‘This one’s for you, Jack Dodd’: grand prix winner makes emotional dedication

  • This week’s international showjumping news headlines revolve around Irish rider Michael Duffy dedicating an emotional first five-star grand prix win at Miami Beach, USA, to his friend Jack Dodd, who died in 2018.

    Read on for a round up of this week’s international showjumping news and results.

    Showjumping news: ‘This one’s for you, Jack Dodd’

    Miami Beach once again pulled out all the stops for the second leg of Longines Global Champions Tour, but emotions ran high after Ireland’s Michael Duffy, the winner of Saturday’s grand prix, dedicated his first five-star grand prix success to his close friend Jack Dodd, who died in a car accident six years ago at the age of 25.

    “I won my first five-star grand prix and I want to dedicate this to Trish and David Dodd, parents of my friend at home [Jack Dodd] who passed away,” said Michael.

    From nine jump-off contenders, Michael and relatively new ride, the 12-year-old Claptonn Mouche, produced the only double clear to take top honours, ahead of Max Kühner and EIC Cooley Jump, with France’s Julien Anquetin and Blood Diamond Du Pont in third as the fastest of the four-faulters.

    “It’s been a while coming now, it’s probably about time we got our fingers out and did something,” said Michael. “It’s amazing, I’m a bit lost for words… I’m not the biggest talker but even more so this time. I have no words.

    “It’s tough jumping here, it is so delicate. I wanted to be as quick as I can and leave the jumps up to get the job done.”

    Showjumping news: Cian O'Connor wins the WEF leading international rider award

    Cian O’Connor, pictured aboard Fancy de Kergane, earned the overall leading international rider award, presented by Martha W. Jolicoeur with Michael and Wendy Smith, following consistent performances throughout the 2024 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. Photo by Sportfot.

    WEF Leading rider award to Cian O’Connor

    Another Irish showjumper was celebrating this week as Cian O’Connor claimed the overall leading international rider award, presented by Martha W Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman with Michael and Wendy Smith, in recognition of his consistent performances during the 2024 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida.

    Margie Goldstein-Engle of USA took second, with another Irish rider, Shane Sweetnam, finishing third in the standings.

    “We had an incredible winter in Florida,” said Cian. “The horses performed really well and that is thanks to all of their owners – Sue and John Magnier, Sarah Stoute, Nikki Walker, and Pat Crean. All our horses jumped outstandingly and I was delighted to have won the title of leading international rider of the WEF circuit.

    In more showjumping news, Rome Gladiators win the GCL of Miami Beach.

    Lorenzo De Luca helps the Rome Gladiators win the GCL of Miami Beach with a clear on Cappuccino 194.

    “All credit must go to the brilliant team behind the scenes, from everybody in the stable who puts in the hard work, day in and day out, to all of my support staff, and everybody else who contributes to the Karlswood team. I am extremely grateful to each and every one of them.”

    Showjumping news: Rome Gladiators win GCL of Miami

    And finally in this week’s international showjumping news round-up, the Global Champions League (GCL) of Miami Beach, held against the stunning backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean, was won by the Rome Gladiators squad of Michael Duffy, Laura Kraut and Lorenzo De Luca. The squad climbed the leader board in round two to top the podium.

    “We’re both new to the Rome Gladiators this year, although we were former Gladiators, we are back for 2024!” said Laura, who jumped clear with Bisquetta, with team-mate Lorenzo on Cappuccino 194 in round two. “I love being at home and it’s really fun to have the crowd here watching and cheering for me.”

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