Irish riders' clean sweep - now for the Aga Khan
Irish riders continued to trounce the opposition in the international show-jumping classes at the Dublin Horse Show at the RDS.
Shane Breen (43) won the Clayton Hotel Speed Derby and Shane Sweetnam (37) stormed to victory in the Stablelab Stakes yesterday.
Breen gave a masterclass when taking the Speed Derby with Can Ya Makan.
Sweetnam, meanwhile, left the rest floundering in the final class of the day with an amazing turn of speed from Indra van de Oude Heihoef. "I was first to go so I'd nothing to lose, but I was sweating for a long time," said the US-based Corkman.
It was the perfect shot-in-the-arm ahead of today's Aga Khan Cup, as Mark McAuley and Cameron Hanley finished second and third behind Sweetnam in the final competition. These three Irishmen will join Paul O'Shea in the eight-nation battle for one of the most coveted show-jumping trophies in the world.
Jamie Barge, Adrienne Sternlicht, Laura Kraut and Lucy Deslauriers will be defending the title won by another all-female American team last year. They could prove tough nuts to crack. Barge (32) is quite the phenomenon as she has made it to the very top of the sport despite a serious hearing impairment. She had a brilliant run with her grey horse Luebbo at the World Cup final in Paris in April, where the crowd threw their hands in the air every time she jumped a clear round.
The Aga Khan Cup is the last leg of the Division 1 Longines FEI Nations Cup 2018 series.