IRELAND's excellent start to the Longines FEI World Cup season has continued, with Cork’s Shane Sweetnam claiming a runner-up finish in Toronto, Canada, in the early hours of this morning (Thursday).
Toronto was hosting a milestone 95th edition of the prestigious Royal Winter Agricultural Fair, where American rider Kent Farrington proved why he is the world’s top-ranked rider on the Longines Rankings. He and his 2016 Olympic Games partner Voyeur snatched the winners prize in the four-star $150,000 World Cup Grand Prix in front of a packed, enthusiastic crowd at the only indoor competition in Canada.
Farrington and his 15-year-old mount laid down a flawless jump-off round, winning with a final time of 35.51 seconds. Shane Sweetnam and the nine-year-old gelding Main Road, owned by Sweet Oak Farm and Seabrook LLC, crossed the line clear in 36.84 to finish second, while New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley and Barnetta produced the only other double clear round to take third place on the podium in 43.48.
Co Down’s Conor Swail was among six riders who made it into the jump-off and he eventually finished sixth when picking up 15 faults with the nine-year-old gelding GK Coco Chanel.
Swail has moved up to fourth place on the North American World Cup table with 40 points, while Sweetnam lies in ninth place (29). America's McLain world tops the table after five rounds with 45 points.
Irish riders are also well-placed on the European World Cup standings with Louth’s Mark McAuley in eighth and Tipperary’s Denis Lynch ninth.
The focus for Irish riders this weekend moves to the Longines Global Champions League, with Bertram Allen, Darragh Kenny and Cian O’Connor in Doha, Qatar for the final round of the series.