Sweetnam wins Rome puissance, but misses out on bonus

Show jumper Shane Sweetnam just missed out on a €50,000 bonus when winning the puissance class at the nations cup show in Rome on Saturday.

The US-based Kanturk native actually fell from the stallion Traffic Boy after clearing the wall in the fourth round, but only hit the ground after the finish line, meaning his attempt counted.

His main rival, Italy’s Juan Carlos Garcia on Oliander, failed to jump the 2.10m obstacle, to give Sweetnam the €5,000 first prize.

The Corkman then put in a bid for the bonus prize, but could not clear the 2.30m wall.

In yesterday’s €200,000 grand prix, Billy Twomey and Je t’Aime Flamenco and 13 others rued single errors in the first round, while Cian O’Connor, riding Blue Loyd, was among three to retire.

Sweetnam and Traffic Boy failed to rise to their puissance exploits, putting up nine faults.

Meanwhile, Horse Sport Ireland reported that Niall Talbot had “sustained some bruising to his ribs and face, but was otherwise fine” after his fall from Nicos de la Cense in Friday’s Italian nations cup.

In the Global Champions Tour class in Wiesbaden, Germany, Shane Breen progressed to the second round, but the nine-year-old Olympic Lux-sired gelding Cos I Can lowered two to keep the Tipperary rider out of the jump-off.

Mark McAuley and the 15-year-old gelding Loriot notched up 20 faults in the first round.

A head-to-head saw France’s Olivier Guillon (Lord du Theize) pick up the €95,050 first prize after posting a two-second victory over Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (Bella Donna).

Hickstead-based Breen had better luck yesterday, producing a double clear with Balloon to place sixth in the 1.50m feature class. A single error kept McAuley and Par Trois out of the mix.

Denis Lynch’s lay-off due to the injuries he picked up when falling during a victory lap in La Baule, France, recently, has seen him slip to ninth in the GCT rankings.

On the domestic scene, Jeremy Sweetnam steered Wiretta to an easy win in the Munster Connolly’s Red Mills Grand Prix League contest in Midleton, Co Cork, yesterday. The Kanturk rider had almost five seconds to spare over Simon McCarthy (Vunweel) in an eight-horse jump-off, with Willie McDonald and Castlecomer Q placing third.

Seamus Hayes claimed Saturday’s league competition in Ballylawn,, Co Waterford, with Twister. Eddie Moloney, riding Dante van de Noordheuvel, filled second, with Francis Connors steering Uskerty Diamond Lady to third.

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