Dublin Horse Show: Lennon's Vampire bares its teeth to secure victory
Dermott Lennon demonstrated again in the Dublin Horse Show's main arena at the RDS why he is a five-star rider and former world champion.
The Ulsterman steered his bay gelding Vampire to a second victory at the Show, winning the Talbot Collection Speed Derby within 24 hours of winning the Speed Classic with Loughview Lou Lou.
However it was not all smiles for Ulster's Conor Swail who lost out in the final Aga Khan selection - he is the fifth man, giving Greg Broderick a chance to shine.
Dublin Horse Show was packed for ladies day and Lennon was stoppable in the Speed Derby, collecting a further 6,600 euro in the 20,000 euro event.
Vampire was outstanding and as Lennon explained: "It is that hot personality which gives him his speed."
Up until this summer Lennon hadn't presented Vampire with Derby fences, but having competed at Hickstead last month he upgraded the horse's experience which paid off when he returned to the RDS.
Billy Twomey was close on Lennon's heels with the Irish-bred grey stallion Ardcolum Duke, owned by Joe Flynn. For his efforts, Twomey - just over two seconds slower in 86.84 - received 4,000 euro.
Swiss ace Steve Guerdat on board Albfuehren's Memphis went clear in 90.91, finishing third ahead of Ireland's Shane Breen on Acoustik Solo du Baloubet, a chestnut gelding by the World Cup-winning sire Baloubet du Rouet.
Meanwhile, in the Aga Khan Nations Cup, Ireland are drawn first to jump followed by Switzerland, the Netherlands, USA, Italy, Spain, Great Britain and Germany.
This is the eighth and last leg of the European Division One league. Teams eligible for Furisiyya FEI jumping points are GB, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.
The Ireland team are hoping to qualify for the final of the Nations Cup Division One league to be staged in Barcelona from September 24 to 27.
Ireland's Nations Cup team comprises Bertram Allen with Romanov, Greg Broderick on Mhs Going Global, Cian O'Connor on Good Luck and Darragh Kenny with Sans Soucis Z. Since Ireland were drawn in the difficult position of first to jump of the eight teams competing, 20-year-old Allen is first rider into the main arena.
Ireland are currently eighth in Europe Division One league and only seven can go to the final. Dublin is the last of the series for 2015.
Robert Splaine has to select his European team for the Aachen championships this month and Ireland will try to secure qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics at the German venue.
Emily McGowan, Co Down, won the Connemara Performance Hunter class 70, while Rachel Kelly, also Co Down, was runner up in class 71. There were also wins for Desmond Gibson, Dromara.