Tipperary-born Shane Breen rounded off a good afternoon for Irish riders at the Dublin Horse Show in Ballsbridge, Dublin today with an 8,000 euro win in the Sport Ireland Classic.
With the nine year-old stallion Ipswich van de Wolfsakker, Sussex-based Breen was last to go in a talented field of 17 combinations who’d made it through to the jump-off, and overtook fellow-Irish leader Bertram Allen with Izzy by Piccobello, paring fractions of a second off the younger rider’s time to take first place, with Allen settling for the runner-up prize.
Third place in the Classic went to Waterford’s Anthony Condon and Balzac.
Earlier, Greg Broderick and the stallion Zuidam had claimed the 1,500 euro first place in the Speed Stakes with a time of 58.94 seconds, edging the USA’s Lillie Keenan and Be Gentle into second, with Darragh Kenny and Chakito coming home in third.
Breen and Allen join Denis Lynch, Cian O’Connor and Mark McAuley in the Aga Khan squad selected to represent Ireland on Friday afternoon at the famous RDS showgrounds, with Irish team manager Rodrigo Pessoa expected to declare the names of his selected four-man team on Thursday evening.
Ireland, for whom Dublin is the last chance to earn team league points needed to qualify for the September Nations Cup final in Barcelona, will face teams from France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, USA and Britain in their bid to claim the Aga Khan trophy once more, having last won it in 2015.