Dublin delight for Strabane rider Smyth
Strabane showjumper Peter Smyth was man of the moment in the Dublin Show main arena yesterday when he won the final of the seven and eight year old championship.
With the Londonderry-owned grey gelding Hermione IV, Smyth gave a foot perfect display in the nine horse jump-off to win with a superb time of 50.11
He said: “This has been a fantastic show, I am over the moon to win, my horses have gone well all week in this class and Hermione was super.”
Cian O'Connor was runner-up with trainer Jim Bolger's Ballymore Eustace, a grey gelding which stopped the clock with another glorious clear in 52.33.
“This Ballymore Eustace horse will go to the very top, and give him two more years and I expect him to be on the main global circuit,” said O'Connor.
“I am delighted that Jim Bolger bought him for me, I am very fortunate to have a good owner like that from the racing industry,” he added.
Third place went to Eric Van Der Vleuten from the Netherlands on board Dona Evita, while Clement McMahon from Clones was fourth with Valentino who won both the qualifiers.
Thousands of spectators turned out for one of the best Grand Prix events ever held in Dublin with the cream of horses on show.
It was US rider McLain Ward on a new horse, Antares, acquired from an amateur last month, which clinched the first prize of a new suite of Longines watches and a cheque for €66,500 in a time of 43.45.
European champion Kevin Staut and Kraque Boom excelled for second place in 44.47 and €42,000 ahead of Ireland's Billy Twomey who put up a superb challenge with the stallion Je T'Aime Flamenco to take third in 44.90.
Denis Lynch, for Ireland, took overall sixth place on Nabab's Son, following two excellent clear rounds, but not just fast enough, in 46.59.
Beezie Madden on Prima won the Speed championship while Jur Vrieling was runner-up ahead of Captain David O'Brien with the Ulster-bred Kiltoom.
Kiltoom, who put up a fantastic challenge, was bred in Belfast by former Methodist College teacher Elizabeth Hamilton.
Shane Breen finished fourth for Ireland with Dorada ahead of US rider Cara Raether.
Longines leading rider of the show went to Paul O'Shea on 20 points with US rider Beezie Madden taking the runner-up award and Laura Kraut in third.
O’Shea received a new suite of watches from Longines for his success in the international arena throughout the week
In a month's time he leaves to take up a new job in Florida and Philadelphia.