Irish 1-2 at 5-star Dubai Show Jumping Championships

Shane Breen won the Longines Accumulator Class with a maximum score of 65 in 49.22 seconds, beating Derry’s David Simpson to the top spot of the winner’s rostrum at the five-star Dubai Show Jumping Championships at Emirates Equestrian Club.

The Longines Accumulator is a special class, with each of a maximum ten jumps being assigned points. At the end, riders have the opportunity to choose either jump number 10 or the joker. Number ten earning them ten points, while the joker would earn twenty. Adding to the drama is the condition that if any of the fences are knocked down, the rider gets no points for the jump, except the joker, where the rider loses twenty points in the event of a knock down

Tipperary man, Breen, guided Can Ya Makan to the fastest clear in 49.22 seconds to take home the top prize of over €7,000. Simpson, who also had a maximum score of 65 points, stopped the clock in 50.96 seconds with the 11-year-old stallion Unex Cognac IV to take the runner’s-up spot and almost €6,000. Ramzy Al Duhami of Saudi Arabia took third place of the 34 starters with High Quality J in a time of 52.73 seconds.

Speaking after his win, Breen said he had a clear plan ahead of the competition: “I am very proud to win for Team Z7 (and) for all the team it is a great achievement. May it continue. This is a five star event, and well worth that status, the footing, the facilities for both the riders and the horses are excellent. The 2012 Olympic course builder Bob Ellis is the course designer here and he has done a great job. My plan was to complete the first few jumps in quick time and then be a little more careful for the ones after because the fences get higher and higher in the accumulator.”

David Simpson, who trained with Breen for seven years, spoke about the rising standard of show jumping in the UAE: “Having a five star event here in Dubai is incredible and it is really lifting the game here in the UAE, the result they got in Barcelona last year was incredible. There is a really tough field of riders and nothing is easy in the UAE, when you come here you have to be on your A game.”

Both Breen and Simpson are among the 41 starters in the Longines FEI World Cup qualifier in Dubai which is part of the Arab League and carries a prize fund of almost €150,000.

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