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Equestrian: Red-hot Twomey proves the star of Irish hat-trick show

Irish riders scored a hat-trick of wins and Billy Twomey came close to scooping a 300,000 Swiss-Franc (€234,275) windfall at the 5-Star World Cup fixture in Zurich, Switzerland, over the weekend, WRITES Louise Parkes.

Twomey is the Irishman of the moment on the show jumping circuit, and moved into fourth place in the World Cup standings after yesterday's latest qualifier for the series that will conclude in Leipzig, Germany, at the end of April.

He kicked off the Swiss fixture with a superb victory with Tinka's Serenade in Thursday's Rolex Grand Prix, in which he pipped the host country's Pius Schwizer and picked up the €35,000 winner's purse.

This was his second big win in a fortnight, following his success in Basel where he won €70,000.

He brought the mare out again on Saturday to win the Two-Phase class in which there was an Irish one-two as Denis Lynch slotted into runner-up spot with Abbervail van het Dingeshof. The positions were reversed when Lynch steered Lacroix to pip Twomey and Romanov in the following speed event and by then the chance of Twomey claiming the 300,000 CHF bonus on offer if he could add yesterday's World Cup Qualifier title seemed very much on the cards.

Setting up for the troublesome triple combination halfway round the track in yesterday's feature class however, the Corkman's stallion Je T'Aime Flamenco clipped the previous vertical for four faults and he had to settle for 11th place. Germany's Marcus Ehning came out best in the seven-horse jump-off.

Jessica Kuerten picked up five faults in the first round with API Largo, Lynch collected eight with All Inclusive and Dermott Lennon retired with Hallmark Elite.

Meanwhile in Wellington, Florida, last Thursday, talented young Offaly rider Darragh Kenny steered Gael Force to win the WEG Challenge Cup in which US-based Corkman Shane Sweetnam lined up eighth with Amaretto Darco.

Irish Independent