Ireland’s Denis Lynch Clinches $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Lexington CSI4*-W at CP National Horse Show
The world’s best international horses and athletes went head-to-head in Saturday evening’s $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Lexington CSI4*-W, presented by CP, at the 2017 CP National Horse Show. Show jumping fans gathered in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park to witness Irish Olympic veteran Denis Lynch and RMF Echo secure the week’s top prize.
Forty combinations turned out for the highly anticipated event in Lexington, Kentucky, all striving to collect valuable World Cup ranking points in lieu of the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Paris, France. Canadian course designer Michel Vaillancourt built a technical track of 13 obstacles in the first round, which saw nine successfully produce clear rounds to advance to the jump-off.
Twenty-one-year-old Jennifer Gates and Evergate Stables LLC’s Pumped Up Kicks got the jump-off underway, posting the first double-clear performance of the night in 40.79 seconds. Fresh off their win at the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) exactly one week ago in the $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington CSI4*-W, the next clear round came from Switzerland’s Beat Mändli and Grant Road Partners LLC’s Dsarie in 37.80 seconds to take over the lead. Lynch and the 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood galloped around the short course to follow as the next double-clear finisher in 36.16 seconds to move into the top spot on the leaderboard. With three left to go, it was Lauren Tisbo and Tequestrian Farms, LLC’s Coriandolo Di Ribano who were the last pair to jump clear in 36.52 seconds, sliding into the second place position ahead of Mändli, who took third place.
Lynch, who was part of the gold medal-winning team at the Longines FEI European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, in August, was approached by owners Frank and Monica McCourt of Rushy Marsh Farm to campaign RMF Echo just under one year ago. After competing all over Europe together for the majority of the year, the pair made their U.S. debut at WIHS last week. They certainly made their overseas trip worthwhile, winning the prestigious class as well as the National Horse Show World Cup Trophy.
“I went as quick as I could. ‘Echo’ is a naturally very, very quick horse and he’s been unlucky a few times this year where he’s been beaten. There have been maybe three or four grand prix events where he’s finished second,” said Lynch. “He’s been an incredible asset to Miami Glory, winning two Global [Champions League] team events. I think he really deserved it tonight and I’m very grateful that I am allowed to ride this wonderful horse. A big thank you to Rushy Marsh Farm!”
With the conclusion of Saturday’s class, eight of the 14 qualifying events in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League have been completed. After Saturday’s win, Lynch now sits in fourth place, tied with two others, in the Western European League of the 2017/2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping season with 20 points.
During the opening ceremonies prior to Saturday’s feature class, Laura Kraut was awarded the M. Michael Meller Style Award, which was presented to Kraut by Michael Meller for exemplifying the best style of riding along with maintaining a sportsmanlike composure. In addition, Kraut was also awarded the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award for her consistent top performances all week at the CP National Horse Show.