As riders get horses ready for the season ahead, we’re having a look back through 2016. RED MILLS Ambassadors enjoyed phenomenal success on the world stage, trusting Connolly's RED MILLS to ensure their horses consistently perform at their peak in both showjumping and eventing disciplines.
Showjumping – Team Ireland
Bertram Allen enjoyed another incredible year as he turned 21 during 2016. He started with a number of wins during the Spanish Sunshine Tour before heading to Hong Kong where another double of wins followed with Quiet Easy. The Wexford rider then scored five-star wins at the Global Champions Tour show in Doha and at the Grand Palais in Paris. Yet another five-star win followed at Hamburg in May with Molly Malone, while the same pair were top of the pile again a month later at Villach in Austria followed by another win this time in Monte Carlo.
Bertram was a key member of the Irish Nations Cup team throughout the season, helping Ireland to a runner-up finish in the Aga Khan Trophy competition on home soil at the RDS and was on the winning Irish team in the Swiss Nations Cup at St Gallen. Another five-star win followed at St Morritz in August with Izzy By Picobello, while in November, Bertram repeated his incredible feat from 2015 when he won three cars in one weekend at Stockholm in Sweden bringing to nine the total number of cars won in his career to date. Allen maintained his form right up until the end of the year when he scored a win in the Masters competition at London Olympia with High Valley.
Darragh Kenny began the year with a stunning run of victories at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida with Red Star D’Argent and Chanel. On his return to Europe, further wins followed at Aachen in Germany and Rotterdam in The Netherlands.
Darragh’s biggest win of the season was without doubt at the five-star Nations Cup final in Barcelona where he landed the Longines Grand Prix riding Go Easy De Muze. It was Darragh’s first ever five-star Grand Prix win, and crowned a superb week in Barcelona where he was also a key member of the Irish team that finished fifth in the Nations Cup World final. Darragh finished the year with a double of victories at the London International Horse Show in Olympia.
Shane Breen was a regular member of the Irish Nations Cup team during 2016, including at the world final in Barcelona. He also scored a fourth place finish in the Longines Grand Prix at the Spanish venue with Golden Hawk and the pair carried forward that good form to the indoor World Cup circuit and enter 2017 in a very healthy position on the league table. Shane was regularly in the prizes at five-star level during the season not least at the Dublin Horse Show where he scored a win in the Puissance and finished second in the Longines Grand Prix of Dublin.
Billy Twomey began the season with a huge win in the very first week of 2016 when he claimed the inaugural Liverpool International Grand Prix with Diaghilev. The same pair went on to win the Hamburg Derby in May. Billy scored wins with the Irish Sport Horse Ardcolum Duke at The Horse of the Year Show and at the five-star fixture in Lyon. Billy was also in stunning form at the Hickstead Nations Cup show in the UK where he scored a hat-trick of wins including the famous King George V Gold Cup. A brilliant year was crowned when Twomey and Diaghilev won the five-star Grand Prix at La Coruna in Spain in December.
Former World Champion Dermott Lennon started 2016 with some excellent results at the Liverpool International Horse Show and another excellent season included a five-star Grand Prix win at Gijon in Spain with Loughview Lou-Lou (ISH)
Trevor Breen recorded several wins on the Spanish Sunshine Tour and was a regular winner on the British circuit throughout the year.
Showjumping – Team GB
Another RED MILLS Ambassador, Britain’s Scott Brash, enjoyed phenomenal success this year with a host of major victories. He began 2016 as the world number one and scored a double of wins at the Global Champions Tour show in Mexico in April. He guided Ursula to a runner-up finish in the Rolex Aachen Grand
Prix. In September, Brash claimed one of the biggest prizes in the history of the sport when he collected $1 million when winning the CP International Grand Prix at the Spruce Meadows Masters in Canada. Brash finished the year with a spectacular victory in his home leg of the Longines FEI World Cup at London Olympia.
Holly Smith was another RED MILLS Ambassador who was in superb form in Britain and internationally during the season. She scored a double of wins in the young horse classes at Chepstow’s international show, followed by another string of victories at Allington Arena UK.
Further wins followed at Keysoe International before Holly finished an excellent season by winning both the Horse Of The Year Show and Olympia Puissance competitions with Quality Old Joker (ISH).
Showjumping – Team Australia, USA, Brazil and Sweden
RED MILLS Ambassador Edwina Tops-Alexander represented her native Australia at the Olympic Games in Rio and performed brilliantly, winning the opening competition and going on to record a top 10 finish overall in the Olympic individual final with Lintea Tequilla. Edwina finished the year with a runner-up finish in the World Cup at London Olympia.
American star Reed Kessler joined the RED MILLS team this year and started the season with two five-star wins aboard Cylana at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida. Kessler then traveled to Europe and her winning streak continued at San Giovanni in Italy and at Eschweiler in Germany. Another five-star win followed at the Nations Cup show in La Baule, while she also claimed a victory at the Dutch show in Arnhem with The Irish Sport Horse Cos I Can.
Brazilian rider Marlon Modolo Zanotelli is also part of the RED MILLS Ambassadors, and he scored his first win of the season as early as January at Drachten in The Netherlands. More wins followed at Opglabbeek in Belgium and at Oliva in Spain before Marlon scored a big win at Aachen in Germany with Rock N Roll Semilly. The same pair were back on the winners podium at Bolesworth in the UK, before scoring a runner-up finish in the Sport Ireland Classic at the Dublin Horse Show at the RDS, Another major win soon followed in the four-star Grand Prix at Zandhoven in Belgium with Cool Hand Luke, while Marlon finished the year with two more wins at Opglabbeek.
Angelica Augustsson Zanotelli also enjoyed an excellent 2016, and scored a win at Zuidwolde (NED) with Madame Butterfly. Angelica added a win in the young horse classes at Chantilly in France and at the two-star show in Opglabbeek. Further wins were to follow at Ommen (NED) and Zandhoven.
2016 was an exciting year for RED MILLS eventers who had many national and International successes throughout the season.
Camilla Speirs was part of the Irish squad for the Olympic Games in Rio and also finished sixth in the prestigious CCI**** at Pau in France.
Young Rider Cathal Daniels had another year to remember, with his results moving him up to the second highest placed Irish rider on the World Rankings.
Elizabeth Power crowned a busy year by winning the Amlin Plus Eventers’ Challenge at Hickstead in the UK. She was the onnly Irish rider to take a podium finish in the Event Rider Masters and took a win at the Sweden International Horse Show, Bolesworth International and was being placed in the Hickstead Derby at her first attempt.
Austin O’Connor finished second in both the Milstreet CCI3* and Tattersalls CIC3* and was reserve for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
We wish all our riders the best of luck throughout the 2017 season and look forward to supporting them throughout the year.
- Billy Twomey
- Camilla Speirs
- Cathal Daniels
- Edwina Tops-Alexander
- Elizabeth Power
- Nicola Fitzgibbon
- Nikki Crisp
- Sam Watson
- Scott Brashn
- Shane Breen
- Trevor Breen