Darragh Kenny Claims Final CSI4* Victory of WEF in $216,000 PB Sports Commission CSI4* Grand Prix

Wellington Fla. – March 27, 2022 – Rider were eager to take to the International Arena Sunday morning for the highly-anticipated $216,000 PB Sports Commission CSI4* Grand Prix. As the final 4* of the series with just one more week of competition left on the calendar, the riders were pushing the limit in hopes of snagging one of the last purses this year. Ultimately it was Irish rider Darragh Kenny and his mount Volnay Du Boisdeville who bested the pack to claim top honors.

Darragh Kenny and Volnay Du Boisdeville

Course designer, Olaf Petersen Jr. (GER) set a challenging course consisting of 17 efforts to originally be completed in a tight time of 89 seconds. The lengthy course featured a tricky triple combination to a plank jump, a girthy triple bar and a skinny vertical. Following the initial two rides, the time allowed was bumped up to 91 seconds. Even though the time allowed was increased, many riders struggled to get out of the triple combination clean leaving only 9 horse and rider combinations unscathed. Darragh Kenny and Volnay Du Boisdeville (IRE) were the first to claim their place in the second round followed by, Mark McAuley and Jasco VD Bisschop (IRE), Daniel Bluman and Ubiluc (ISR), Petronella Anderson and Halita O (SWE), Adrienne Sternlicht and Cristalline (USA), Zoe Conter and Dawa De Greenbay Z (GER), Ben Maher and Enjoy CK Z (GRB), Hector Florentino Roca and ABC Quantum Cruise (DOM), and Kent Farrington and Landon (USA).

Darragh Kenny and Volnay Du Boisdeville

Anderson was the first to take to the 8-obstacle jump-off aboard Halita O. The duo pioneered the shortened track which covered the entirety of the spacey International Arena. The Swedish rider tripped the timers in 40.66 seconds claiming the top spot on the leaderboard.

Darragh Kenny and Volnay Du Boisdeville

Kenny returned for his second trip aboard Volnay Du Boisdeville, a 13-year-old stallion owned by Vlock Show Stables LLC. The “particularly fast” bay stallion did not have the largest stride, but his natural footspeed played a vital role in helping to post their final time of 39.43 seconds. Even though the duo was nearly a full second faster than Anderson, the duo ended up doing 9 strides down the last line to the final oxer proving their speed was something to be reckoned with on course.

Mark McAuley and Jasco VD Bisschop

Fellow Irish rider, Mark McAuley entered the ring aboard SNC McAuley Equestrian’s 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Jasco VD Bisschop eager to be the faster of the two Irish riders in the jump-off. The duo was efficient over all of the obstacles leaving all of the rails intact giving Kenny a run for his money as their times appeared identical on the scoreboard, but they ultimately fell just fractions of a second shy of the first-place podium with a time of 39.52 settling into second place.

Daniel Bluman and Ubiluc

The final horse-and-rider pair to enter the ring was Israeli athlete Daniel Bluman aboard Blue Star Investments and Over The Top Stables LLC’s 10-year-old Mecklenburg stallion Ubiluc. With nothing to lose Bluman utilized the stallion’s expansive stride to eat up the course in an effort to shave off precious time. Coming into the jump-off, Bluman had planned to leave out a stride to the final oxer, but the duo played it safe riding the final line in eight strides. Their time of 40.43 seconds secured them a third-place finish.

Competition at the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival comes to a dramatic close next week with the feature $500,000 CSI5* Rolex Grand Prix.

Darragh Kenny and Volnay Du Boisdeville

FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE

Darragh Kenny – $216,000 PB Sports Commission CSI4* Grand Prix Winner

On the course:
“I think actually the middle line from the triple bar to the liverpool to the vertical caught a lot of people, and then the triple combo to the plank had the same effect. It was a very, very long course actually which I think took a lot out of the horses and then they were tired by the end and they didn’t jump the plank so well.”

Darragh Kenny and Volnay Du Boisdeville

On Volnay Du Boisdeville:
“He [Volnay Du Boisdeville] is just naturally very fast. He doesn’t have the biggest stride though so I did nine strides to the last jump in the jump-off whereas most people did 8. But, he is just naturally very quick and he doesn’t spend too long in the air and I think that really helps.”

Darragh Kenny and Volnay Du Boisdeville

On his 2022 WEF season and upcoming plans:
“I didn’t get here until halfway through, so for me I’m only just getting going and am trying to build up the horses and get them going. Now I feel like I have them in a really good place where I can go on and do my program for the summer. I think for all of us we really care about the horses, we really want to feel good, we really want them to be consistent, and we really want them to enjoy. You know you are doing a good job when your horses are consistent. If you watch all of Mark’s [McAuley] horses, they are all jumping incredible. That’s when you know somebody is doing a very good job in their program and in their system and I think to be able to manage your horses to go through 12 weeks here and still at the end have somewhat fresh horses is an incredible feat.”

RESULTS

$216,000 PB Sports Commission CSI4* Grand Prix

Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Country / R1 Time | R1 Faults / R2 Time | R2 Faults

1. Volnay Du Boisdeville / Darragh Kenny / Vlock Show Stables LLC / IRE / 0 | 84.28 / 0 | 39.43
2. Jasco VD Bisschop / Mark McAuley / IRE / SNC McAuley Equestrian / 0 | 87.77 / 0 | 39.52
3. Ubiluc / Daniel Bluman / Blue Star Investments and Over The Top Stables LLC / ISR / 0 | 88.93 / 0 | 40.43
4. Halita O / Petronella Anderson / Stephex Stables / SWE / 0 | 85.51 / 0 | 40.66
5. Cristalline / Adrienne Sternlicht / Starlight Farms LLC / USA / 0 | 88.64 / 0 | 40.79
6. Dawa De Greenbay Z / Zoe Conter / Stephex Stables / GER / 0 | 87.74 / 0 | 41.09
7. Enjoy CK Z / Ben Maher / Ben Maher / GBR / 0 | 87.46 / 0 | 41.69
8. ABC Quantum Cruise / Hector Florentino Roca / Wyndmont / DOM / 0 | 88.84 / 0 | 42.15
9. Landon / Kent Farrington / Haity McNerney / USA / 0 | 88.41 / 4 | 46.99
10. Dicas / Margie Goldstein-Engle / Storm Ridge Capital LLC, Show Horses, Garber & Gladewinds / USA / 4 | 84.91
11. Manhattan / Spencer Smith / Gotham Enterprizes, LLC / USA / 4 | 85.45
12. Alejandro / Shane Sweetnam / Sweet Oak Farm, Spy Coast Farm, Seabrook LLC / IRE / 4 | 85.91

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