Limerick’s Paul O’Shea took a decisive win in the Longines Palm Beach Masters Grand Prix in Deeridge, Florida tonight, aboard the 11 year-old gelding Imerald van’t Voorhof.
Winning over 63,000 euro, the 42 year-old was one of 15 international competitors through to the jump-off from a 44-strong field, and recorded one of just three double clear rounds in the five-star competition, with Alan Wade’s course causing many surprise casualties.
Challenged by US Olympian Margie Goldstein-Engle and the 15 year-old stallion Royce, a cool-headed O’Shea held his lead by three-quarters of a second to finally take the trophy.
Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam with the nine year-old Kirschwasser SCF also made it to the final round, but an early pole down relegated him to 13th place overall.
Ireland’s youngest competitor, 21 year-old Cormac Hanley on Alma Z had two rails down in the first round, while Darragh Kenny and Babalou incurred four faults.
The Wellington Nations Cup takes place at the Deeridge Farms stadium on Sunday, with Chef d’Equipe Michael Blake yet to declare his team of four for the contest.