Tipperary-born Shane Breen won his first ever €300,000 Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Monaco on Saturday night in a competition which saw his fellow county man Denis Lynch join him on the podium as he took third place.
Breen, riding the 10-year-old chestnut stallion Ipswich van de Wolfsakker, was one of just six combinations that jumped clear in the opening round of the competition. Lynch and RMF Bella Baloubet soon joined him in the jump-off round and even briefly held the lead with the first clear round in the jump-off in a time of 40.43 seconds.
Italian Alberto Zorzi and Fair Light van T Heike were second last to go and they posted a clear in a time of 35.72 seconds.
Breen and Ipswich van de Wolfsakker were last to jump and produced a clear round in a time of 35.56 seconds which saw them claim the winner’s prize of just under €100,000. Runner-up Zorzi won €60,000 while Denis Lynch won €45,000 for his effort in third.
“I’m just ecstatic. It’s the first time I have won a Global Tour Grand Prix and I’m just over the moon. I though Ipswich was just incredible. Every jump, he was just giving more and more and I just though, he is just enjoying it, he’s loving it. I was a bit steady from fence 1-2 and then I thought, don’t panic, we will make it up some way. He is naturally quick, so when I jumped the second last I saw a stride to the last and I said, here goes. It’s fantastic, 18 riders go to it and ‘’m just so delighted – it’s a huge pot of money there and I’m looking forward to it!”
Breen’s win also gives him a place in the €1m Global Champions Tour play-off at the end of the season in Prague.