Irish showjumpers and their horses have produced a number of spectacular performances both in Europe and Spruce Meadows in Canada in recent days with Ireland achieving another terrific result in Belgium today.
Offaly man Darragh Kenny and the stallion Balou Du Reventon won the €500,000 five-star 1.60m Rolex Grand Prix at Knokke, with Wexford rider Bertram Allen taking third place in the same class.
Only six riders from the starting list went forward to the jump-off with three Irish combinations involved, Kenny, Allen and Louth’s Mark McAuley, who along with Valentino Tuiliere were the first to qualify for the second round.
McAuley and his partner were then first to enter the arena for the jump-off, but they unfortunately finished with one fence down, pushing them to sixth place in the end.
Germany’s reigning individual World Champion Simone Blum with DSP Alice, went clear in a fast 42.65 seconds, a time which Bertram Allen and Harley Vd Bisschop failed to better, despite a valiant effort.
Allen’s time of 42.96 seconds was good enough for third place, behind the German.
Kenny and Balou Du Reventon produced an outstanding clear round in 42.17 seconds when last to go, claiming the top prize of a new Audi Q7 along with almost €72,000.
It was Darragh Kenny’s second Grand Prix win in the last 24 hours having won yesterday’s three-star Grand Prix with Sweet Tricia. The Offaly rider was named leading international rider of the show just ahead of Allen in second.