A new combination in the ring went to the winner’s circle in the $50,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.50m National Grand Prix over 34 other competitors. Ireland’s Darragh Kenny and Babalou 41, owned by Jack Snyder, were the only double clear in the class, winning on a time of 39.945 seconds.
Second place went to Rodrigo Lambre of Brazil and Mario Onate’s Chapilot, who had four faults in 38.513 seconds. Mario Deslauriers of Canada and Bardolina 2, owned by Wishing Well Farm LLC, were third with four faults in 39.778 seconds.
“I always thought she was a really super horse and I thought she would be a suitable ride for me,” said Kenny of Babalou 41, his mount of six weeks. “It ended up working out for me and the owners for me to ride the horse. She has so much quality. She’s so careful and so scopey. I normally get on really well with mares.”
This was their first 1.50m class together and victory came in the “getting to know each other stage,” said Kenny, but he wasn’t going to hold back when it came to speed in the jump-off.
“Everybody who knows me, [knows] I don’t like to finish second,” he said. “My plan was always to try and win this class. I was warming up and saw that nobody was clear, so I thought, ‘Ok, go clear and be quick enough, but don’t go crazy.’ And then hopefully it pays off.”
Kenny and Babalou 41 will compete next in the FEI division during WEF 10 and will also aim for the final week 12 competition.