Darragh Kenny wins at Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida

Thursday, 1 February 2018

OFFALY'S Darragh Kenny scored Ireland's biggest win so far at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida, landing the $132,000 Adequan three-star Grand Prix with the 11-year-old gelding Cassini Z on Saturday night.

This was the third week of the Winter Equestrian Festival which continues until April 1 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida and offers more than $9 million in prize money.

Kenny and Cassini Z - who is owned by Bowers Cone LLC - were one of 16 combinations who made it through to the jump-off from 45 starters. They were 12th to go in the jump-off and were chasing a time of 39.36 seconds set by Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) and Cristalline. Kenny was fast from the start and never let up to post what proved a winning time of 38.21.

Jessica Springsteen, daughter of rock legend Bruce Springsteen, came closest to catching Kenny, she finished just two hundredths of a second slower with RMF Swinny du Parc to take runner-up position..

"I think the two girls' horses have quite a big stride," Kenny said of the jump-off. "So, one to two, definitely Adrienne got there pulling at the end. For me, it was running the whole way. I think my horse just kept running in all of the lines, so just gradually over the length of the course he made up the time. He's very, very careful, so I don't really have to worry about the jumps as much as the turning."

Fourth place went to Jessica Mendoza (GBR) on her own Toy Boy, while Derry's Jordan Coyle took fifth place with Eristov.

It was quite a week for Kenny, who celebrated his 30th birthday on Wednesday with a win in the $35,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate Classic with Important de Muze.


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