An Irish-bred horse has won the prestigious Land Rover Wellington Eventing Showcase in the USA.

Ridden by American star Boyd Martin, the horse was Welcome Shadow, and climbed to the top after a clear show jumping round and a great trip on cross-country to finish on 27.30 penalties. This was Martin’s third year in a row to pull off a Showcase win at the Florida event.

Commenting on his victory, Martin said, ““She’s a fantastic horse…to win an event of this calibre is just phenomenal. She’s a funny horse. She’s not the fastest horse or the biggest mover or the biggest jumper but she’s by far the biggest trier. I’m learning with event horses that that’s the biggest consideration.

Welcome Shadow (ISH)(TIH) in action in the showjumping phase with Boyd Martin. (Photo: Susan J. Stickle)

“This year was by far the hardest one to win. It was a much more competitive field; the calibre of horses was the best we’ve seen here. I’ve got to say, the show jumping was bigger and wider, (and) I think the show jumping was even bigger than at Rolex.  The cross-country was a real test. I think that it’s been good that they’ve gently built it up like this, but the cross-country was influential this year compared to other years.”

“My horse is one of my favourites in training at the moment,” he said of Welcome Shadow. “You couldn’t get a horse that tries any harder than Welcome Shadow. I thought she was great in all three phases, and I was proud to win. I will quite happily take the cheque home.”

Welcome Shadow – 2005 mare by Welcome Flagmount (ID) out of She’s Bizarre (TB) by Good Thyne (TB). Breeder: James Keville (Galway). Rider: Boyd Martin (USA)

Jack Burns