Tipperary’s Shane Breen has today made history at the Dublin Horse Show in the RDS, after he claimed victory in the €350,000 Longines Grand Prix of Ireland.
Breen has come agonisingly close to winning the Dublin Grand Prix in the past, finishing fifth with World Cruise in 2007 and more recently with Golden Hawk in 2016 when he finished as runner-up.
A star-studded podium saw Breen stand on the winner’s perch of the richest Show Jumping competition ever to take place on the island of Ireland with former World No.1 Scott Brash (GBR) beside him as runner-up, while 2016 Dublin Grand Prix winner Lorenzo De Luca (ITA) finished third.
Breen’s clear jump-off round when second-last to go with the 11-year-old Ipswich Van De Wolfsakker in a time of 34.91 saw him finish ahead of Brash in second with Hello Jefferson who jumped clear as last to go in 35.39. The only other double clear came from De Luca and Dinky Toy Van De Kranenburg who crossed the line in 38.17.
20-year-old Susan Fitzpatrick from Kilkenny took a fourth-place finish in the Grand Prix with the Sharon Fitzpatrick-owned Fellow Castlefield. They were the first of seven combinations who would jump clear in the first round and went on to post the fastest time of the jump-off (33.23) with one fence down.
Sligo’s Richard Howley also made it through to the second round with Chinook and would take an impressive fifth-place finish with four faults in 33.29.
Britain’s Ben Maher (Tic Tac) and Swiss World No.1 Steve Guerdat (Venard De Cerisy) finished in a share of sixth place, while Ireland’s Michael Pender finished eighth with HHS Burnchurch after picking up just a time fault in the first round.
Breen’s victory brought Ireland’s tally of five-star wins at the Dublin Horse Show to seven in total, with Co. Louth’s Mark McAuley crowned Leading International Rider of the show following two wins and a number of top 10 placings.
Horse Sport Ireland CEO Ronan Murphy said: “Huge congratulations to Shane Breen on a fantastic performance to win the Grand Prix of Ireland, and to Susan Fitzpatrick, Richard Howley and Michael Pender who all finished in the top 10.
“It shows the excellent depth of talent in our High Performance jumping athletes and I also would like to congratulate Mark McAuley on being crowned Leading International Rider.”