LYNCH SNATCHES LAST-CHANCE WIN AT ‘S-HERTOGENBOSCH by Louise Parkes
27 March 2011 – Ireland’s Denis Lynch snatched a last-minute place at next month’s Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping final in Leipzig, Germany with a superb victory in the final qualifier of the Western European League series at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands today. Riding the gigantic 11 year old gelding Abbervail van het Dingeshof which belongs to his Swiss patron Thomas Straumann, the Irishman produced a stunning round when eighth to go in the thrilling 17-horse jump-off, and could not be caught despite the best efforts of many of the super-stars who followed him.
“It’s my very first World Cup win – I’ve been trying to do this for the last 15 years and I’ve been placed plenty of times but I’ve never come out on top so it feels really good!” Lynch said. “I wanted to make it to the final and this was my last chance – I’m really happy it worked out and I’m delighted with my horse,” he added. A total of six Dutch riders went into the jump-off but Jeroen Dubbeldam (BMC Van Grunsven Simon), Eric van der Vleuten (VDL Groep Utascha SFN) and Piet Raijmakers Jr. (Van Schijndel’s Rascin) had to settle for second, third and fourth places respectively while Frenchman, Simon Delestre (Couletto), lined up in fifth.
This was a day of intense pressure, and Dutch course designer Louis Konickx was feeling it as much as the riders. “The second part of the start-list was a course-designers nightmare!” he said afterwards. “I didn’t want to be over the top with my track so I felt I needed to compromise, but the jump-off worked out very well so I’m satisfied,” he added. The ease with which so many managed to keep a clean sheet first time out was indeed surprising but possibly indicative of the familiarity and comfort so many horse-and-rider combinations have developed after the winter-long indoor season, along with the quality of the 40-strong field.