Irish showjumpers have claimed two of the first international competitions at the British Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham, England, with Billy Twomey winning the Five Fence Challenge on Royale du Rouet and Trevor Breen taking out the two-round feature class on Adventure de Kannan.
In the Five Fence Challenge, Meath-based Cian O’Connor finished in second, while Wexford’s 19-year-old Bertram Allen completed the competition in equal fourth.
Twomey, 37, and the stallion Royale du Rouet cleared a huge 1m70 high vertical and 1m90 wide triple bar to secure the €4000 first prize on the third jump-off.
Close behind in second was Irish Olympic bronze medallist Cian O’Connor on Ulme De Feugeres, the combination also making it to the third jump-off and picking up €2500 in prize money. In equal fourth following the second jump-off, Bertram Allen and the bay gelding Belmonde won €855.
Twomey on Thursday had also taken fourth place at Birmingham in the 1m45 Two Phase competition with the Joe Flynn’s Irish Sport Horse Ardcollum Duke, with Trevor Breen and another Irish Sport Horse, Oldtown KC, in eighth.
Later on Friday Breen and the one-eyed Adventure de Kannan were one of 11 combinations to go clear in the first round from a starting field of 31, but second time out put his foot to the floor to streak home almost two and a half seconds ahead of the nearest British challenger, John Whitaker on board the bay stallion Argento.
Breen, who picked up almost €9000 for his decisive win, also headed Bertram Allen finish in tenth place. Allen was the fastest of the first round clears with Billy Twomey’s Romanov, but faltered on his second attempt, picking up four faults.
Adventure de Kannan lost an eye to surgery in 2013 following a five-year-old eye condition that had suddenly worsened, but has been competing successfully since the operation, once again showing his mettle at Birmingham.