An impressive performance from Kerry-born Capt Brian Cournane and the 11-year-old gelding Dino, saw them score a fifth place finish in tonight’s (Sunday) lucrative $400,000 five-star Longines Masters of New York Grand Prix, while Offaly’s Darragh Kenny also filled seventh place for Ireland with Cassini Z.
Cournane (pictured) had produced the first clear of the opening round to secure a place in the jump-off, with the top 12 combinations going forward to the decider against the clock. Darragh Kenny also made it through as one of the fastest four fault scores, and he briefly took the lead when posting the fastest clear second round of those carrying forward penalties. He was knocked off top spot by his compatriot Cournane, who opted for a cautious clear in 45.88 seconds, which would prove good enough for fifth at the finish with Dino, who he owns along with Robert Stiller. Cournane collected $24,000 while Kenny would take home $12,000 for a seventh place finish with Cassini Z.
The winners prize of $132,000 went to Egypt’s Nayel Nassar and Lucifer V in a time of 38.59. Harrie Smolders (NED) finished as runner-up with Une de l’Othain (39.46), while Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts filled third place on the podium with H&M Cue Channa (40.93).
There was also good news for Ireland this weekend in Para Dressage. A fantastic performance from Rosemary Gaffney and her horse Werona saw them score 70.825% to take third place on the podium in the Grade 4 Kür (Freestyle to Music) class at Waregem in Belgium.