IRISH Show Jumping is celebrating one of it’s biggest results of the season, after Tipperary’s Shane Breen won his first ever Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix late on Saturday night at the stunning coastal venue in Monaco, while his fellow Tipperary rider Denis Lynch stood beside him on the podium after claiming third place in the five-star €300,000 contest.
Riding the 10-year-old chestnut stallion ‘Ipswich van de Wolfsakker’, who he owns along with Jos Lansink, Breen was among just six riders who jumped clear in the opening round. He was joined in the decider by Denis Lynch with ‘RMF Bella Baloubet’ and Lynch briefly held the lead when he posted the first clear in the jump-off in a time of 40.43.
Italy’s Alberto Zorzi was second last to go with ‘Fair Light van T Heike’ and they looked to have done enough to take the win, when knocking almost five seconds off the target – coming home clear in 35.72. However, Breen gauged the course to perfection when last to go with ‘Ipswich’, and a perfect stride to the last fence saw them cross the line in 35.56 to take the top prize of just under €100,000. Zorzi collected €60,000 for his runner-up finish, while Denis Lynch took home €45,000 when filling third place on the podium.
Speaking afterwards, Breen was thrilled to secure one of the biggest wins of his career: “I’m just ecstatic. It’s the first time I have won a Global Tour Grand Prix and I’m just over the moon. I though ‘Ipswich’ was just incredible. Every jump, he was just giving more and more and I just thought, he is just enjoying it, he’s loving it. I was a bit steady from fence one to two and then I thought, don’t panic, we will make it up some way. He is naturally quick, so when I jumped the second last, I saw a stride to the last and I said, here goes.”
Breen was also thrilled to have secured his place in the lucrative Global Champions Tour play-off at the end of the season in Prague, which offers well over a 1 Million Euro in prize money.
“It’s fantastic, 18 riders go to it and I’m just so delighted – it’s a huge pot of money there and I’m looking forward to it,” he concluded.