Saturday 21 April 2018

Equestrian: Carey star of show in Austria with back-to-back victories

Louise Parkes

Shane Carey scored back-to-back victories at Villach in Austria on Saturday, but had to settle for 10th place in yesterday's Grand Prix at the 3-Star fixture.

The Limerick man, and former Army Equitation School rider, has been based in Copenhagen, Denmark, in recent years and celebrated his 35th birthday last week.

With the 10-year-old Spice Girl, he saw off a big field of 57 starters to win the Silver Tour 1.40m class in which Cian O'Connor's former ride, K Club Lady, finished third for Bermuda's Jillian Terceira.

Trevor Coyle finished fifth here with Classica LS.

Carey then moved up another gear to take the honours in the 1.50m Grand Prix qualifier, this time partnering Jackie Bolger's Ballymore Eustace.

There was a quality field of 63 runners in this one, and Carey left Swiss star Paul Estermann, and the brilliant Irish-bred mare Castlefield Eclipse, in his wake by a margin of just 0.23 seconds when producing the fastest double-clear of the competition.

Meanwhile on Friday, Marion Hughes won the qualifying competition for the World Cup leg in Dubai.

Riding Heritage HHS Fortuna, the Kilkenny native pipped Syria's Ahmed Hamso, while Cian O'Connor slotted into third with Unique, and Galway 18-year-old Michael Duffy finished fifth with O'Connell Street.

On Saturday, Olympic bronze medallist O'Connor and Unique made it into the World Cup class jump-off.

However, a single rail down saw them having to settle for sixth, while Hughes finished 10th having lowered a fence in the opening round.

Irish Independent

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