VICTORY eluded Ireland’s Kevin Babington in the Longines Grand Prix at the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show on Sunday evening, with the USA’s Kent Farrington pipping him for the €66,000 first prize.
The 46-year-old Tipperary native was one of eight through to the jump-off from a starting field of 40, and although holding the lead briefly with the bay mare Shorapur, US rider Farrington and Uceko, one time winner of the King George V Gold Cup at Hickstead, came home with a comfortable two-and-a-half seconds in hand.
US-based Babington, once a regular member of Ireland’s winning Nations’ Cup teams with the great Carling King, nevertheless went home €40,000 euro richer for his second place.
Co Down’s Conor Swail and the bay stallion Grand Cru V. Vijf Eiken claimed €30,000 for their third place, just over half a second behind Babington, while Wexford’s Bertram Allen and Romanov finished in seventh after incurring eight faults in the jump-off round.
Shane Breen and Golden Hawk were second-fastest of the first round’s four-faulters and placed 10th.