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Saturday 23 September 2017

Butler rallies round to claim Grand Prix title

WINNING COMBINATION: Alexander Butler and Will Wimble (pictured at Ennis Show above) won the Gain/Alltech Autumn Grand Prix League at Cavan recently FIONA QUINN
WINNING COMBINATION: Alexander Butler and Will Wimble (pictured at Ennis Show above) won the Gain/Alltech Autumn Grand Prix League at Cavan recently FIONA QUINN
Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Alexander Butler claimed the GAIN/Alltech Autumn Grand Prix League title in a nail-biting jump-off against Captain Michael Kelly at the Cavan International show recently.

Kelly held the lead going into the final leg and managed to keep a foot perfect round in the first round with the Minister for Defence's mare Mo Chroi, which meant that Butler needed to follow suit.

In the jump-off, Captain Kelly's strategy was to stay clear in order to put maximum pressure on those coming behind him, including Alexander Butler and Greg Broderick.

Former national champion Michael Duffy held the early lead with Touch of Chilli on a time of 30.35. Duffy, who is now based with Shane Breen in Hickstead, was knocked off the top spot by Greg Broderick, who steered Rincarina to a slightly faster time of 30.33.

Alexander Butler then was left with no other option but to storm around in the clear to be in with any chance of winning.

He and Will Wimble set out at a blistering pace, turning tight and taking strides out to gasps from the crowd. Their efforts were not in vain as the pair stopped the clock at 29.40, enough to take the class and the league title.

Although Butler is a former national champion, this is his first Grand Prix League Championship win, while Harold MacGahern's Will Wimble also claimed the Leading Horse title.

The 13-year-old grey is owned and bred by Harold McGahern from Rincoola, Granard, Co Longford.

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Ridden by Alexander Butler since 2005, their solid partnership has resulted in wins in the Lummen Grand Prix in 2012 and the Vodafone Grand Prix title in Balmoral in 2011.

The gelding is by Touchdown (ISH) out of The Woolsack (ISH), by Roselier (TB).

Irish Independent



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