Darragh Kenny Dashes for Another Grand Prix Win at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival

Traverse City, Michigan, USA – July 28, 2023 – Later Friday afternoon, the day was Darragh Kenny’s (IRL) after he scored a second Grand Prix victory in less than one week. The win Friday came aboard Serendepety, owned by Oakland Ventures and Beerbaum Stables, in the $30,000 Traverse City National Grand Prix.

“I bought her when she was 5,” Kenny (IRL) said of the 8-year-old Hanoverian mare (Stolzenburg x Escudo). “I bought her with friends of mine and we owned her together until she was 7, when Ludger Beerbaum bought half. She’s a horse I’ve produced since she was very young and I think she’s incredibly special. She’s one of the most fun horses to ride and I’m enjoying producing her.”

Darragh Kenny (IRL) & Serendepety

Kenny was one of seven pairs to jump clear in round one of competition, going up against several other top professionals in the short course. Second to last in the order, Kenny clocked in the fastest time by nearly two seconds, putting pressure on Canada’s Erynn Ballard (CAN), who was last to go with Nanini van d’Abelendreef. With two rails down for Ballard, the win was Kenny’s, aboard his extremely promising mare.

Alison Robitaille (USA) & Ester de Maugre

Alison Robitaille (USA) ended up just behind the pace, placing second with Ester de Maugre, owned by Alison Firestone LLC, registering no penalties and a jump-off time of 40.255 seconds.

Charlise Casas (USA) & Chaccolina D

Charlise Casas (USA) took third place with Chaccolina D, owned by Always Faithful Equine, LLC, doing so in flawless fashion too, crossing the finish line in 40.255 seconds.

Despite Serendepety being a young horse, Kenny knew he could lean on the mare’s natural speed and carefulness to guide him to the win. “She’s done it in every age group the whole way up into this,” he said of her progression up the levels. “We were talking about it before I went in for the jump-off; we were at a show last year in Valkenswaard and she won all three 7-year-old classes. Speed is not a problem for her.”


Kenny has his strategy for bringing up young horses down to a science, and, although it’s still personalized for each individual horse, his track record is showing that the process works.

“I produce them very slowly and I find that works well normally,” he explained. “Then when they’re 9, they’re ready to do whatever you want them to do. I keep it a really slow process, don’t show them too much, give them lots of breaks, and they become what they’re going to be in the end.”

Show jumping resumes Sunday with the $145,100 Grand Prix CSI 3*.

Final Results – $30,000 Traverse City National Grand Prix CSI 3*

1) Darragh Kenny (IRL) & Serendepety – 0 / 0 – 38.412

2) Alison Robitaille (USA) & Ester de Maugre – 0 / 0 – 40.255

3) Charlise Casas (USA) & Chaccolina D – 0 / 0 – 40.816

Source: Press Release from Traverse City Horse Shows

Photos: © Megan Giese Photography