Irish rider Kevin Babington scored the first win of this year’s Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida on Wednesday, ousting compatriot Conor Swail in the 1m45 $8,000 Douglas Elliman speed class.

Swail was the early pacesetter in the event with Quite Cassini, coming home in 62.36, but Babington got Irish-bred Super Chilled home inside the 60 second mark for the decisive round in the event.

The Irish riders held on to the top two places, with American Molly Ashe taking third in 64.16 on Audi’s Dimple.

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“I saw Conor go first and he had a really smooth round, so I tried to do pretty much the same numbers”, said Babington. “I think I did one less back on the third jump and that was the plan.”

Also on opening day, the $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1m40 speed class was split into two with Ireland’s Daniel Coyle taking Section B on Cita. American Laura Chapot took the A section with Zealous.

Mike Dunne