Offaly showjumper shoots up world rankings after great start at Dublin Horse Show

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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Offaly showjumper shoots up world rankings after great start at Dublin Horse Show

Offaly showjumper shoots up world rankings after great start at Dublin Horse Show

Offaly showjumper Darragh Kenny, the top-ranked Irish competitor at this week's Dublin Horse Show, has made another leap up the world rankings following a strong start to the RDS showpiece.

Darragh was in action on Day 1 on Wednesday in the feature event, the Sport Ireland Classic. He put in a support round of jumping aboard Romeo 88 to take second spot behind Limerick's Paul O’Shea.

The performance means the Offaly man is closing in on a top 10 place in the latest world rankings.

He continues to rise the Longines World Jumping Rankings and is now up three more places to 13th. Shane Sweetnam is next best of the Irish in 24th, with Bertram Allen in 31st, Denis Lynch in 38th, while Paul O'Shea is in 43rd. There are nine Irish riders in the top 50 including Conor Swail (46), Daniel Coyle (48) and Shane Breen & Mark McAuley (joint 50th)

Elsewhere in the arena on Wednesday, Meath’s Cian O’Connor guided Diego to the fastest clear to take the winners prize in the Minerva Stakes ahead of British runner-up Holly Smith with Ruby VII. Kilkenny’s Ger O’Neill slotted into third place with Jack Van Het Dennehof.

The opening competition of the day saw Mayo’s Cormac Hanley give Ireland a perfect start to the week when he partnered the Heathman Farm-owned Copain Z to victory in the Speed Stakes. Second place went to Waterford’s Anthony Condon with Zira V Kapelhof Z while French rider Mathieu Billot finished third with Dassler.

Highlights on Thursday at the Dublin Horse Show include the Speed Derby, Stablelab Stakes and The Battle of the Sexes, along with the four-year-old Event Horse class sponsored by Horse Sport Ireland.