Irish show jumpers drove to victory across Europe at the weekend, with Jessica Kurten in the driving seat when claiming a €40,000 Subaru car in the grand prix in Odense, Copenhagen.
The Antrim rider was last of six in a jump-off that had the crowd on tenterhooks, as their own Andreas Schou and Allstar held the lead on 35.70 seconds. However, Kurten and the nine-year-old chestnut stallion Arezzo VDL accelerated to a clear victory with a time of 34.28secs to dash the home fans’ hopes.
Elated with her win, she jumped behind the wheel of her Subaru and raced around the arena performing tailspins.
On Friday, 19-year-old Bertram Allen gave Ireland its first win at the three-star show, taking top place with Belmonde in a two-phase class.
At the season-opening Longines World Cup show in Oslo, Norway, Shane Breen laid down a marker on Friday when winning a speed class with Calido Boy. However, the Tipperary rider and his compatriots had no luck in yesterday’s World Cup qualifier. Breen failed to soar with the nine-year-old stallion Golden Hawk, closing out on 12 faults, a score matched by Denis Lynch and All Star 5, but Cameron Hanley was unfortunate to come home with a single error on Antello Z. Victory went to in-form Dutchman Jur Vrieling with VDL Zirocco Blue.
Further grand prix success came at the two-star show in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, where Meath-based Gerard Clarke and Rafiki provided the fastest of just three clear rounds from 31 starters.
Another victory came in Vilamoura, Portugal, courtesy of Marion Hughes, the Kilkenny woman taking top place in in a 1.40mtr jump-off aboard HHS Fortuna.
In the $85,000 World Cup grand prix at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Tipperary’s Kevin Babington had the second fastest four-fault jump-off round with Shorapur to secure him third place. The sole clear came from Switzerland’s Beat Mandli on Antares F, with American Todd Minikuson Quality Girl the runner-up.
Yesterday’s Gain/Alltech Autumn Grand Prix League contest in Cavan went to Alexander Butler riding Vimminka.
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