Tag Archives: Darragh Kenny

Darragh Kenny Wins $36k Free x Rein Int’l Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4* Costume Class at NHS

Darragh Kenny on Billy Dorito.

Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 30, 2019 – Donning festive costumes to celebrate the Halloween season, 57 horse-and-rider partnerships representing 10 nations tested their footspeed Wednesday evening in the $36,000 Free x Rein International Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4*, the first show jumping class of the 2019 National Horse Show. Ranked No. 9 in the world based on the Longines FEI standings, Darragh Kenny (IRL) proved why he deserves that distinction with a rapid navigation of the course with the reins on Vlock Show Stables LLC’s Billy Dorito, besting a field comprised of riders in guises such as the Flintstones, Toy Story characters and the Joker, among many other inventive outfits.

Operating under a one-round speed format, the class challenged exhibitors to be quick and careful over designer Ken Krome’s (USA) 13-effort track, which ultimately only saw a total of 26 clear rounds from the initial start list. Riding first in the order, Katie Dinan (USA) and Brego R’N B wasted no time as the first pair to successfully tackle the course without incurring any faults, serving as the trailblazers and setting the standard at 72.46 seconds. Just a few trips later still early in the order of go, Shane Sweetnam (IRL) substantially improved upon his peer’s time, slicing across the course and tripping the timers in 64.11 seconds aboard Karlin Van’t Vennehof to propel themselves to the early lead.

Amazingly trimming even more time off the clock, Daniel Coyle (IRL) and CHS Krooze maneuvered the pattern at a breakneck pace, galloping across the finish line almost ten full seconds faster in 53.80 seconds. Their time would not hold for long though, as fellow Irishman Kenny jockeyed Billy Dorito to the slightly faster time of 53.74 seconds, capturing the lead by mere milliseconds as the 16th duo in the order. More than 40 subsequent contenders, which featured costumes such as jockeys, a judge, Mario and Luigi, multiple generations of Madonna and more, chased down the frontrunners over the remainder of the class, but the swift speed put forth by Kenny and Billy Dorito proved uncatchable, solidifying the Irish partnership as the 2019 winners of the $36,000 Free x Rein International Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4*. Dressed as a skeleton, Coyle retained second position with his own CHS Krooze, and Andy Kocher (USA) jumped to the final podium spot aboard Eye Candy Jumpers’ Fashion V, breaking the beam in 54.070 seconds as Freddie Mercury and his golden steed.

Appropriately outfitted for the Kentucky crowd, Sloane Coles (USA) dressed as a bottle of bourbon for her ride aboard Calisto 26. Going all out with a body suit and cut-out photos of the famous Kentucky liquor, she was awarded the Best Costume Award for her creative efforts.

Scott Stewart and Becky Gochman Reign Supreme

Wednesday morning at the 136th annual National Horse Show brought top hunter horse-and-rider combinations to the Alltech Arena of the Kentucky Horse Park. As the oldest indoor horse show in the United States, the National Horse Show has earned a permanent spot on the calendars of many elite professionals and amateurs who make the trip from far and wide to vie for the titles and perpetual trophies up for grabs each year. Following Tuesday’s start to the hunter divisions, the first round of championship honors was awarded for the 2019 National Horse Show on Wednesday. Of the contenders, it was Dr. Betsee Parker’s Lucador, piloted by Scott Stewart, who received the Grand Champion Professional Hunter title. Stewart also went on to claim the Leading Hunter Rider trophy for his 13th time, while Becky Gochman and Catch Me earned the Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter trophy, walking away with the iconic black cooler embroidered with the National Horse Show historic emblem.

Stewart and Lucador have a long-standing history of excellence together. After years of accumulating tricolor ribbons across the nation, the pair earned their final Grand Champion Professional Hunter title in their last show together. Stewart and the 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding earned their points in the High Performance Hunter division, taking top three placings in all of the over fences classes and first in the under saddle class over the course of the two days, resulting in their championship honors in the division. Lucador’s name is already etched on the Grand Champion Hunter Trophy four times, adding his name once again to the coveted centerpiece in 2019 for the fifth time. The talented horse will go on to compete in the Junior 3’3” Hunters 15 and Under with Maddie Tosh, a transition that is bittersweet for Stewart as their successful partnership comes to a close.

