Superb Lynch clinches World Cup spot
Ireland's Denis Lynch snatched a last-minute place at next month's Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping final with a superb victory in the last qualifier of the Western European League series at 's-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands yesterday.
Riding the gigantic 11-year-old gelding Abbervail van het Dingeshof, which belongs to his Swiss patron Thomas Straumann, the German-based Tipperary man produced a stunning round when eighth to go in the thrilling 17-horse jump-off, and could not be caught despite the best efforts of many of the superstars who followed him.
"It's my very first World Cup win -- I've been trying to do this for the last 15 years and I've been placed plenty of times but I've never come out on top so it feels really good!" Lynch said.
He will be joined in Leipzig by Billy Twomey, who qualified some time ago, but who had to settle for 11th place when leaving a fence on the floor in the jump-off round with Je T'Aime Flamenco.
But Jessica Kuerten looks an unlikely contender for the title to which she came close when runner-up in Kuala Lumpur in 2006. Two first-round mistakes yesterday saw her completing the series just outside the qualification zone as she continues to plummet down the world rankings without the services of the super string of horses she formerly rode for Lady Georgina Forbes.
Meanwhile, Irish national champion Eddie Moloney won the 3-Star Grand Prix at Vidabaun in France yesterday with Slieveanorra to conclude a great week during which he was consistently placed.
And at Vejar de la Frontera on Friday, Cian O'Connor and Larkhill Cruiser finished fifth in the Grand Prix; Conor Swail was fourth yesterday in the Grand Prix at Arezzo.