Belfast Telegraph

Sloan-Allen thrilled after Ulster owned Suma's Zorro clinches victory in Paris GP

 

By Ruth Loney

A Templepatrick showjumping mare has won the €300,000 (£265,000) Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Paris, ridden by Sameh El Dahan.

El Dahan has been based with the Joanne Sloan-Allen Sycamore Stables team for the past eight years and tasted success on board Suma's Zorro.

Having won the five-star Grand Prix in Calgary last year and the La Coruna Spain Grand Prix this year, the Ulster-owned mare showed her class with El Dahan in the saddle to beat Irish ace Bertram Allen by half a second.

Sloan-Allen was ecstatic with the victory. She said: "This amazing Irish mare has done it again.

"Sameh was absolutely amazing, we are very proud of them both. This is a great success for the mare, which was bred by Susan Lannigan O'Keefe and Marily Power in Kilkenny."

Speaking from Paris after his victory, El Dahan revealed how he came to live at the Ulster showjumping yard with Sloan-Allen eight years ago.

"She found me, I don't know why," he joked.

"I live with Joanne's family at her stud farm. They supported me from the beginning and it was time to give them something back. I have been at this level for five years and it was in the last year that good results started coming in."

Eleven horses were in the jump-off with first-off Allen taking the lead with Molly Malone, going clear in 36.86 seconds.

El Dahan, the penultimate rider aboard Suma's Zorro, cut all the corners to beat Allen by half a second.

Suma's Zorro clinched the first prize of €100,000 (£88,158), while Allen collected a cheque for €60,000 (£52,900).

Meanwhile, in Spruce Meadows, Calgary, there was a win for Saintfield's Conor Swail, who is contesting the four-week summer tour. Competing with GK Coco Chanel, owned by Vanessa Mannix, Swail won the 1m 50 Pepsi Challenge.

Belfast Telegraph

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