April 13, 2008

Although he'd already been in serious contention at the first leg of the five star Global Champions Tour, Ireland's Denis Lynch pulled off a surprise victory on Saturday night when he won the €100,000 ($NZ200,000; $US158,000) Qatar Grand Prix in Doha.

The 31-year-old faced a daunting field that included many of the world's top competitors, but kept a clear head through two clear rounds to qualify for a five-horse jump-off. And although under huge pressure, he brought Flaminia Straumann's talented 10-year-old bay gelding Lantinus across the line less than half a second ahead of German challenger Alois Pollman-Scheckhorst to claim the generous prize purse.

Ireland's other contender, Jessica Kurten, was less fortunate, dropping a single pole in the second round on Castle Forbes Libertina, and therefore not qualifying for the jump- off, but she did pick up €3000 for her eventual 14th place.