Living The Dream lived up to its name yesterday for Mayo show jumper Alex Duffy, the pairing finishing third in a competitive grand prix in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Meanwhile, at the two-star show in Oliva, Spain, Waterford’s Anthony Condon saddled up Value T to score his first international grand prix win.
Duffy had the disadvantage of opening a 13-horse jump-off, but he threw down the gauntlet to his rivals with the 10-year-old gelding — owned by fellow Mayoman Cameron Hanley — producing another copybook clear. His 39.58 seconds looked insurmountable, as big hitters like Jos Lansink, Jeroen Dubbeldam and Katharina Offel failed in their efforts. It took the legendary prowess of John Whitaker to prove otherwise, the Englishman steering the stallion Argento across the line in on 38.69secs. Local fans were kept happy, when Gert Jan Bruggink (Primeval Dejavu) took out a stride to the last for a time of 33.99secs that earned him the runner-up spot.
Duffy, who is based with Cameron and his brother Carl Hanley in Germany, earned €11,250 for his performance.
Also in the limelight at the four-star fixture, was 18-year-old Bertram Allen, scoring two runner-up finishes with Wild Thing L, and a third place with Molly Malone, while the aforementioned Cameron Hanley rode Newton Du Haut Bois to second in a two-phase, with four faults on Antello Z being good enough to earn him third-place in a 1.50mtr contest.
In Zurich, Switzerland, Jessica Kürten impressed with the up-and-coming VDL Zapatero, producing a clear round yesterday in the World Cup qualifier.
While it came at a cost of a single time fault that denied her a place in the jump-off and saw her finish equal 10th, it reiterated the stallion’s potential.
A single time fault also proved the undoing of Corkman Billy Twomey, putting him 12th with Tinka’s Serenade.
Kürten’s result with Zapatero builds on a four-fault jump-off performance in the grand prix at the four-star show in Basel, Switzerland, a fortnight ago.
The 10-year-old is owned by VDL Stud in the Netherlands and, according to Kürten’s husband Eckard, discussions are planned to map out its breeding duties.
Next on the agenda, however, is the show for Dutch warmblood stallions in ’s-Hertogenbosch at the start of February, followed by the Longines Hong Kong Masters, which features a grand prix worth almost $600,000.
Zurich also saw Shane Breen come close to winning at the five-star event, riding Farao van’t Vennehof to second place in a 1.50mtr two-phase, while Balloon also went clear in a 1.40mtr speed class to leave the Tipp rider third.
In Florida, it took the best from world No2 Ben Maher (Diva) to beat David Blake in a 1.40m jump-off that saw the Clare rider place second and third on Aischa and Doma Sue, respectively.
On Thursday, Cork’s Shane Sweetnam scored a win on Cyklon.
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