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Lennon thrilled to come out on top of quality field for Big Tour success

 

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Top stuff: Dermott Lennon

Top stuff: Dermott Lennon

INPHO

Top stuff: Dermott Lennon

Banbridge ace Dermott Lennon, the former world showjumping champion, has won the Big Tour 1m50 speed class in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain from 109 starters.

Competing with the Ulster-bred MJM Pursuit - owned by the MJM group and bred by Zoe Harvey - Lennon, at 75th to jump, sped round to win the prestigious class in 58.74 seconds.

He left US rider Julie Welles in runner-up place on 59.83 and Denmark's Andreas Shou in third on 60.63 in a class of elite riders.

Lennon said: "I am delighted at how MJM Pursuit jumped. She felt relaxed and we will continue competing on the Sunshine Tour for the next couple of weeks."

MJM Pursuit, who has won many classes, including Balmoral, was purchased for Lennon by Brian McConville of the MJM group.

In Oliva, Valencia, Belfast horsewoman Sophie Dalm took runner-up in the Silver Tour Grand Prix 1m40 class from 60 entries behind her boss Marlon Modolo Zanotelli.

There were 19 clear in the first round, with Dalm and Volnay de Choc Z scorching round to take the runner-up slot in 38.10 behind Zanotelli on Vanda just under a second faster in 37.20.

She explained: "I've produced Volnay over the past eight months. We stepped her up during Oliva and I was delighted to place second behind my boss Marlon.

"It was a nice finish to the Oliva tour for our team. Volnay has the potential to go far."

Shane Sweetnam received the Niall Grimes Memorial Trophy in Wellington, Florida as leading Irish rider in the Nations Cup, where Ireland finished second.

He was also runner-up in the Florida Grand Prix.

Kevin Babington, wheelchair-bound after an accident last year, received the Kate Nash Boone Style award in recognition of his dedication, determination and inspiration to the sport despite his life-changing injuries.

Belfast Telegraph