CSI 5*

Darragh Kenny & Chic Chic Save the Best for last in $142,000 Cabana Coast CSI5* Qualifier

Traverse City, Michigan, USA – August 03, 2023 – Thursday’s $142,000 Cabana Coast Qualifier CSI 5* could have easily been divided into two categories: before the storm and after the storm. With severe weather blowing into Northern Michigan in the middle of the class, the CSI5* riders had to wait out a weather delay and go to battle in a 15-horse jump-off. Ultimately, it was one of the final competitors – and last to jump off – Darragh Kenny (IRL) with Chic Chic, who took top honors.

The horse jumped fantastic,” Kenny said of the 12-year-old Westphalian stallion owned by Vlock Show Stables. “He’s an incredible horse and always pulls out a great result. Daniel [Bluman] was obviously very fast so I just had to go try to beat him. Luckily enough for me it played out well today.”

Daniel Bluman (ISR) & Gemma W

With Marina Azevedo (BRA) setting tracks for the week, elite CSI5* athletes came out for the second stop on the Major League Show Jumping tour, so Kenny was in good company. Daniel Bluman (ISR) was first to go in the jump-off, setting the pace with Over The Stop Stables LLC’s Gemma W at 40.05 seconds. 

“I knew Daniel was very fast between the first two jumps, and that came up well for me; we ended up doing the same strides,” Kenny said of his track in comparison with Bluman’s and where he made up the time. “I was lucky the last line showed up as forward as it did. That was great for me.” 

Jacob Pope (USA) & Highway FBH

Kenny’s time was just enough to take the win, clocking in at 39.91 seconds, pushing Bluman to second. Jacob Pope (USA) and Highway FBH, owned by the Highway Group, took third.

“I’ve been riding the horse for quite a while, about three years,” Kenny continued of Chic Chic. “In the last 12 months we’ve really clicked and I know him well. I know how to ride those jump-offs with him. He’s a super competitive horse and he’s super careful, so I made my plan and tried to do it as well as I could.”

Darragh Kenny (IRL) & Chic Chic

As last to go, with the fortune of several riders opting to withdraw to save their horses for Saturday’s $414,000 B&D Builders CSI5* Grand Prix, the cards fell in Kenny’s direction. He also had the luxury of another mount to aim at Saturday’s class, so he knew Thursday could be Chic Chic’s day to shine.

“I’m riding a different horse on Saturday, a stallion named Hamrah [Van Het Exelhof Z],” Kenny said of his plans as the week goes on. “I think he’s a very exciting horse. He’s still very green so this will be a big step up for him. I’ll be interested to see what he does on Saturday. I have big hopes for the horse in the future but this is all about education now.”

With top riders and well-established mounts set for the $414,300 B&D Builders CSI5* Grand Prix, Kenny will have to wait and see if it’s his time with this new mount. Until then he’ll enjoy the glory with Chic Chic, who will also contend in the individual portion of the MLSJ Team Competition, set for Friday evening.

Podium: 2) Daniel Bluman (ISR), 1) Darragh Kenny (IRL) 3) Jacob Pope (USA)

Final Results – $142,000 Cabana Coast Qualifier CSI 5*

1) Darragh Kenny (IRL) & Chic Chic – 0 / 0 –39.91

2) Daniel Bluman (ISR) & Gemma W – 0 / 0 – 40.05

3) Jacob Pope (USA) & Highway FBH  – 0 / 0 – 40.98

Source: Press Release from Traverse City Horse Shows

Photos: © Andrew Ryback Photography / Megan Giese Photography