Shane Breen celebrating finishing as runner-up in the Grand Prix at Valence.
Tipperary riders were in excellent form over the weekend at the two five-star fixtures in France and Switzerland, with Shane Breen finishing as runner-up in the Grand Prix at Valence, while Thomas Ryan scored a sixth place finish in St Moritz.
Riding the 10-year-old gelding Laith, Breen crossed the line clear in 36.40 seconds when second to go of 12 combinations who made it into the jump-off in Valence. It looked as though Breen had done enough to take the winner prize, however American world no.1 Kent Farrington scorched to victory when second last to go with Gazelle. They crossed the line clear in a time of 35.32 to pocket €75,000, while Breen collected €60,000 for his runner-up finish with the Team Z7-owned Laith. The Irish rider was also crowned leading rider of the show and was awarded a brand new Mercedes convertible.
Shane Breen and the Team Z7-owned Laith finished as runners-up in the five-star Grand Prix at Valence.
Galway’s Michael Duffy also made it into the jump-off with EFS Top Contender. A stumble on landing after a fence midway through their second round almost saw the pair part company and only a brilliant piece of riding from Duffy saw him remain in the saddle. However the horse’s bridle became dislodged forcing Duffy to retire on course.
Meanwhile at another five-star show in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Tipperary’s Thomas Ryan and Quite Zero finished sixth in the feature Longines Grand Prix. One of nine combinations to make it into the jump-off, they lowered a single fence against the clock in a time of 35.93. Victory went to Belgium’s Wilm Vermeir and Lq van het Steentje with a double clear round in 36.72.