Thursday 30 March 2017

Dashing Lennon sets Christmas Pudding alight

Equestrian

Louise Parkes

Dermott Lennon and Loughview Lou-Lou galloped to victory in the Christmas Pudding Stakes on the opening day of international jumping at the Christmas Horse Show in Olympia, London yesterday.

The Banbridge man's partnership with the nine-year-old bay mare continues to develop with every outing and yesterday the dashing duo left 31 rivals trailing in their wake.

Lennon had the advantage of being second-last to go in the first round and so had the best of the draw again against the clock. He was chasing a target-time of 33.13 seconds set by veteran British superstar John Whitaker (56), riding the 10-year-old grey mare Dazzle.

The Irishman bettered that by well over a second with a great run from Judith Sossick's Irish-bred, racing through the timers in 31.82 seconds.

Germany's three-time World Cup champion, Marcus Ehning, slotted into third with Noltes Kuchengirl.

Ireland's Billy Twomey was second-fastest in the 14-horse jump-off, but a pole down with Romanov saw them having to settle for ninth place, while Cian O'Connor retired in the first round with the eight-year-old O'Connell Street.

Lennon is enjoying a purple patch with Loughview Lou-Lou, having won the Derby at Geneva Show in Switzerland two weeks ago.

The 42-year-old rider, who won the 2002 World Championship, describes her as "a really competitive horse, even from when she was very young, and she has a long stride, so you don't have to push her in speed classes -- she's naturally quick and very careful."

Irish Independent

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