THERE was another win for Offaly international show junper Darragh Kenny at the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival which hosted its third “Saturday Night Lights” event on Saturday.
Rainy skies did not dampen the level of competition seen in the $134,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3*. Darragh Kenny (31) and Classic Dream came away with the win in the highlight class of WEF 3.
The first rider went to post an hour earlier than the usual Saturday night start time due to expected inclement weather conditions. A total of 45 entries competed over a course designed by Peter Grant of Canada. Ten were clear in the first round to advance to the jump-off. Seven of those 10 were double clear, leading to a very fast second round for the top prize.
The first to go clear in both rounds was Juan Pablo Betancourt (COL) on his own Dreamer des Bergeries. They put in a solid trip in 51.78 seconds, which would slot them into seventh place. Sixth place went to Catherine Tyree (USA) on Mary & Joe Tyree’s Catungee, who was clear in 45.38 seconds. Beat Mändli (SUI) and Grant Road Partners LLC’s Galan S brought the leading time down to 45.36 seconds for fifth place.
Next into the ring was Kenny on Classic Dream, a nine-year-old German Sport Horse gelding by Colestus owned by Kenny and Ann Thompson. They blistered around the course with tight rollbacks in two spots on course to post a time of 42.42 seconds.
“I kind of just went!” said Kenny of his jump-off plan. “He hasn’t done so many jump-offs. He has never jumped a grand prix like this before in his life, but he really wants to do a good job. I think I was lucky. I got a really good turn back to the Rolex [jump] and to the wall, and he just tries to miss the jumps, so for me it is easy if I don’t screw it up.”
ONE TO WATCH
Kenny purchased Classic Dream as a six-year-old with World Champion rider Jos Lansink, who then sold his share to Ann Thompson. “This is a really amazing result for us because we bought the horse when he was six, and we have produced him the whole way along,” said Kenny. “I think we are both really excited about the horse. Today he showed that he has a lot of quality and ability, and I think we are just going to take our time.”
Following him in the ring was Beezie Madden (USA) on Abigail Wexner’s Chic Hin D Hyrencourt, who stopped the timers in 44.20 seconds for third place. Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) and Toulago, owned by Starlight Farms 1 LLC, placed fourth in 44.60 seconds.
Bad weather forced the cancellation of today's (Sunday) schedule at WEF.