Tipperary-born Denis Lynch rounded off a superb Irish weekend at the five-star show in La Baule, France with a decisive win in the Grand Prix this afternoon, taking the winner's prize purse of
The 31 year-old Irish rider, who had clocked up Ireland's only clear round in Friday's Super League Nations' Cup, was second to go in a nine-horse jump-off this afternoon with Flaminia Straumann's 11 year-old gelding 'Lantinus', and set a blistering pace on a zero penalty score. Only France's Olivier Robert managed to leave all fences standing in pursuit of the Irishman, but had to settle for the runner-up spot when he stopped the clock over two seconds slower than Lynch.
Britain's best hope in the Grand Prix, Nick Skelton and the legendary 'Arko', dropped a fence in their attempt to match Lynch's speed, and ended in third position overall.
Afterwards a jubilant Lynch said: "I wasn't at all sure I was going to win, and I went into the jump-off with the intention of just leaving all the fences up. But the horse is naturally quick, and his finishing time put the rest under pressure. I am absolutely delighted."
Horse Sport Ireland Chairman Joe Walsh congratulated Denis Lynch and said: "To win a five-star Grand Prix at a Super League show is a huge achievement, particularly when added to the major contribution Denis made to the Irish team effort on Friday."
Ireland took equal second place in the Nations' Cup at la Baule after a year out of the Super League, and Capt. Shane Carey recorded a hat-trick of wins at the French venue during the weekend with the Minister for Defence's 16 year-old gelding 'Killossery', who subsequently took
the La Baule Leading Horse Award.
SHOW JUMPING RESULT: CSIO5* LA BAULE FRANCE MAY 8 – 11 2008
GRAND PRIX LONGINES DE LA VILLE DE LA BAULE
International Jumping Competition
Table A against the clock with Jump off against the clock (Art.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
1) Lantinus 3; Denis LYNCH (IRL) Faults 0.00/0.00 Time 43.33
2) Le Galant; Olivier ROBERT (FRA) Faults 0.00/0.00 Time 45.36
3) Arko III; Nick SKELTON (GBR) Faults 0.00/4.00 Time 42.88