Darragh Kenny and Classic Dream won the highlight class of Week 3 of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, last night, claiming the $134,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3*.
A total of 45 combinations competed over the Peter Grant-designed course, with ten going clear in the opening round to advance to the jump-off. Seven of those 10 went double clear, leading to a very fast second round for the top prize at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
Colombia’s Juan Pablo Betancourt and Dreamer des Bergeries were the first combination to go double clear, finishing in 51.78 seconds, a round which would eventually place them seventh. Sixth place went to American Catherine Tyree on Catungee, who was clear in 45.38 seconds, with Beat Mändli of Switzerland with Galan S then posting a leading time of 45.36 seconds, good enough for fifth place at the end.
Offaly’s Darragh Kenny and the nine-year-old German Sport Horse gelding Classsic Dream then blistered around the course with tight rollbacks in two spots on course to post a time of 42.42 seconds, a time that would remain unbeatable.
“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.”
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.”
Americans Kent Farrington and Beezie Madden took second and third places respectively. Farrington and Baltic Star produced a double clear in 43.23 seconds, with Madden and Chic Hin D Hyrencourt stopping the clock at 44.20 seconds for third place.
Limerick rider Paul O’Shea with Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu finished tenth overall. The combination went clear to the jump-off, but then had seven faults in the second round, completing the course in 58.458 seconds.
Final Results: $134,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3*
1 Classic Dream and Darragh Kenny (IRL), 0/0/ 42.42 seconds.
2 Baltic Star and Kent Farrington (USA), 0/0/ 43.23 seconds.
3 Chic Hin D Hyrencourt and Beezie Madden (USA), 0/0/ 44.20 seconds.
10 Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu and Paul O’Shea (IRL), 0/7/ 58.458 seconds.