Darragh Kenny and Babalou 2 produced the only double-clear to claim yesterday's $50,000 Hollow Creek Farm national Grand Prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida.
Shane Sweetnam took fourth on Kirchwasser SCF after downing one pole in the six-way jump-off.
Sweetnam will now front the Irish challenge in tomorrow's Wellington Nations Cup.
The US-based Cork rider will give a team debut to Indra van de Oude Heihoef as Ireland bid to win the event for a third consecutive time.
Also lining out for Ireland are Paul O'Shea (Skara Glen's Machu Picchu) and Denis Lynch (RMF Cadeau de Muze), with Cian O'Connor and Clenur anchoring the defending champions' effort.
Sweetnam, O'Shea and O'Connor were on the Irish team which won the event last year, and development manager Michael Blake takes charge for the second year running
The Irish have been drawn third in the running order. Host nation USA had to settle for second to Ireland in the last two stagings of the event.
Sunday will feature the $205,000 Grand Prix at the Florida venue.
At today's three-star German meeting at Braunschweig, Cameron Hanley and Aiyetoro took second after putting in the best effort to catch runaway home rider Fiinja Bormann on Brisbane in the 1.50m speed class.
Mike Dunne & Digital Desk