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Breen swoops to claim The Ivy Stakes sponsored by Champagne Taittinger

Friday, 21 December 2018
CSI5*-W Olympia 2018

Photo © HPower Group Shane Breen and Golden Hawk won The Ivy Stakes sponsored by Champagne Taittinger. Photo © HPower Group.

The final event of Thursday evening at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, The Ivy Stakes sponsored by Champagne Taittinger, proved to be a star-studded event. With six of the world's top ten ranked show jumpers vying for victory, it was Irishman Shane Breen - currently 55th in the world rankings - who took the spoils.

With 15 horse and rider combinations successfully navigating the Bernardo Costa Cabral-designed 1.50m course and progressing to the jump-off, it was Breen who ultimately excelled, effortlessly steering his 13-year-old chestnut stallion Golden Hawk (Vigo d'Arsouilles x Chin Chin) fault-free around the demanding jump-off course in an unbeatable time of 33.41 seconds. Hot on Breen's heels was Swiss maestro Steve Guerdat on Corbinian (Cornet Obolensky x Pilot), who slotted into second spot just half a second off the pace, while third placed Norwegian Geir Gulliksen on Gin Chin van het Lindenhof (Chin Chin x Calido I) was a further second back.

Amazingly, this is Breen’s first full week at Olympia (he has competed in the Puissance before) and he revealed that the victory had cost him four watches – thinking it unlikely, he promised four children that he would buy them one each if he was successful.

“It looked a tricky enough jump-off course but the horse got in a nice rhythm and it came my way,” said Breen.

The Gulliksen family have been long supporters of Olympia so a first win for 22-year-old Johann-Sebastien Gulliksen in the Christmas Stocking Six Bar proved popular. Four riders made it through to the fourth round, at 1.90m, but Gulliksen, riding the 13-year-old Arakorn (Cantos x Damiro), was the only one to go clear.

Gulliksen, who has been accompanying his father, Geir, to Olympia since a small child, said his horse had jumped 1.95m in Madrid a few weeks ago. "He really tries his best. It’s unbelievable to win here at Olympia. The crowd really gives you an emotional feeling.”

German Olympic rider Christian Ahlmann had a pleasant surprise in 1.45m The Shelley Ashman International Shipping Ltd, E M Rogers (Transport) Ltd Snowflake Stakes when a horse that has only been jumping for a year carried him to victory in this speed class.

Atomic Z (Cumano x Chin Chin), a breeding stallion until last year, lacks the ring experience of other horses, but showed just how quick a learner he is when his round was fast enough to beat Britain's William Funnell on Billy Angelo (Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve x Kroongraaf) by two seconds.

"It wasn't planned at all," said Ahlmann, "but when I went in he felt so good that I went a bit quicker, and then a bit quicker still, because he is very flexible."

Darragh Kenny is currently Leading Rider of the Show, with Geir Gulliksen second, Dutchman Doron Kuipers third and William Funnell fourth.

 


Press release from Olympia, The London International Horse Show

Photo © HPower Group

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