Hickstead double joy for Breen
Trevor Breen completed back-to-back doubles when coming out on top in the Equestrian.com Derby at Hickstead yesterday. The 36-year-old Tipperary man, who created a sensation when victorious with his one-eyed wonder-horse Adventure de Kannan at the Sussex fixture last summer, produced the only clear round of the competition with Loughnatousa WB.
The 16-year-old gelding is something of a course specialist, having broken a nine-year Irish drought when taking the coveted Boomerang Trophy with Waterford's Paul Beecher on board back in 2012, while Breen steered the chestnut into sixth spot behind his winning ride last year.
Yesterday Loughnatousa WB left all the timber in place when starting seventh in the field of 36.
And the pair couldn't be beaten when five other horse-and-rider combinations, including Ireland's Billy Twomey and Diaghilev, shared runner-up spot with four faults on the board.
This was Ireland's 15th victory in the 54-year history of the hugely popular British event which was first won by the legendary Irish partnership of Seamus Hayes and Goodbye back in 1961.
It was Eddie Macken's four-in-a-row with the great Boomerang between 1976 and 1979, however, that led to the remodelling of the trophy which shows the Irish duo descending the awe-inspiring Hickstead Derby Bank, and which continues to be one of the most coveted awards in the sport of showjumping.
On Saturday, Cian O'Connor lined up second and seventh, with Aramis and Good Luck, in the Tom Hudson Trophy class, with Michael G Duffy slotting into seventh with Bocello.
Meanwhile, at Geesteren in Holland yesterday, 19-year-old Bertram Allen won the Grand Prix with his top ride Molly Malone.
In the 13-horse jump-off he pinned his nearest rival, Austria's Julia Kaiser, into runner-up spot when over four seconds quicker to win a Mercedes CLA.
In North Carolina, Clareman David Blake won Saturday's Grand Prix when producing the only clear in the three-horse jump-off with Binkie.
Meanwhile, Dermott Lennon won the final leg of The Underwriting Exchange Grand Prix with the brilliant mare Loughview Lou Lou in front of a capacity crowd at Shelbourne Park.