Tipperary rider Denis Lynch and the 13 year-old chestnut stallion RMF Echo claimed a significant victory tonight in the Longines World Cup competition at Lexington in the USA with a double clear round.
One of nine to make it to the second round, the European team gold medallist delivered a masterful finish halfway through the jump-off, stopping the clock at 36.16 seconds, and for the rest of the class could not be caught.
American hopes were dashed when, last to go, top USA rider Laura Kraut and the talented ten year-old grey Confu looked set to catch Lynch, but a single pole down put paid to their hopes.
The USA finally had to settle for a runner-up placing from Lauren Tisbo and the ten year-old Coriandolo di Ribano who also went clear but fell short of the winning time by just over a third of a second.
Third place tonight went to Switzerland’s Beat Mändli and the nine year-old Dsarie who came home in 37.80 seconds.
None of the other Irish contestants at Lexington made it through to the jump-off tonight at the four-star show.
Lynch said after his win: “I went as quickly as I could. Echo is a naturally very, very quick horse. He’s been unlucky a few times this year, when he’s been beaten at the post. I think there were three or four grands prix where he finished second. I think he really deserved it tonight.”
The American victory, which netted him 70,000 euro in prize money, was Lynch’s first World Cup win in five years and will add valuable ranking points to his tally ahead of next year’s World Cup Final in Paris.