IRELAND’S Darragh Kenny rode 10-year-old dark chesnut stallion Irwin (Kannan x Paladin des IFS) into fifth place in the $450,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ President’s Cup Grand Prix in Washington on Sunday, October 29.

Kenny was one of seven clear rounds to make it through to the jump-off, where he had an unfortunate fence down in a time of 35.29 seconds to finish in fifth place.

Fellow Irishmen, Conor Swail on Calciet EB Z, a 10-year-old grey mare (Cornet Obolensky x Berlin) and Shane Sweetnam on 10-year-old grey gelding James Kann Cruz (Kannan x Cruising) both completed the first round on four faults, but they both finished inside the top 10, claiming eighth and ninth places respectively.

Shane Sweetnam and James Kann Cruz took runner-up spot in Thursday's $78,000 Welcome Stake 1.55m class in Washington \ Shawn McMillen Photography

It was a home win in the class for USA rider Katherine (Katie) Dinan, who rode 17-year-old Brego R’n B to their first five-star Grand Prix win together – although, after working on her speed efficiency in jump-offs, with longtime coach Beat Mändli (SUI), this is the pair’s third Grand Prix win since June.

There were only four double clears over Bernardo Costa Cabral’s (POR) short course. Dinan and Brego R’n B, whom she has been riding for five years, secured the first World Cup victory of their partnership, just ahead of Rene Dittmer (GER) and Corsica X in second.

Dinan rode a bold round, particularly with the distance into the combination three obstacles from home and managed to leave out a stride to the final oxer to secure the victory, in a winning time of 33.50 seconds. Dittmer settled for second (34.40 seconds), followed by Devin Ryan (USA) and Eddie Blue in third on 34.74 and Alise Oken (USA) and Gelvera in fourth on 36.81 seconds.

“It’s hard not to love Brego. He’s a super, super horse. I am so lucky to have him... This is our first five-star Grand Prix win together, and he’s 17. He really, really deserves it. I’m thrilled for him,” said Katie.

The North American League continues at Lexington (USA) on November 4th.

Meanwhile, in Washington on Friday (October 27), 20 combinations representing eight countries competed in the feature class, the $78,000 Speed Final CSI5*. Switzerland’s Beat Mändli took the top spot, steering Chartraine Pre Noir round the course to achieve the fastest clear round in 51.06 seconds, but Conor Swail and Mannon Farm’s 10-year-old gelding Casturano were a close second, stopping the clock in 51.67 seconds. Mändli’s student Katie Dinan (USA) finished third with Akita des Hauts Vents.

The opening night of the show on Thursday (October 26) saw show jumping action kick off with the $78,000 Welcome Stake, in which Germany’s Rene Dittmer was the best of the 23 starters, nine of whom managed to keep all the fences intact in the first round. Dittmer’s speedy time of 29.58 seconds was closely followed by Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam with the brilliant James Kann Cruz, bred by Patrick Connolly, who finished clear in 30.61 seconds. Jad Dana (LBN) placed third. Conor Swail finished sixth with Calciet EB Z.

Next up was the $40,000 International Jumper Accumulator class, where riders earned points for each clear fence they jumped plus an additional 20 points for the final fence; spectators were treated to the riders being in fancy dress for this class!

Dittmer was again victorious, this time riding Burlington Riverland to score the maximum 65 in a super-quick time of 44.32 seconds. Being German, Dittmer was dressed as a beer!

Aaron Vale, dressed as a unicorn, on his Pegasus, Elusive came second in 45.58 seconds, with Dracula (Conor Swail) riding Casturano into third in a time of 46.32 seconds.