Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam won Saturday night’s Puissance competition at the five-star show in Rome, Italy, but narrowly missed claiming a €50,000 bonus for clearing the wall at a special prize height of 2m30.
The 31 year-old US-based rider, who was part of Ireland’s Nations’ Cup team on Friday, brought out Spy Coast Farm’s Cardento stallion Traffic Boy for the Puissance, and won €5000 for out-jumping the other 13 competitors over four rounds.
Sweetnam had a narrow escape from elimination on his fourth attempt, falling from the horse after clearing the wall, but because he hit the ground on the far side of the finish line no penalty was incurred.
His nearest challenger, Italy’s Juan Carlos Garcia with Oliander, failed to clear the wall on his fourth attempt, which Sweetnam jumped at a height of 2m10.
The wall was then raised to a new height of 2m30 for the €50,000 bonus, but Sweetnam and Traffic Boy dislodged vital brickwork and missed out on an even bigger payday.