A BRILLIANT performance from Tipperary's Denis Lynch and the 14-year-old stallion Cristello saw them record a runner-up finish in Sunday's five-star Rolex Grand Prix at Dinard in France.
One of seven combinations to make it into the jump-off, they crossed the line clear in 42.83 in the jump-off to collect a cool €100,000. Lynch and Cristello finished just a fraction of a second behind Swiss winner Martin Fuchs with Conner, while third place went to Germany's Christian Ahlmann with Clintrexo Z.
Top placings for Irish riders
Two Irish riders finished among the top six in the four-star Grand Prix at Valkenswaard in The Netherlands. Tokyo Olympics-bound Darragh Kenny finished fourth with Great-Tikila J - one place ahead of Mikey Pender in fifth with The Irish Sport Horse HHS Calais. Victory went to Abdel Saïd (EGY) and Arpege du Ru.
Meanwhile across the Atlantic, the all-Irish team of Shane Sweetnam, Andrew Bourns, and Jordan Coyle emerged victorious in the newly created Major League Show Jumping $200,000 team competition at the five-star fixture in Traverse City Michigan, USA.
Also in the USA, Co Down's Conor Swail and Vital Chance De La Roque galloped to victory in Saturday's $73,000 two-star Grand Prix at Tryon International Equestrian Center.
Swail and his new ride have proven their competitive edge in their first six months together after a bit of a learning curve, he shared. “We’re starting to gel really well together,” Swail explained. “He’s very fast, very careful, [and] very smart. He’s a little feisty to ride, which took me a while to figure out, but I think we have a good partnership now and I hope this continues for a while.”
HHS Calais (ISH) – 2011 gelding by Cavalier Royale (HOLST) out of MHS OBOS Cruise (ISH) by OBOS Quality (OLD). Breeder: Ita Brennan, Co. Kilkenny. Owner: Bravo Hughes Ltd. Rider: Michael Pender (IRL).
Source: Horse Sport Ireland press release