Ireland’s Ronan McGuigan won the $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix in Florida on Saturday night against a strong international field.
The 39 year-old from Omagh in Co. Tyrone, was piloting his own 10-year-old gelding Capall Zidane, and left all the poles up in the first round to qualify for the jump-off under floodlights at the two-star Palm Beach venue.
His second round against eight other combinations saw the Irish rider deliver a scorching time of 39.92, which proved unbeatable, leaving the Tyrone man holding the winner’s trophy.
Afterwards he said of the horse: “I’ve had him since he was a five-year-old. I bought him at the Hendrix auction, and I actually never went to try him. I just bought him off a DVD.
“When I bought him, all of my Irish pals called him the ‘internet horse,’ but I had the last laugh tonight. He has been very consistent since I’ve had him.”