During the awards ceremony, Stewart was once again invited back to the arena for the Meralex Farm Leading Hunter Rider Award for the Leading Hunter Rider Challenge Trophy. Phenomenally, this was Stewart’s thirteenth time placing his name on the Leading Hunter Rider Challenge Trophy, which was originally donated by Mr. and the late Mrs. Kenneth Wheeler. The well-known hunter rider accumulated his points towards the trophy with a whopping seven horses, including Everwonder, Cabrio, Critics’ Choice, Lucador, Private Life, Catch Me, and Cameo.

Also returning competitors to the National Horse Show, Gochman and Catch Me, owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, clinched the Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter title for the “Ruxton & Scot To Do” Challenge Trophy. The pair made a clean sweep in the Amateur Owner 3’6” Hunter 36+ division, winning every single class for a perfect 40 points. This is Gochman and the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding’s second year in a row securing the Ellen Van Dyke-donated trophy. With “Snoopy,” Gochman has found much success in the Amateur divisions across the country, most recently taking Grand Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter Champion at the Washington International Horse show.

To learn more about the National Horse Show, click here.

Irish Take 2019 Title and Tokyo Qualifying Spot

(L to R) Paul O’Shea, Peter Moloney, Chef d’Equipe Rodrigo Pessoa, Darragh Kenny, and Cian O’Connor. (FEI/Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)

The Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final 2019 came to thrilling climax, and it was Irish eyes that were smiling when Rodrigo Pessoa’s team of Peter Moloney, Paul O’Shea, Darragh Kenny, and Cian O’Connor clinched victory in fine style. Completing with just a single time fault, they pinned the defending champions from Belgium into runner-up spot while Sweden lined up in third. And to put the icing on the Irish cake, they also collected the Olympic qualifying spot they have been craving for a very long time.

Brilliant course-building by Spain’s Santiago Varela, who will also be presenting the tracks in Tokyo next summer, ensured another nail-biting afternoon during which it was impossible to predict the destiny of the coveted series trophy until the very last moment. But the Irish had already booked their Tokyo tickets before anchorman O’Connor went into the ring.

A single mistake from pathfinder Moloney and Chianti’s Champion at the massive triple combination three from home was followed by a superb clear from O’Shea and Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu. So when Kenny and Balou du Reventon collected just that single time fault then the road to Tokyo was already closed to their rivals from Colombia and Italy.

And then O’Connor turned a great day into an amazing one with a foot-perfect run from PSG Final because that put pressure on the Belgians for the Longines series title. The newly crowned European champions posted clears from Olivier Philippaerts (H&M Extra) and Jerome Guery (Quel Homme de Hus) and were looking good for their second victory in a row. One more clean run from anchorman Gregory Wathelet and MJT Nevados would clinch it because they could drop the unlucky four picked up by Niels Bruynseels and Jenson van’t Meulenhof at the very last fence. But, to gasps of disbelief from the crowd, Wathelet’s stallion uncharacteristically ducked out at the penultimate vertical, so Bruynseels’ four had to be counted and that would only be good enough for second place.

“We had a very clear objective coming here; the riders were super-focused and the horses were in great shape. Today we expected a very tough fight from Italy and Colombia who were our direct opponents (for Tokyo qualification), but as it happened, we were also holding strong against the big countries like Belgium and others. People sometimes don’t realise the pressure the riders are under to bring this qualification home. The weight of their country was on their shoulders; it was a big ask from them and to do it in the style they did it – hats off to them!”– Rodrigo Pessoa (Chef d’Equipe Team Ireland)

O’Connor, a member of the last Olympic team fielded by Ireland in Athens (GRE) in 2004, pointed out that the Longines title was always in their sights this week.  “Our aim was to win this trophy all along; obviously the Olympic qualification was also our goal, but you don’t come here just to qualify – we came here to win, and by doing so we got the bonus of qualification!” he said. And the team honoured one of the members of that 2004 Irish side, Kevin Babington, who finished individually fourth with the great Carling King that year and who experienced a life-changing accident four weeks ago, by wearing armbands bearing his name this week.

