With 300,000 euro prize money at stake, the world’s top guns of show jumping lined out for the major five-star Rolex Grand Prix at Versailles in France today, and it was Ireland’s Denis Lynch who came closest to snatching the winner’s prize, but ended up an agonising one-hundredth of a second off first place.
Twelve combinations made it through to the jump-off from a starting field of 39, and Lynch with the Belgian-bred stallion Echo de Laubry put in a sterling performance to guarantee their second-round slot.
However, a spectacularly fast early round from Brazil’s Pedro Veniss and the Selle Francais stallion Quabri de l’Isle stopped the clock at 35.19, and the best efforts of those immediately following fell short.
Watched by Ireland’s new Show Jumping Manager Rodrigo Pessoa, Lynch and Echo de Laubry then produced what looked like a round that would seriously challenge the leader, but came home in 35.20 seconds. Lynch’s second place remained untouched for the rest of the competition.
Lynch pocketed 60,000 euro for missing victory by a fraction of a second, while the Brazilian winner took home 75,000 euro.
The bid by Ireland’s other Grand Prix contestant, Bertram Allen with Hector van d’Abdijhoeve, came unstuck in the first round when a stop at the second part of a combination and eight faults on the board led to a retirement.
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