GALWAY's David O’Brien filled the top two places in Wednesday's $35,000 1.45m Power & Speed Stake, on the opening day of the five-star fixture at Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina, USA.
O’Brien partnered the eight-year-old gelding KIR Royal SCF (Amaretto D’Arco x Nabab de Reve), owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC, to the winning time of 32.12 seconds. He also filled runner-up spot with Kirschwasser SCF (Amaretto D’Arco x Nabab de Reve) when crossing the line in 33.54.
“These horses are full brothers and both eight-year-olds, home-bred. This is their first time doing a five-star competition, and they’ve really moved up to the bigger levels now. The future looks promising,” O’Brien remarked. “KIR Royal SCF also won a 1.40m FEI class last week and is doing really well.
“These two horses have both come up through the Developing Jumper Series, and you need those kinds of young horse classes to develop these horses,” O’Brien said. “This facility is definitely a great place to bring these horses along, especially for me since I have young horses and stallions. It’s great to be able to pick and choose FEI classes for your upcoming mounts. For instance, there’s a 1.40m class available if you want it, but you’re still jumping against really great horses and you really get to test the calibre of your horse in a safe place.
“As always, thank you to Lisa Lourie of Spy Coast Farm, to all my sponsors, and to Shane Sweetnam for his help,” O’Brien concluded.
WIN FOR SWAIL
The earlier Power & Speed competition was also won by an Irish rider, with Co Down’s Conor Swail partnering the Vanessa Mannix-owned GK Coco Chanel to victory ahead of Caitlyn Connors (USA) in second with Express Blue Gp Du Bois Madame.
Tryon’s five-star show continues until Sunday with highlights including the $132,000 Horseware Ireland 1.50m Welcome Stake later today, the $35,000 Tryon Resort Speed Stake on Friday and $384,000 Rolex Grand Prix on Saturday.