OFFALY’S Darragh Kenny has proven once again why he is one of the top riders in the world, by taking a superb victory in Sunday night’s Longines FEI World Cup Grand Prix at Deeridge, Florida in the USA.
Riding the Ann Thompson-owned 10-year-old gelding ‘Classic Dream’, Kenny came out on top after a brilliant performance to take the winner’s prize of over $70,000, along with some valuable World Cup points.
Clear rounds were at a premium over the first round course designed by Tipperary’s Alan Wade, and, as Kenny entered the arena as second last to go, just two clear rounds were on the board. World No. 8 Kenny showed his class and produced a foot-perfect clear to give him the best draw as last to go of the trio that would battle for the winner’s prize against the clock.
Both of the combinations who went before Kenny in the jump-off completed double clear rounds, with Brazil’s Cassio Rivetti holding the lead with ‘Bacara d’Archonfosse’, as the Irish rider entered the arena as last to go. Rivetti’s time of 38.29 looked impressive, however Kenny amazingly knocked over a second and-a-half off the target, crossing the line clear in 36.70 to take victory. Rivetti took runner-up spot, while American rider Devin Ryan finished third with the only other fault-free performance aboard ‘Eddie Blue’ in a time of 39.00.
Speaking afterwards, a delighted Darragh Kenny was full of praise for his winning mount: “He [Classic Dream] is a green horse in jump-offs, but he is an incredible jumper and I just went as fast as I could. He felt great and was trying hard – he was fantastic,” Kenny said.
Horse Sport Ireland CEO Ronan Murphy added: “Huge congratulations to Darragh Kenny on another fantastic result in winning the Longines FEI World Cup Grand Prix in Florida. This World Cup win comes just a fortnight after Denis Lynch came out on top in Leipzig (GER) and shows once again that we are very lucky in Ireland to have some of the best riders, horses and owners in the world.”
World Cup action returns to Europe next weekend at Bordeaux in France, where Ireland will be represented by Michael G Duffy, Denis Lynch and Mark McAuley.