France’s only representative at this year’s Stena Line Dublin Horse Show, Mathieu Billot, claimed the Land Rover Puissance with Dassler on Saturday evening.
Eleven combinations went into battle to claim the world’s richest Puissance, with five Irish involved, including 2019 Hickstead Derby winners Michael Pender and Hearton Du Bois Halleux, who started as the bookies favourite at the RDS.
In the opening round, all but Barbara Schnieper and Camara Bella CH jumped a clear round when the wall stood at 1m 80, or just short of 5 ft 11 inches.
The first jump-off round saw course builder Alan Wade increase the wall to 2m (just under 6 ft 7) and this height would take its toll on the field.
Spain’s Paola Amilibia and Cycloon W, Capt Geoff Curran with Bishops Qarter, Michael Whyte and Amaretto, and Wesley Ryan with Larthago all failed to clear the wall.
With the Puissance wall then increased to 2m 15in for the second jump-off round, Mathieu Billot and the 11-year-old gelding Dassler, who had previously cleared 2m 23 in a similar competition, were the only successful combination, thus claiming the 2019 Land Rover Puissance.
Mark McAuley and Utchan De Belheme were winners of the Longines Dublin Stakes, taking the jump-off with a clear round in 39.62 seconds.
American McLain Ward and Noche De Ronda, winners of the Stablelab Stakes on Thursday, were second in 40.43 seconds, with Longines World No. 1-ranked rider, Steve Guerdat of Switzerland with Alamo taking third in 40.52 seconds.