Shane Breen scored a blow for the showjumpers in their traditional contest against the eventers today when he won Hickstead’s Amlin Plus eventing grand prix.
The Irishman, who is based at Hickstead, rode a faultless clear round on Dorada II — last year’s runner-up — in the only performance to break the 200sec barrier. It was his second win in the class after also taking it in 2006 on Mullaghdrin Gold Rain.
Shane revealed that he had deliberately gone steadily through the water — where Dorada had a rail down at the arrowhead (fence 10 and 15) on the return trip last year — and over the new double of angled gates (fence 17, pictured), but knew he could be quicker than his main challenger Gary Parsonage over the showjumps.
“I’ve had him since he was three and he does everything,” said Shane. “The only thing he doesn’t like is puissances.”
Favourite and last-to-go Gary Parsonage was challenging for a record fourth victory on his winner of the past two years, Peter Street, and he looked on track to challenge Shane until he had a rail down going into the Devils Dyke. He ended up 10sec behind for second.
Another Irishman, Mark Kyle, was third on his ride for the forthcoming World Equestrian Games, Step In Time. It was the horse’s first time competing in the class, although Mark has previously won it on Drunken Disorderly, who was retired from competition aged 20 in a special main arena ceremony this afternoon.
Caroline Powell was fourth on another eventing grand prix virgin, Lenamore, who went as neatly as ever, with Nicole Pavitt (Blake) fifth for the showjumpers and Nicola Wilson (Portersize Top Dollar) sixth.
Don’t forget to buy H&H next week for our 15-page special report from the Royal International, including the eventing grand prix.
1. Shane Breen on Dorada II (193.77)
2. Gary Parsonage on Peter Street (203)
3. Mark Kyle on Step In Time (207.26)
4. Caroline Powell on Lenamore (219.31)
5. Nicole Pavitt on Blake (219.51)
6. Nicola Wilson on Portersize Top Dollar (224.27)