Friday 21 July 2017

Final furlong as Horse Show comes to an end

Danny Phipps Rooney (4), from Ballymore Eustace, Kildare, snuggles up to Cuddles, the overall winner of the Donkey Display, on the last day of the Dublin Horse Show at the RDS. Photo: El Keegan
Danny Phipps Rooney (4), from Ballymore Eustace, Kildare, snuggles up to Cuddles, the overall winner of the Donkey Display, on the last day of the Dublin Horse Show at the RDS. Photo: El Keegan

Louise Parkes

America's Kent Farrington and Uceko scorched to victory in the Longines Grand Prix at the Dublin Horse Show.

However, Kevin Babington and Conor Swail kept the home flag flying high when slotting into second and third with Shorapur and Grand Cru to bring a great week for the home competitors to a close. Swail added an extra €6,000 to his cut of the €200,000 Grand Prix prize-fund when claiming the Leading International and National Rider Awards, overtaking Dermott Lennon who produced his third win of the show.

Course-builder, Alan Wade, presented them with a super-tough first-round Grand Prix track that only eight of the 40 starters managed to conquer. Swail was the first of the three Irish to make it into the jump-off and set the pace in 46.35 seconds, but Babington re-set the target in 45.75.

Farrington blew that away with a great run from his 14-year-old gelding Uceko, who took everything in his stride to break the beam in 43.14. There was plenty of jump-off drama. Irish hero Bertram Allen ran past fence 10 when Romanov misunderstood his instructions. Spain's Sergio Alvarez Moya and Carlo crashed into the same fence.

Swail was clearly disappointed he wasn't selected for the Aga Khan team with Grand Cru.

"Unfortunately for whatever reason Robert decided not to use me on Friday, but I had three horses here and they only hit two fences all week so I'm delighted with that" he said.

World no 8, Farrington is only the eighth American to claim the Dublin Grand Prix trophy.

Irish Independent

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