Pessoa was delighted with the spirit shown by his riders. “With teams there are good days and bad days… there’s a lot of chemistry, but the most important thing is that on the day it really counts, everyone sticks together and pulls the same way. People can leave their personal issues on the side and really pull for the country and that’s what happened here. I’m really proud of what they did today!”

Kenny said he realised how important his ride was. “I was a bit nervous going in the ring but I’m very lucky. I’ve an incredible horse; he’s absolutely amazing and he tried so hard. On Thursday he jumped an incredible clear and today I was just trying to make sure I left all the jumps up. Unfortunately, Santi [Santiago Varela, course designer] told me that I was the only person to get a time fault! My goal coming here was to try and do a double-clear, to try and get Ireland to Tokyo – that was the most important thing, and I’m glad I could be part of this great team. We were all fighting together; that was the most important thing,” he added.

That one time fault cost him a share of the €100,000 bonus for double-clear rounds that instead was divided between Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts and Germany’s Daniel Deusser.

There was a great sense of satisfaction for Pessoa. “We already had two disciplines qualified (Dressage and Eventing) but it’s been a long time since Ireland, a great equestrian nation, has been at the Olympics Games in showjumping and it was this team’s responsibility to bring it home. That for me was the most stressful thing today, to feel what they felt and how hard it must have been for them to ride in those conditions. They had such a great mental attitude – nothing could have stopped them from achieving what they did. I was called in a few years ago to do a job (achieve Olympic Jumping qualification) so now it’s mission accomplished!” he said.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Darragh Kenny Continues Streak to Win $35k Commonwealth Grand Prix with Scarlett Du Sart Z

Photo: Darragh Kenny and Scarlett Du Sart Z.

Lexington, Ky. – May 12, 2019 – The Kentucky Spring Horse Show closed out in the Rolex Stadium on Sunday with the $35,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington. With 44 starters challenging each other, it was Darragh Kenny that once again could not be beat in the jump-off, this time winning with Vlock Show Stables’ Scarlett Du Sart Z. Kenny also walked away with the Leading Open Jumper Rider Award, sponsored by Envisian Products, after accumulating the most points through his top placings in the Welcome Speed, Hagyard Lexington Classic, Kentucky Spring Grand Prix, and Sunday’s grand prix.

Abigail McArdle and Cade Capture $15,000 Under 25 Grand Prix

Earlier in the day, the $15,000 Under 25 Grand Prix took place in the Rolex Stadium, giving up-and-coming athletes the opportunity to try their hand at the 1.40m and 1.50m height. Twenty-five athletes entered the class hoping to walk away with the winning title, but it was Abigail McArdle and her longtime partner Cade who took the top prize. The 16 effort track proved tricky for some competitors with both time and jumping faults playing a role in the day’s challenges. Only three competitors returned for the jump-off, Delaney Flynn, Tanimara Macari, and McArdle.

Havens Schatt Is Spectacular to Win $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

Sunday competition highlighted top hunter horses in the Stonelea Ring with the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Dietrich Equine Insurance where Havens Schatt and Spectacular claimed the win.

Jeff Gogul Maintains $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Title

Preceding Sunday’s international derby, the Stonelea Ring saw 25 horse-and-rider combinations contest the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by World Equestrian Center and Kentucky Horse Shows, the first of 15 World Equestrian Center/Kentucky Horse Shows USHJA National Hunter Derby Series events, where Jeff Gogul defended his title to once again claimed the victory, this time aboard Counselor.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com

Darragh Kenny Takes Top Two Spots in 1.45m Open Jumpers at Kentucky Spring Horse Show

Photo: Darragh Kenny and Christos.

Lexington, Ky. – May 10, 2019 – The Kentucky Spring Horse Show opened Friday morning competition in the Rolex Stadium with the $5,000 1.45m Open Jumpers, where 38 horse-and-rider combinations contested Anderson Lima’s (BRA) 13-effort track. The top contenders advanced to the second round, but none could catch Ireland’s Darragh Kenny, who rode the quickest double-clear rounds for the top two spots aboard Christos and Sweet Tricia, respectively.

