Only 11 of the 37-strong start list for the first leg of the FEI World Cup Jumping Final at Omaha, Nebraska jumped clear tonight, but unfortunately Ireland’s Denis Lynch was not one of them.
Like several riders before him, the Tipperary man, with Thomas Straumann’s talented stallion All Star, clipped a bogey oxer on Irish course designer Alan Wade’s difficult speed class course, and this added a four second penalty to his finishing time of 64.43.
Twenty-sixth to jump, Lynch was bidding to equal US leader McLain Ward’s bay mare HH Azur’s time of 59.27, but ended in 21st place at the end of the night.
The result will put the Irish rider in a disadvantageous position for the next two legs of the competition.
Lynch now moves on to the formidable 1m60 jump-off competition on Friday, and if successful, will compete in the highly-competitive Jumping Final on Sunday night.
Lynch and All Star finished fifth in the World Cup Final at Gothenburg in 2016, while Bertram Allen and Molly Malone took third place in at Las Vegas in 2015. Dermott Lennon and Hallmark Elite were fifth in 2010 at Geneva, and the legendary Eddie Macken placed third with Carrolls of Dundalk at Gothenburg in 1979.
Ireland twice came close to winning the Jumping World Cup, first in 1999, also at Gothenburg, when Trevor Coyle and the Irish Sport Horse Cruising came second to Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa (Ireland’s new show jumping Chef d’Equipe), who was riding Gandini Baloubet du Rouet. Pessoa won the World Cup Final on a total of three occasions.
Commentating for FEItv tonight at Omaha was Ireland’s Jessica Kurten, who herself placed second with Castle Forbes Libertina at Kuala Lumpur in 2006 behind Germany’s Marcus Ehning and Sandro Boy, and also tied for fourth place with the same horse in 2008 in the World Cup Final at Gothenburg.