Irish team are off to a flier on the opening day
Published 06/08/2015 | 02:30
The hosts got off to a flying start in the international competitions on the opening day of the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show with a double of wins and complete domination in the opening class.
Greg Broderick and MHS Going Global led the whitewash in the Avery Crest Speed Stakes followed by Darragh Kenny and Picolo in runner-up spot and Conor Swail in third with Simba.
With a massive 94 starters this was a marathon, but Billy Twomey lined up fourth with Ardolum Duke ahead of Captain Michael Kelly in fifth with Drumiller Lough, so America's Todd Minkus was the first of the visitors to get a look in when sixth with Con Capilot.
It was a big confidence booster for Chef d'Equipe, Robert Splaine, as Broderick, Kenny and Swail are in the squad for all-important Aga Khan Nations Cup along with Cian O'Connor and Ireland's young showjumping sensation, 20-year-old Bertram Allen.
Splaine has quite a dilemma this week, as Ireland needs a good result in order to maintain Division 1 status in the premier Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup series next season. The Aga Khan Cup is the last event in the Division 1 League, and four other top teams will also be chasing down those same valuable points.
But Splaine also has to preserve horse-power for the last chance to qualify for the Rio Olympics when the European Championships get underway in Aachen, Germany in less than two weeks' time. "The Aga Khan will be an excellent final test before I make my final decision about the European team" he said.
Dermott Lennon simply galloped the opposition into oblivion in the Irish Sports Council Classic. The quiet- spoken 46-year-old from Banbridge seems to have a bit of a way with the ladies, winning the world championship title in 2002 with the amazing Liscalgot and now partnering the self-opinionated Loughview Lou-Lou whose turn of foot left the rest floundering in her wake yesterday afternoon.
They've won three Grand Prix classes in recent months.