Equestrian: Show jumpers Dermott Lennon and Paul O’Shea won feature classes on opposite sides of the Atlantic at the weekend.
Lennon was aboard Loughview Lou Lou, but he did not have it all his own way, being forced to share top prize with Briton Robert Bevis (Courtney Z) after both riders recorded the same time in the 12-horse jump off. Lennon and Bevis pocketed almost €14,000 each.
American Reed Kessler rode Cos I Can — the former mount of Tipperary’s Shane Breen — to third place.
It was a good few days also for Army rider Capt Michael Kelly at the Spanish fixture, the Longford native scoring a hat-trick on the Irish sport horses Mullentine Loughall and Drumiller Lough.
Also, in Spain, Sven Hadley notched up a one-star grand prix win at Mijas, the 20-year-old and Adelgonde Z proving one-and-a-half seconds faster than Spanish runner-up Jesus Torres Garcia and GP Alvaro v Pachern.
O’Shea’s win came at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida, the Limerick rider providing the fastest of only four double clears in Saturday night’s 1.50mtr jump-off class to earn €8,000. O’Shea and Skara Glen’s Sienna had eight-tenths of a second to spare over American Laura Kraut aboard Deauville S in a competition with 57 starters.
Bertram Allen’s bid to break into the Longines World Rankings top-10 were dealt a blow yesterday, when he failed to register in the grand prix at ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.
The 19-year-old Wexford rider four-faulted with Molly Malone V to go out of contention. Allen rose to 11th in the latest rankings, which are calculated on a rolling basis over the previous 12 months. He was bidding to at least match his fifth-place performance achieved last year at the Dutch fixture.
Tipperary’s Denis Lynch also went out in round one on four faults, riding Abbervail van het Dingeshof.
In yesterday’s Connolly Red Mills/HSI Spring Tour contest at Ballinamona, Co Waterford, local rider Francis Connor and Uskerty Diamond Lady claimed victory by just four-hundredths of a second over Sean Kavanagh on The Kingdom.
Saturday’s opening leg of three in the series — the third takes place tomorrow in Broadmeadows, Co Meath — saw another tight finish in Portmore, Co Armagh, with Catherine Thornton (Derryinver Luxury Cruise) beating league leader Liam O’Meara (Curraghgraigue Jack Take Flight) by five-hundredths of a second. O’Meara also filled third place with Realt Na Carraig.
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