A win wasn’t part of Vinnie Byrne’s grand design in yesterday’s HSI /Blue Grass Spring Tour at Maryville Equestrian Centre in Cork, so when it came it proved a nice bonus.
It was the Kilkenny riders’ first tour win and his first outing with Mr Rockefeller in the series this year, as the 20-year-old gears up the Ard VDL Douglas offspring for the European Young Rider Championships selection day in two weeks’ time.
Byrne was first to go in an eight-horse jump-off, and had a comparatively easy day at the office, with a three-second margin separating him from runner-up Brendan Ryan (Boomerang Breeze), while Midleton’s Alan O’Regan rode Electric Feel to third.
“It wasn’t part of my plan to win, but my horse has a big stride and always enjoys a jump-off. I was just aiming for a nice double clear, but as things unfolded, we wound up being quick,” said Byrne.
In Cavan, Daniel Coyle was denied his fifth win of the series. Riding Java’s Wild Child, the league leader was seven-hundredths of a second off the target set by John Floody on King’s Best.
Meanwhile, Jessica Springsteen, the 22-year-old daughter of rock-star Bruce Springsteen, has purchased Lisona from US-based Sligo native Darragh Kerins and Maarten Huygens. Lisona was bred by ex-Army rider Comdt John Ledingham and is by the stallion OBOS Quality, formerly owned by Cork’s Marie O’Brien. The mare was on last year’s winning nations cup teams at Hickstead and Dublin.
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