Emily White and Scandeek Seal Win in Ariat National Adult Medal

Hunter competition kicked off in the Claiborne Ring, starting with the Ariat National Adult Medal on Friday. Eleven amateur athletes entered the ring with their mounts attempting to earn the highest score. At the end of competition, however, it was Emily White and her own Scandeek who claimed the blue ribbon.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com

Star-Studded List to Compete at Longines Masters of New York

New York, NY – Thirteen Olympians and four of the top-ten riders in the world will ascend on the northeastern United States for the Longines Masters of New York, running April 25 through 28, 2019, at NYCB LIVE, Home of the Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum.

The Longines Masters of New York features the 2019 edition of the Longines Grand Prix of New York and the fourth leg of the innovative Riders Masters Cup, which pits Riders Europe and Riders USA teams against each other in multi-phase transatlantic duels. All the action will be made even better with decorated riders representing 12 countries across the globe coming to New York with their very best equine athletes to compete.

From world No. 2 rider McLain Ward and four-time Olympian Beezie Madden of The United States to former world-ranking leader Harrie Smolders of The Netherlands and Darragh Kenny of Ireland, equestrian powerhouses will turn out in full force for the Longines Masters of New York. But they will be contested by some of the sport’s rising stars in Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts, France’s Edward Levy, and Egypt’s Nayel Nassar, as well as Adrienne Sternlicht, Lillie Keenan, and Jennifer Gates of The United States.

See The Masters One Riders.

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jennifer@jumpmediallc.com

Turf Tour Crowns Kenny & Tynan in Final Show of 2019

Darragh Kenny and Sweet Tricia (Photo courtesy of Equinium)

Wellington, FL (April 1, 2019) – Friday at Black Watch Farm wrapped up one of the most successful seasons of Turf Tour competition yet, with more than 50 horses competing in the $18,000 Turf Tour Finale Grand Prix and the Leading Open Rider driving away in a new custom golf cart courtesy of Iron Horse Transit. The day’s competition featured two arenas and full divisions, including .80m – 1.40m, Junior/Amateur Owner/Amateur, High Child/Adult, and Low Child Adult classes, in addition to the weekly Turf Tour Grand Prix and Rising Star Classic. Founded and designed by Nona Garson and George D’Ambrosio, the Turf Tour’s vision to provide picturesque show jumping for all levels of riders was epitomized in the 2019 Finale. For those looking for one more event during the 2019 Florida season, The Ridge at Wellington will host a final Schooling Show at their home farm April 6-7.

The Finale Grand Prix was a fitting testament to the Turf Tour’s goals of preparing horses and riders for the next level of competition. Designed by Jamie Morillo of Ecuador, the 17-obstacle course featured a number of questions to test both horse and rider, including S bending lines, a triple combination, a triple bar to a skinny vertical, and tight turns to long gallops in the jump-off. The Finale’s roster included such international and Olympic stars as Martin Fuchs, Laura Kraut, Hardin Towell, Sam Walker, Molly Ashe-Cawley, Ilan Bluman, and Conor Swail, with 11 first round clears and three double clear efforts. International Irish show jumper Darragh Kenny and SHL Sweet Tricia were the ultimate victors, with an early in the class jump off time of 45.270 that couldn’t be touched. Hardin Towell and Dubai held second for the majority of the class on 46.574 seconds, but eventually relinquished the runner up spot to Jenn Serek and Wicked, whose quick jump-off resulted in a time of 45.965. Serek was also awarded the Leading Lady Rider, and was presented with a selection of equestrian skincare products from Equestria Pro Sportif.

With multiple 2019 Turf Tour victories to his name, including back to back wins in the Grand Prix and Rising Star, Willie Tynan was crowned the 2019 Turf Tour Leading Open Rider for his accumulated points. His prize: a custom golf cart outfitted with his new title and presented by Iron Horse Transit, the official horse carrier of the 2019 Turf Tour. Tynan, who had a fantastic year with his two main horses, KEC Kris Kringle and KEC City Limits, said the Iron Horse golf cart was just the icing on the cake: “It really has been a wonderful season, and this prize is just an added bonus. I couldn’t be more impressed with my horses and the effort they put in this year, and thankful to my team, Nona and George, and Iron Horse Transit for their tremendous support of our sport and offering to provide such wonderful options for riders and horses during our time in Florida.”

