Two years ago, a then 16 year-old Chris Megahey from Templepatrick told Horse and Hound magazine that his big ambition was to compete in the Puissance at London Olympia. Tonight he finally jumped it, and shared the win.
Megahey’s interview followed his Emerald International Puissance win at the Irish Masters Show in Co. Kildare on the Irish-bred Seapatrick Cruise Cavalier in 2014, but unfortunately his age proved a barrier for entry to Olympia that year. He was told by event organisers that the London competition was invitation only but that they would “keep an eye on him for future years.”
In 2015, however, Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan borrowed Seapatrick Cruise Cavalier and took a victory at the Land Rover Puissance in Dublin.
Tonight was therefore the culmination of the Co. Antrim teenager’s dream – not only competing at the world-famous Olympia Puissance, but tying for first place on the same horse that had first brought him to attention as a 16 year-old.
The final jump-off was between Megahey and Britain’s Holly Smith (formerly Gillott), who both attacked the big wall at 2m15, and were the only two to clear this height from the nine competitors taking part.
The pair shared prize money of 12,500 euro.
Chris said after tonight’s competition: “I loved it – it didn’t faze me at all. It’s just brilliant being here, being around top riders like Marcus Ehning and Scott Brash.”
Earlier at Olympia’s Christmas show Ireland’s Anthony Condon and Balzac claimed a fifth place in the 1m50 speed class, the Christmas Pudding Stakes, which was won by popular Italian rider Lorenzo De Luca with Halifax van het Kluizebos.