Two Irish showjumpers made a leap of faith of 7 feet and three inches (2.20m) to win the Puissance competition at the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show on Saturday night.
Cork’s Billy Twomey and Kilkenny’s Michael Hutchinson shared the €20,000 pay cheque when they were the only riders in the fourth jump-off to clear the big wall. Last year’s winner, Colombia’s Daniel Bluman, failed to make it past the two metre height.
Twomey, 37, riding the gelding Afp’S Quick Vainqueur, said afterwards: “What a horse this is. I got him just last week, he’s a puissance specialist, and all I had to do today was get him in the right place, and he did the rest.”
Hutchinson, who is 24 and from a distinguished show jumping family, commented on his 13-year-old gelding Acorad 3: “I’m so happy with the horse. He was not 100 per cent fit, but he gave me everything here today, helped on, of course by this wonderful crowd at the RDS.”
Alexander Butler and Tsjakka took third place, dislodging the top brick in the wall on the final jump-off, but collecting €6000 for his efforts.
Billy Twomey was the first competitor on the day to see the Irish flag raised again in the main arena of the RDS when he scooped the €4600 prize for first place in the big Accumulator class.
The Cork-born rider was piloting Katrina Moore’s bay stallion Royale du Rouet, and beat fellow-countryman Cameron Hanley on Eleonore Paschoud and Yves Bouvier’s gelding Newton du Haut Bois by just over a second.
Tipperary’s Thomas Ryan filled fourth place for Ireland on the Irish Sport Horse Cruise On Clover, while Co. Down’s Conor Swail placed tenth on the chestnut stallion Grafton.
Greg Broderick and the Irish Sport Horse MHS Going Global were best of the Irish in the following 1m50 Jump-Off competition, faulting once in the five horse jump-off to finish fourth behind German winner Daniel Deusser and the bay gelding Fyloe V. Claeyssenhof, who were one of three combinations to go clear. Ireland’s Denis Lynch and All Star 5 placed tenth, having one pole down in the first round.