Offaly man Darragh Kenny has won the $86,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 12 showjumping competition in Florida. Riding new mount Billy Onslow, Kenny triumphed in the event at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival on Thursday, March 30.
The 12-week circuit concludes with this competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Centre, and it runs until April 2, 2017.
Thursday’s Challenge Cup yielded 21 clear rounds, with two entries opting out of the jump-off, 19 continued on, and nine were able to clear the short course without fault. Darragh Kenny was second to go in the jump-off and took off at considerable speed on-board Billy Onslow to put the pressure on the remaining competitors.
Remarking on the jump-off, Kenny remarked, “I know he is really brave, really careful, and really scopey, so I just went as fast as I could go. There were 17 people after me, so I knew that if I left the door open at all I would have no chance. He has a massive stride," he added.
His time of 33.33 seconds held up for the win as the others tried and failed to catch them. Competitors from America and Canada finished second and third in the event.
“He is such a cool horse,” Kenny told media afterwards. Darragh just recently purchased the 11-year-old from Great Britain’s William Funnell. "I just got him three weeks ago when I was in Europe. He did a 1.40m class yesterday, and then this today," Kenny said on Thursday. "Obviously, I don't really know him so well, but he tries so hard and he is super easy to ride.”
"He was just amazing. He was brilliant. He should not have jumped the double from where I turned back at all. He is so brave and careful. You turn back and you don’t even have to worry. You know he is going to do his best to leave the jumps up," Darragh concluded.
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