AFTER a nail-biting three
rounds of competition, Tipperary’s Denis Lynch finished fourth and 52,000 euro
richer in Qatar’s Grand Prix at Al Shaqab tonight (Saturday).

under lights, 27 combinations did battle for a share of the monster 650,000 euro
prize purse, with 18 going through to the second round.

Lynch, riding
Thomas Straumann’s bay stallion All Star 5, picked up an unfortunate time fault
in an otherwise perfect first round, but this was good enough to see him through
to the next round, which was run over just eight forbidding fences.

once more, the Irish rider led the field for a time on his single fault, but
eventually two Belgian riders and one German broke away from the pack with
double clear rounds and qualification for the final jump-off.

veteran show jumper Ludger Beerbaum and the grey mare Chiara produced a third
zero score to claim the 214,000 euro first prize, with Belgium’s Gregory
Wathelet and the gelding Sea Coast Forlap DC also going clear but finishing
one-and-a-half seconds slower than Beerbaum for a runner-up consolation of
130,000 euro.

Last man in, Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts, went for speed
on the bay gelding Cortez, but paid the price for the fastest jump-off round
with a single fence down. Philippaerts’s prize money was nevertheless a
substantial 68,000 euro.

Yesterday another Tipperary rider, Shane Breen,
slotted Confident of Victory into equal third place in the speed class at Al
Shaqab, losing out to Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat and Sidney VIII.

At the
five-star Saut Hermès show in Paris, meanwhile, Jessica Kurten and Arezzo VDL
followed up their second place in Friday’s opening two phase competition with
another runner-up spot in tonight’s Pairs competition alongside France’s Kevin
Staut with Reveur de Hurtebise HDC.

In the Under-25 classes at Paris,
Mayo’s Michael G. Duffy and Murchu finished fourth in the jump-off competition
this morning, while on Friday Alex Duffy and Felix XXVIII took second place in
the Two Phase competition behind Sweden’s Alexandra Eriksson and Cassian



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