Wellington, Florida – January 27, 2021 – In a California split, Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Ben Maher (GBR) took home blue ribbons after topping a field of 121 entries in the $6,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Jumpers as week three of competition got underway at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Wednesday, January 27.
Over the course designed by Peter Grant (CAN) and Joey Rycroft (CAN) and just seventh to go in the starting order, Kenny and Cicomein VDL, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Chacco-Blue x Jus de Pomme), owned by HCK Collection, LLC, navigated all eight obstacles in the jump-off without fault for a double clear effort in a time of 36.036 seconds, quick enough to hold the lead right through to the finish.
Daniel Deusser (GER) and Newton van het Krekelhof (Diamant de Semilly x Contact vd Heffinck) were also double clear, secured silver honors in 37.834 seconds.
Despite being a class to prepare for more important ones throughout the week, the level of competitiveness was high and the third spot on the podium was occupied by another top rider. Ben Maher (GBR) rode Sligo Balou Boy (Balou du Rouet x Caletto) to third place, registering no penalties in 39.124 seconds.
“I’ve had her in my string since the end of WEF last year,” said Kenny of the mare. “She’s super, super competitive, really careful, really easy, and I really enjoy riding her.”
Kenny, currently ranked eighth in the world, is already off to a hot start at WEF jumping to an eighth-place finish in the $137,000 Restylane Grand Prix CSI 3*. This week, he’ll have eight horses to campaign on the PBIEC grounds, making for another busy week of competition.
“I’m very lucky. I have a great team of staff to help get the horses ready, so it makes my life a lot easier,” he said. “It’s always nice to have lots of horses to show because you don’t have to jump them too much or overuse them. You can just show them when you need to, and obviously with the schedule at WEF, it’s always good to have a lot of horses because you have a lot of great classes every single week with a lot of good prize money.”
Competition continues throughout the week as part of NetJets CSI3* show jumping with an action-packed schedule that features the Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumpers on Thursday, Friday’s $37,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 3, the CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic on Saturday, and the $137,000 NetJets Grand Prix CSI3* Sunday afternoon. Don’t miss a minute of the action and tune in the free livestream for all feature classes.
Source: Press release Kate Pettersen / Jennifer Wood Media Inc. for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions / PBIEC – Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
Photos: © Sportfot