Darragh Kenny & Idalville d’Esprit Dash for the Cash in $35,000 Resilient Fitness Grand Prix at Wellington

Wellington, Florida, USA – April 18, 2021 – In the final class of Spring II on Sunday afternoon, Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Idalville d’Esprit, owned by Heathman Farm, LLC, jumped into the winner’s circle in the $35,000 Resilient Fitness Spring II Grand Prix.

A field of 50 horse-and-rider combinations challenged the opening round with just four pairs qualifying to ride the final jump-off track of the week set by Catsy Cruz (MEX) and Andy Christiansen (ECU). A total of three entries elected to return, including Kenny with two different mounts.

First to go, the ninth-ranked rider in the world guided Idalville D’Esprit, a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Carabas van de Wateringhoeve x Nabab de Reve), to a clear effort in 42.68 seconds.

After a short break to warm up his next mount, Kenny came close to beating his own leading time with Scarlett du Sart Z, owned by Vlock Show Stables, LLC. He and the 11-year-old Zangersheide mare (Stakkato x First Bride) left all the jumps up in 43.37 seconds to slide into second.

Last to challenge was Grace Debney (GBR) on Zarina de Vidau, owned by Temple Equestrian, LLC. The 16-year-old rider and the 10-year-old Spanish Sport Horse (CDE) mare (Diamant de Semilly x Carina XXXVII) Ch flew into second place with the clock stopping at 43.22 seconds.

Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Idalville D’Esprit with Cheryl Love, Founder & CEO of Resilient Fitness, in their winning presentation

The win marked the beginning of what promises to be a bright future for a new partnership between Kenny and Idalville D’Esprit, with only four weeks of training together.

“He’s an exceptionally talented horse,” he said. “He had a great record with Eric [Lamaze] jumping some really big grand prix classes and was fantastic. I think the horse is incredible and I’ve just been building him up slowly, but his jump feels amazing. He feels like he can jump anything and do anything, so I’m really excited.”

“I wanted to get to know the horse more than anything,” Kenny explained of his plan for the jump-off. “He jumped fantastic in the first round and that was the first jump-off I’ve done on him. I wanted to see what my boundaries were and how fast I could go. He was brilliant. He was careful, rideable, and he jumped great, so I was really, really happy with him.”

Following the class, Kenny echoed the thoughts many of his competitors have expressed throughout the week regarding the opportunity to compete through the ESP Spring Series in Wellington, FL.

“I think what the show is doing here is fantastic,” he said. “They’re running a great show and the more we can get to jump in these good classes like the three-star and National grand prix classes is amazing. It gives us a chance to build horses up and I think it’s brilliant.”

Source: Press Release by Kate Pettersen for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions

Photo: © Sportfot