IRISH riders were in superb form across Europe on Saturday evening, with Cian O’Connor and Darragh Kenny both recording significant results.
Meath-based O’Connor beat off a 57-strong field to claim victory in the three-star 1.55m Grand Prix at Knokke in Belgium. Riding the nine-year-old stallion ‘Taj Mahal’, who is owned by Sue Magnier, O’Connor was among eight riders who made it into the second round jump-off. Only two combinations would jump double clear, with the Irishman finishing over two seconds faster than Germany’s Kendra Claricia Brinkop, who took runner-up spot with ‘Nector Vd Bisschop’.
“I was not expecting a win today,” O’Connor said afterwards. “‘Taj Mahal’ is still only nine years old. It is his first three-star Grand Prix and it’s under lights. I am so happy his previous rider, Dieter Vermeiren got to see him win here. He made the horse and I was able to take him to the next level – great teamwork.”
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