Ireland's Darragh Kenny was the crowned the 'speed demon' of the evening at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, capturing the $33,000 Keystone Classic Speed Stake with Prof de la Roque, owned by Postage Stamp Farm, LLC, as well as the Open Jumper Speed Championship with Top Gun IV, owned by Oakland Ventures LLC.
Fellow Irishman Alan Wade designed the course, which consisted of 13 obstacles set at 1.45 meters high, with an allowed time of 76 seconds. There were nineteen starters in the competition, but only five jumped clear. Second last to go, Kenny and Prof de la Roque made the course look easy with smooth turns and approaches, producing a beautiful clear in 62.28 seconds - over a second faster than his compatriot Conor Swail and Ariana, who stopped the clock in 63.84 seconds and finished in the runner-up spot.
"I am very lucky - he's an amazing horse", said Kenny. "He's very easy. I only ride him in a full-cheek snaffle. He had a little bit of trouble the first two days acclimatizing to the indoor [show] - I think he felt a bit claustrophobic - but as the week went on he relaxed and today he was absolutely fantastic".
Kenny, 25 years old, is humble about his accomplishments. "I can't say enough times how lucky I am. I have great horses, I have great owners, I have great staff, and I have great people around me. That's the key to everything. That's the key to success in this sport. They are the ones that get you here. I just have to walk in the ring and do my job. I'm so lucky at such a young age to have such a great opportunity".
Earlier in the day Beezie Madden and Breitling LS won the $7,500 Open Jumper II class, beating nine other riders in the jump-off with a clear round in 35.486 seconds. Second place went to Shane Sweetnam and Diktator van de Boslandho who also jumped clear, but crossed the timers in 35.905 seconds.
Source: Press release from www.panational.org
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