky track and Tipperary’s Tom Wachman just missed out on his place when picking up a single time fault with Lazzare Delle Schiave to finish ninth.
USA’s McLain Ward was the first double clear with his newer mount, Kasper Van Het Hellehof. The lead would be short-lived however, as Cork’s Shane Sweetnam upped the ante aboard the Triple S Group’s 10-year-old KWPN mare Holliewood (Nabab De Reve x Diva).
Sweetnam however, would only hold the title for mere minutes as his fellow countryman, Co Offaly native Darragh Kenny, once again rode to the fastest time as he blazed forward into the lead with a time of 36.64 seconds to win the top prize of $18,750.
“I thought today’s course was brilliant,” said Kenny. “Michel Vaillancourt did a great job, and to be able to end up with only eight clear out of that large of a field was pretty impressive. The jump-off was always going to be quick, but I know he is a naturally fast horse. I just had to do my own plan and it worked out for us today.”
Volnay Du Boisdeville, a 13-year-old Selle Français stallion (Winningmood x Jalisco B), is yet another mount acquired through Teddy Vlock’s Vlock Show Stables LLC.
“I took over the ride on this horse in the middle of the summer and just took it slow to build up a partnership with him. He was brilliant for Teddy [Vlock] when he had him, and it’s starting to go well for us. He jumped clear in the WEF Challenge this week, and he was just fantastic today so I am very happy with him.”
The victory gallop was poised to be all-Irish until the USA’s Lillie Keenan battled her way into the boys club as the final contender on course. Keenan piloted Skyhorse to second place in a time of 37.20 seconds. Daniel Coyle bookended the Irish podium as he stepped into the third-place position aboard Ariel Grange’s 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding Oak Grove’s Carlyle (Casall x San Patrignano Corrado). Sweetnam ended up fourth.
In Thursday’s opening four-star 1.40m, Kenny took the runner-up position with HKC Collection LLC’s 15-year-old mare Cicomein VDl when double clear in 31.11 seconds. Victory went to Germany’s Richard Vogel and Chaina-Blue P (0/0 29.83).
Young horse win for Gallagher
Tipperary-based Sligo show jumper Kevin Gallagher won the $10,000 MSporthorses Five-Year-Old Developing Jumper Series Classic at the venue. Riding for Charlotte Jacob’s North Star Sporthorses, he guided the Casall-sired mare Montana to victory when the best of five double clears.
Gallagher, who rides for Greg Broderick’s Ballypatrick Stables, commented: “I only started riding her a couple of months ago here; we help Charlotte so it’s her young horse. They bought her as a foal and have produced her all the way up through now. She has gotten better and better every week so it’s an exciting one to do with her.”
Charlotte herself took victory in the six-year-old Developing Jumper Series Classic with the Irish Sport Horse gelding Pablo C (Pollux de Muze Z x Pacino) who was bred by Jordan Campbell.
“We got him from Barnadown Show Jumping in Ireland after having followed his career throughout the summer,” described Jacobs, who is based at Ballypatrick for the summer months where she trains with Broderick. “He is incredibly easy, fun, and careful. He is everything you would want in a show jumper.”