For full results, visit www.HorseShowing.com.

For full schedules and prizelists, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

Media contact:
PR and Marketing
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
www.equinium.com
holly@equinium.com
+1 954 205 7992

Darragh Kenny and Classic Dream Weather the $134k Adequan Grand Prix CSI 3* for Victory

Darragh Kenny and Classic Dream. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 26, 2019 – The 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) hosted its third “Saturday Night Lights” event on January 26 under rainy skies, but it did not dampen the level of competition seen in the $134,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3*. Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Classic Dream came away with the win in the highlight class of WEF 3.

The first rider went to post an hour earlier than the usual Saturday night start time due to expected inclement weather conditions. A total of 45 entries competed over a course designed by Peter Grant of Canada. Ten were clear in the first round to advance to the jump-off. Seven of those 10 were double clear, leading to a very fast second round for the top prize.

Jef Lauwers Sweeps the Competition to Claim Champion in the Adequan Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” 18-35 Division

Competition wrapped up in the Rost Arena on Saturday with the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” 18-35 division returning to contest for championship honors in their final two over-fences classes. Having earned the blue ribbon in all three classes the previous day, Jef Lauwers of Magnolia, TX sealed the victory by displaying another winning round as well as earning fifth place in the last class.

Lauwers piloted trainer Peter Pletcher’s 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Sir Donnerhall x Glorious Lady), Sutherland, to four out of five possible first place ribbons and was uncatchable for the champion title with over 40 points accumulated. The reserve went to Caroline Gibson with the Shadyside Farm’s 15-year-old Hanoverian mare, Gia.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Darragh Kenny and Billy Dorito Win Opening Class during Second Week of WEF

Darragh Kenny and Billy Dorito. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL — January 16, 2019 — The second week of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) kicked off on Wednesday, January 16, in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL with a win for Ireland’s Darragh Kenny aboard mount Billy Dorito. The pair went early in the lineup and held the lead all the way through in the $8,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m Open Jumper class.

WEF continues with 12 consecutive weeks of world-class competition through March 31, 2019. The second week of competition at WEF is sponsored by NetJets and features the $72,000 NetJets Grand Prix CSI2* during “Saturday Night Lights” on January 19 at 7 p.m. in the International Arena. The week will also host a variety of other FEI-rated two-star events in jumper divisions, along with top hunter and jumper competition.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Darragh Kenny and Billy Dorito Are Best in $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Speed Challenge at WEF

Darragh Kenny and Billy Dorito. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL — January 11, 2019 — Ireland’s Darragh Kenny and his mount, Billy Dorito, bested a field of 68 entries to win the $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Speed Challenge by a margin of more than three seconds on Friday, January 11, during the first week of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.

In Friday’s featured $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Speed Challenge, Kenny and Billy Dorito were the seventh entry to contest the Eric Hasbrouck-designed track, stopping the clock in a quick and clear 71.221 seconds. While 21 entries would jump clear throughout the class, none would catch the early time to beat set by Kenny and the nine-year-old bay Anglo European Studbook gelding (Billy Mexico x Vechta) owned by Vlock Show Stables LLC.

Laurie Stevens and Santiago Return to WEF to Win Adult Amateur Hunter Older Grand Champion

After a year-long hiatus from the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, Laurie Stevens and her own Santiago returned ready to win. The pair performed consistently throughout the division with two firsts, a second, a third, and fifth to capture the grand championship title during Week 1 of the Winter Equestrian Festival.

“Two years ago, I was reserve champion for the entire circuit, but then I had an accident in July of 2017 that forced me to take the entire last year off,” Stevens said. “So, I haven’t even been in this ring in two years.”

The pair made their first debut back into the Adult Amateur division in July and have been working hard to be ready for the winter season since.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Mr Blue Sky Dazzles as Williams and Billot Share Puissance Title

Day three of Olympia, The London International Horse Show attracted a sell-out crowd for The Cayenne Puissance, one of the star attractions of the week-long event. The Puissance title was eventually shared by Great Britain’s Guy Williams (Mr Blue Sky UK) and France’s Mathieu Billot (Dassler), after both pairs cleared the formidable 7ft 4in (2.23m) high ‘red wall’ in the fifth and final round.

