OFFALY’S Darragh Kenny has continued his incredible run of form, by taking victory in last Saturday night’s $137,000 Horseware Ireland three-star Grand Prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida, USA, which is taking place behind closed doors due to Coronavirus.
Riding ‘Scarlett du Sart Z’, owned by Vlock Show Stables LLC, World No. 7 Kenny was one of 12 combinations to make it into the jump-off. He crossed the line clear in 33.54 seconds to claim victory, ahead of Israel’s Sydney Shulman with ‘J-Boston S.E’ (33.96).
“I’ve been very lucky – I had a good winter and all the horses went very well,” said Kenny of his season at WEF. “I had a great feeling coming into this winter, because I have an incredible group of horses, and I’m very lucky that I have those horses.”
Kenny got the ride on ‘Scarlett du Sart Z’, a 10-year-old Zangersheide mare (‘Stakkato de hann’ x ‘First Bride’), when the horse was seven years old and has high hopes for the mare’s future, saying: “This is a mare that Teddy Vlock and his owner bought for me, and we’ve been slowly producing her. She’s really starting to turn a corner, and I think she’s an incredibly talented horse that will end up jumping at the highest level.
“I didn’t get to see Sydney go, but Hardin [Towell] said to me that she was very fast, so I was going to have to do everything to beat her,” continued Kenny. “I was lucky I got a good shot to the third-to-last jump, which meant I could do seven to the second to the last, which I think was less than everyone else and where I won it.”
The final competition at the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida was Sunday night’s $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m.
Meanwhile at the Palm Beach Masters, which are also taking place in Florida, Co. Down’s Conor Swail and ‘GK Coco Chanel’ finished as runners-up in Saturday’s $137,000 CSI5* Palm Beach Masters Classic. Last to go in a 12-horse jump-off, Swail finished just behind British winner Emily Moffitt with ‘Tipsy du Terral’. Billy Twomey (‘Kimba Flamenco’) and Darragh Kenny (‘Billy Dorito’) also made it into the jump-off and finished in ninth and 10th places respectively.
The Palm Beach Masters came to a close on Sunday evening with the $300,000 CP Palm Beach Masters Final, which is likely to be the last live equestrian action to take place around the globe for a number of weeks.