Irish riders in good form at Spruce Meadows in Canada

Darragh Kenny and Romeo 88, winners of the 2019 RBC Capital Markets Cup. Credit: Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk.

The good form of Irish showjumpers has continued over the past number of days, with some of Ireland’s top riders competing at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Canada.

Darragh Kenny and the 10-year-old gelding Romeo 88 won the RBC Capital Markets Cup in the International Ring at Spruce Meadows by producing the fastest of just two double clear rounds.

In a class with 20 starters from 11 nations started, the Irish combination finished the jump-off clear in 44.33 seconds, leaving them almost six seconds faster than the only other double clear round which came from Mexican rider Nicolas Pizzaro with Fabrice DN.

The Offaly rider said of his horse Romeo 88:

“The first round course was tough, there wasn’t so many clears but it was a good jump off my horse really felt on point. I’ve only had him (Romeo 88) for five months but I think the sky is the limit.”

The Offaly rider’s good form in Canada continued in the TC Energy Winning Round (1.50m), a class for which 31 combinations had qualified.

Ten combinations, representing seven nations, went forward to the jump-off round, with riders returning in the reverse order of scores from the first round.

American Kent Farrington was second last to go in the jump-off round and posted a quick clear ride with a time of 52.47 second, before Ireland’s Darragh Kenny, the final rider to go in the competition, took advantage of watching Farrington’s ride and came in faster with a time of 51.86 seconds.

Darragh Kenny said of going last in the TC Energy Winning Round and what it took to win:

“I got to watch Kent, I knew how fast he was – he can go so fast, I knew I just needed to be faster and I had to take as much risk as possible and hope the jumps stayed up.”

Derry’s Jordan Coyle guided Bold Prinz to the top prize in the Friends of the Meadows Cup 1m50, beating off 74 competitors, at the same show, while Daniel Coyle took the ATCO Classic Speed (1.50m).

Co Down’s Conor Swail and the 9-year-old gelding Koss Van Heiste were third in the five-star Rolex Grand Prix, a competition in which Jordan Coyle and Eristov were sixth and Captain Brian Cournane and Armik seventh.

Meanwhile, Shane Breen recorded an excellent result in the €300,000 Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix at Cannes in France.

Drawn second to go in the 10 horse jump-off with Ipswich Van De Wolfsakker, Breen briefly held the lead with a clear in 38.10 seconds before eventually finishing fifth overall.

The winner’s prize of €99,000 went to Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels and Gancia de Muze with a scorching time of 34.69 seconds.


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