Lynch takes Kentucky spoils
Tipperary's Denis Lynch won the Longines FEI World Cup Qualifier in Lexington, Kentucky on Saturday night with RMF Echo while Louth showjumper, Mark McAuley, followed victory in Friday night's Grand Prix with fifth place in yesterday's World Cup leg in Lyon, France partnering Miebello.
In May, RMF Echo was about to be sold out of Lynch's stables, but Monica and Frank McCourt of Rushy Marsh Farm in Florida stepped up to purchase the chestnut so that he could stay with the Irishman. It paid off handsomely over the weekend when the pair scooped the $85,000 winner's purse. There were just four double-clears in the nine-horse jump-off against the clock, and Lynch pinned America's Lauren Tisbo into runner-up spot ahead of Switzerland's Beat Mandli in third, while Jennifer Gates, daughter of Microsoft business magnate Bill Gates, lined up fourth.
This result counts towards qualification for the World Cup Final in Paris next April and with 20 points Lynch is halfway there.
Meanwhile McAuley produced a spectacular victory in the Lyon Grand Prix with Miebello, beating 2012 Olympic champion Steve Guerdat and his top ride, Bianca while Washington World Cup winner, Switzerland's Beat Mandli, lined up third.
Yesterday McAuley and the grey gelding made it through to the 11-horse World Cup jump-off at the French fixture, and his fifth-place finish brings his points tally to 22 and leaves him lying eighth in the Western European League standings, two places ahead of Lynch, going into the next leg in Stuttgart, Germany in two weeks' time.