Articles: Press Release
Darragh Kerins Breaks Through With $20,000 1.50m Classic Win on Night
Photo Credit: Darragh Kerins and Night Train win $20,000 1.50m Classic
on Saturday at the Winter Equestrian Festival. (c) 2007 PMG
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wellington, FL - March 3, 2007 - A stellar field of top American riders,
plus international competitors from ten different countries dotted the
line-up for today's main event at the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival,
at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington, Florida. In
addition to the riders from the United States, competitors from Canada,
Ireland, France, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Puerto Rico,
Venezuela, and Argentina, all took part in the afternoon feature. When
all was said and done in today's $20,000 1.50m Classic, it was the Irish
flag that was flying for Darragh Kerins, as he broke through for his
first major win of the season on Night Train, topping a jump-off field
of eleven for the victory.
Sixty-one starters took to the field for today's feature, scored under
USEF Table II, Sec 2(a) - Time First Jump-Off. Olympic Course Designer
Leopoldo Palacios of Caracas, Venezuela, is designing the challenges in
the Internationale Arena this week. And today's class, like most so far
this week, proved to be another tough test. In fact, it was either feast
or famine today for the riders in the main event.
Eleven of the sixty-one starters, plus two riders that came home with a
single time fault, appeared to have no problems whatsoever with today's
first round test. On the other side of the ledger however, were the
fifteen horse and rider combinations that had sixteen faults or more,
including five with scores of thirty faults or greater. In addition,
nine riders were eliminated or elected to retire within the round.
Thirteen duos had four faults, and four riders had two rails down or a
foot in the open water.
By the time the first round was finally completed, only four countries,
Ireland, Switzerland, Canada and the United States, would be involved in
the dash for the cash, in the jump-off against the clock.
Today's winner, Darragh Kerins and Night Train, first to return for the
tiebreaker, went wire to wire for today's victory and a first place
check of $6,000.
Kerins raced around the short course in 32.792 seconds without penalty,
and then held his breath as one challenge after another fell by the
wayside in their attempt to catch his pacesetting time.
Eric Lamaze, with two chances in round two, failed with both, picking up
four faults with Narcotique De Muze II, in 36.579 seconds, and then
later in the speed round, dropping two rails with Sun, in 36.541
Ainsley Vince of Canada came the closest to catching Kerins, riding out
of the third spot in the order. Aboard the flashy grey, Cantero Z, Vince
got hung up just slightly around the roll back turn headed home in the
jump-off, and that cost her precious fractions. She breezed home just
1.3 seconds off the Irish rider's pace in 34.115 seconds.
Canada's Jonathan Millar scored eight faults with Noble 1, tripping the
timers in 35.875 seconds, followed by Cian O'Connor who elected to go
for the slow clear, but saw that plan foiled when the final fence came
down on his jump-off ride. O'Connor's finish time with four faults was
Addison Phillips, a winner of the 1.50m Classic just two weeks ago,
failed in her bid to win her second with Regina V. Phillips had one
knockdown, and crossed the finish line in 34.249 seconds.
Following Phillips' ride, Switzerland's Markus Fuchs also elected to go
for the slow, careful clear with Nirmette. His plan was successful as he
cruised home without jumping penalties, but exceed the jump-off time
allowed, picking up a single time fault in 40.459 seconds. That would
earn the former World Cup Champion third place.
Maggie McAlary, a stable mate of Addison Phillips, pulled one rail with
Pedro, clocking in at 37.375 seconds to nail the sixth place finish.
Beezie Madden and Select were the final challengers on the day, but a
near disaster at the third fence on the speed course luckily only cost
her four faults. The time spent getting back together after that
however, cost her additional time penalties. She finished with 18 faults
in 49.528 seconds.
Ellen Holtgers, earlier in the deciding round, suffered a very hard fall
with Cinderella, but eventually walked out of the ring under her own
Today's winner Darragh Kerins has been knocking on the door all season,
but with no major wins to his credit until this class. "I knew I'd win
one eventually. I was coming up to the last jump today saying to myself,
don't blow it again," he laughed.
"The horses have all been going great all season. This horse
especially," he said. "We've just been jumping him in the 1.40m and the
1.45m, trying to bring him up slowly. And today was his first time ever
in the 1.50m, and he was exceptional."
Did Kerins think his time would hold up through the ten tough riders
that followed him? "No, I didn't," he said bluntly. "There were options
up the first line and the second line and I decided to do the eight and
eight, and it worked out well. I did do the inside cut, but I thought
for sure I was going to be caught. But, luckily it worked out well." And
then he added, "I think I had the riders chasing after me a bit and that
worked too. It was my lucky day."
"I went to the make the inside turn, and I think the horse sighted in
for a second on the other jump," explained second place finisher Ainsley
Vince. "We ended doing a little left-right, left-right, so I think I
lost a little time there. And, maybe I could have been a little quicker
to the last jump, but to be honest, that's a new horse for me, and
that's the first time I really tried to go fast in a jump-off, so I
wasn't quite sure what to expect. But, I'm very happy with the outcome
"He's a horse I began riding at the end of last summer," Vince
explained. "He's been great so far but it's been a lot of adjustments;
getting the bit right, and the program right. So, hopefully today
indicates that we're on the right track. I find that things don't work
forever, but for right now, so far, so good. I think we're headed in the
The $100,000 Zada Enterprises LLC Masters Cup, Sunday's main event at
WEF, is the richest class of the season so far. In addition the top
prize money, the class is one of only two East Coast League World Cup
Qualifiers remaining on the schedule, and the class is a member event of
the AGA Grand Prix Series of Show Jumping. The festivities get underway
at 2 p.m.
Rank Num Horse Name NAT R1 Faults R1 Time J/O Faults J/O Time
Results of 1001- $20,000 1.5M CLASSIC - Zada Enterprises Wellington
Masters - March 3, 2007
T/A: 83.00 T/A: 40.00
1 1150 NIGHT TRAIN DARRAGH KERINS 0.00 82.968 0.00 32.792
DOUBLE H FARM
2 1075 CANTERO Z AINSLEY VINCE 0.00 79.451 0.00 34.115
IRON HORSE FARM
3 2766 NIRMETTE MARKUS FUCHS 0.00 81.762 1.00 40.459
4 1225 REGINA V ADDISON PHILLIPS 0.00 77.814 4.00 34.249
5 1469 NARCOTIQUE DE MUZE II ERIC LAMAZE 0.00 80.752 4.00 36.579
6 2017 PEDRO MAGGIE MCALARY 0.00 82.121 4.00 37.375
BEAVER BROOK PONIE
7 3149 IRISH INDEPENDENT ECHO BE CIAN O'CONNOR 0.00 76.620 4.00 39.061
8 634 NOBLE 1 JONATHON MILLAR 0.00 81.440 8.00 35.875
9 1477 SUN ERIC LAMAZE 0.00 81.698 8.00 36.541
10 1954 SELECT BEEZIE MADDEN 0.00 81.957 18.00 49.528
ELIZABETH BUSCH BURKE
11 2960 CINDERELLA ELLEN HOLTGERS 0.00 78.680 elim.
12 3080 MAHON POINT MICHAEL MORRISSEY 1.00 83.755