Tuesday 23 January 2018

Darragh Kenny secures second win of London International Horse Show at Olympia

William Funnell and Billy Angelo had to be content with second place in the Holly Speed Stakes at Olympia's London International Horse Show
William Funnell and Billy Angelo had to be content with second place in the Holly Speed Stakes at Olympia's London International Horse Show

Ireland's Darragh Kenny claimed his second win of this year's London International Horse Show with a stylish performance in the Holly Speed Stakes at Olympia.

The one-round speed class looked to be going British challenger William Funnell's way, when he delivered a superb performance on Billy Angelo in 47.92 seconds.

But 28-year-old Olympia debutant Kenny, riding Fixdesign Funke van't Heike, had other ideas as he triumphed with a time of 46.78, while another Irishman - London 2012 Olympic individual bronze medallist Cian O'Connor - finished third on Be Gentle.

"This is a pretty amazing show," said Kenny, who heads back to his base in the United States on Tuesday morning.

"The week has gone really well. Will was really fast, but my mare has a really big stride, so in two places I could do one less stride than him, which really helped.

"I think it is probably the last time I am going to ride her. Normally, she goes back to her owner at this time, so it was nice to finish up in a really good way.

"They gave her to me to ride this summer, and she is a really super horse.

"She has won maybe seven or eight classes since I got her. She won in Barcelona and Valkensward, for instance. Everywhere I've gone with her, she has had a good result."

The final day's action opened with a thrilling Six Bar competition, where riders jump the same fences over a maximum of five rounds, with the final obstacle increased in height each time.

And after each delivering four successive clear rounds, Britain's top-ranked female rider Laura Renwick and Norway's Geir Gulliksen decided to share the spoils.

Renwick, riding Top Dollar VI, matched Gulliksen's performance aboard Arakorn stride for stride in each round, which included clearing a final 6ft 3in obstacle in round four.

Germany's Daniel Deusser won the Olympia Grand Prix as Britain's former world number one Scott Brash missed out on a notable double.

Brash, winner of Sunday's Longines World Cup class, was the only British rider to make a six-combination jump off.

But, riding Hello Guv'nor, he had to be content with equal third place alongside London 2012 individual gold medallist Steve Guerdat.

Deusser, aboard Equita van T Zorgvliet, went clear in 45.67 seconds, well ahead of Australian runner-up Edwina Tops-Alexander to claim a top prize of £23,000.

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