Shane Breen claims ‘biggest career win’ in Monaco GCT grand prix

  • Ireland’s Shane Breen has scored his “biggest career win” at the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) grand prix du Prince de Monaco.

    Last year’s winner, Alberto Zorzi, looked set to retain his title with a fast clear, finishing on a time of 35.72 seconds with Fair Light Van T Heike.

    But Shane and the 10-year-old stallion Ipswich Van De Wolfsakker were the final combination to jump off, producing a winning clear round and edging ahead of the 2017 victor by 0.16 seconds.

    “This is my biggest career win and my first time winning at the LGCT grand prix,” said Shane.

    “It’s a great honour to be here and to be part of the GCL — it’s a great atmosphere.

    “Ipswich is quite a green horse at this level and has had a few fences down this season.

    We’ve been knocking on the door but today he jumped fantastically. He was surprisingly relaxed as he can be quite sharp and has a lot of nervous energy but that was in our favour this evening in Monaco.”

    Fellow Irishman Denis Lynch finished third aboard RMF Bella Baloubet.

    “I knew my horse would love the Monaco arena and within the last few months we have built a solid relationship,” said Denis.

    “Because of the new partnership, today’s strategy wasn’t to go out and win it. Instead I opted to keep the poles up and get on the podium and I’m very happy with him.”

    A total of 35 riders came forward for the grand prix, but just six combinations finished on zero faults in the first round of the Frank Rothenberger-designed course to go forward to the jump-off.

    Ben Maher was the best of the Brits, finishing eighth after rolling one pole with Winning Good. Scott Brash was the next highest-placed British rider in 11th with Hello Mr President.

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    Shane’s win means he joins the Global Champions playoffs and has qualified for the LGCT super grand prix in Prague in December.

    I think the course-designer did an amazing job and from 35 contenders to only have six in the jump-off is the right sort of number,” said LGCT president and founder Jan Tops.

    “Shane did an amazing job. It was tough today with the hot weather, but everyone handled the course and day well.”

    The LCGT heads to Paris for the 10th leg of the 2018 series this weekend (5-7 July).

    In this week’s Horse & Hound magazine, out on Thursday 28 June 2018, don’t miss our full report from the Hickstead Derby meeting, including all the showjumping and showing action, plus don’t miss our six-page report from Royal Ascot.

    We also have a feature on the much discussed whip rules across the disciplines and in this week’s ‘Vet clinic’ we find out how to spot the signs of sand colic.

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