The opening day of the Show Jumping competition was certainly one to remember for Darragh Kenny. The 30-year-old Irishman (Cassini Z) first pipped Great Britain’s Robert Whitaker (Catwalk IV) by just one hundredth of a second to take top spot in The Santa Stakes supported by Olympia. Kenny then made it a memorable double after he and his 10-year-old bay gelding, Carlson, fought off a valiant effort from Great Britain’s William Funnell (Billy McCain) to take the honours in The Musto Inside Edge Stakes. The afternoon performance of the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National was won by Meredith Reader-Smith and Holydell Poseidon, while the evening performance was won by Poppy Dadson and Merkisayre Sea Duble.

Katie Bradburne Scores a Runaway Victory

British international rider Holly Smith (Grennanstown Sarco Lux Hill) and 10-year-old Katie Bradburne (Runaway Dolly) won the ever-popular Pony Club Mini-Major from the front.

After Smith’s faultless start, Bradburne raced against the clock with the Irish-bred pony her brother, Thomas, had finished third with in this class last year.

“Holly advised me to try not to let my nerves get to me, and act like I was at home… but go a bit faster,” said Bradburne, a member of the Old Berkshire Hunt branch of the Pony Club.

However, Bradburne is well bred when it comes to jumping at speed over fences. She comes from a family steeped in racing history. Her parents are successful former jockeys, Gee Armytage and Mark Bradburne, with her uncle being 1990 Grand National winner, Marcus Armytage.

The Cayenne Puissance

A thrilling Cayenne Puissance class had the crowd roaring with excitement at Olympia, The London International Horse Show when four riders took on the 7ft 4in wall in the fifth and final round.

Only two, however, managed to leave all the bricks intact: Britain’s Guy Williams on Mr Blue Sky UK and French rider Mathieu Billot on Dassler, a horse jumped in the 2017 Cayenne Puissance by Louise Saywell.

The wall was at its highest since 2006, when John Whitaker, Robert Whitaker and Markus Fuchs shared first prize, also at 7ft 4in. Coincidentally, Williams, who lives in France, and Billot had shared the spoils in a puissance class in Rouen recently, jumping the same height.

“C’est magnifique!” said an elated Billot, who was paying his first visit to Olympia.

Williams is considering trying for a record on Mr Blue Sky because he jumps so smoothly. The horse has been taken slowly because of his height and has had some dressage training to calm him. “He makes it look easy but he’s actually quite sharp and nervous and he becomes strong to ride,” Williams explained.

Young rider Alfie Bradstock, riding H.d’Or, and regular puissance specialist Karline de Brabander from Belgium (Fantomas de Muze) also reached the final round but Bradstock hit the wall and de Brabander suffered an unfortunate fall.

Darragh Kenny’s Olympia got off to a splendid start with a double of victories. The Netherlands-based Irishman took the Santa Stakes on Cassini Z and set an unmatchable target of 48.56 seconds on Carlson in The Musto Inside Edge Stakes, a speed class. For good measure, he was also second in the opening Welcome Stakes on Billy Dorito behind Dutch rider Doron Kulpers on Freestyle. “It’s been a great day – it’ll probably all go downhill from here on,” he joked.

Kenny plans to ride Cassini in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ on Saturday, but might consider Carlson, a new ride, in the Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix on Sunday: “He’s a special horse, competitive and brave. I think he’ll be good.”

The Pony Club Mini-Major, a special class in which Pony Club members have the unforgettable experience of being paired with senior riders in Olympia’s atmospheric arena, was won by Holly Smith and Old Berkshire Hunt member Katy Bradburne, whose parents, Mark and Gee (Armytage), were successful National Hunt jockeys.

Harry Charles may not have won a class, but he collected two awards for the most promising under-25 rider: The Raymond Brooks Ward Trophy, presented by brothers Simon, James, and Nick Brooks-Ward in memory of their father, and a saddle from the Worshipful Company of Saddlers as voted for by members of the British Equestrian Writers’ Association.

Tickets can be purchased at www.olympiahorseshow.com or by telephone on 0844 995 0995.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355