Darragh Kenny took a place on the podium and won a cheque for €45,000 at Saturday night’s Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix at Miami Beach in Florida.
A tough first round course saw just five clear rounds from the 35 starters, with the Offaly man and the gelding Cassini Z among those making it through to the jump-off. The Irish rider finished with the fastest time in the decider (30.87 seconds), but unfortunately the very last fence fell to the floor to leave him in third place at the finish.
Victory went to Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander with California after they jumped clear in 32.07 seconds, while Qatar’s Bassem Mohammed and Gunder were the only other combination to jump double clear in a time of 35.47 seconds to finish second.
Speaking afterwards, Darragh Kenny was delighted with how Cassini Z performed:
“I felt super about my horse, he jumped brilliantly today. I was a bit disappointed about how I rode the jump-off. I think I could have played it a little bit safer at the last and made the others have to catch me, but Edwina is so fast anyway and Bassem was super [to win] in Doha too, so I thought I had to go a bit quick and unfortunately had the last jump down. I’ve had him about six months and I think he’s going to be a very good horse.”
Bertram Allen was seventh overall after picking up four faults in the first round with Gin Chin van het Lindenhof. He had earlier taken a runner-up finish in the Global Champions League with Valkenswaard United.
The Longines Global Champions tour moves to Asia for the next round in Shanghai, China, on April 28th-30th.