Ireland’s Denis Lynch has won the hotly-contested Longines Grand Prix held at the World Cup show in La Coruña in Spain tonight.
Only four combinations made it to the jump-off from a star-studded field of 49, and Lynch piloted his recently acquired 13 year-old chestnut stallion Rubens LS la Silla to a clear first round and then, second to go, set a jump-off time of 40.33 seconds.
The Tipperary-born rider then had to wait while Britain’s Robert Whitaker and Catwalk IV tried to beat his time, but Whitaker came up short on 40.84 seconds and four faults. Netherlands rider Marc Houtzager aboard Sterrehof’s Dante also threw caution to the winds in an attempt to overtake Lynch, but paid the price with one fence down and a runner-up time of 39.79.
This left Lynch with the only double clear round of the competition, and a reward of 75,900 euro for emerging victorious in the five-star competition.
The fourth jump-off rider, Britain’s Guy Williams with Rouge de Ravel, had an unfortunate 16 faults in his jump-off round, but picked up 23,000 euro for his fourth place.
Lynch acquired Conor Swail’s former ride, Rubens LS la Silla, in August of this year, and just recently the combination has started hovering within the top ten places of major competitions, notching up a runner-up slot at the five-star Grand Prix in Waregem, Belgium in September, and more recently an eighth place at the World Cup Qualifier in Madrid. Tonight’s performance, though, is La Silla’s first Grand Prix win under Lynch’s saddle.
The Spanish FEI World Cup leg takes place on Sunday afternoon at La Coruña.