Darragh Kenny & Important de Muze. ph: Sportfot.
The third week of the Winter Equestrian Festival began on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida. Ireland’s Darragh Kenny celebrated his 30th birthday with victory in the $35,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Classic aboard Important de Muze.
The third week of WEF, sponsored by Adequan®, runs January 24-28 and features the $132,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI3* on Saturday, January 27, at 7 p.m.
The $35,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Classic had 53 entries competing in a two-phase power and speed format over a course designed by Peter Grant of Canada.
Kenny and Important de Muze, a 10-year-old BWP gelding by Erco van’t Roosakker x Nabab de Reve owned by Kerry Anne LLC, were the fastest clear in the second round with a time of 30.98s.
Second place went to Canadian Erynn Ballard on Don’s Diamant, owned by Ilan Ferder and Tal Milstein, in 31.18s. Laura Chapot (USA) and Mary Chapot’s Chandon Blue were just off the pace for third in 31.19s.
“It was quite a big 1.45m,” said Kenny, “(and) it ended up being a very fast class. With two phases, because the second phase is such a short amount of jumps, the times end up being very, very close. It just ended up going my way.”
Kenny only got the ride on Important de Muze a few weeks ago; its owner, Kerry McCahill, previously rode the horse.
Kenny explained, “He just needed to get some experience in bigger classes and stuff like that. He’s still a bit green. I think he’s very, very talented. He’s obviously really fast. He showed that today. He’s really careful and very scopey, so I really like the horse. I’m really happy with the direction that he’s going. ”
Kenny plans to compete Important de Muze in Sunday’s $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.50 Classic. He looks forward to competing with a full string during this year’s WEF.
“I’m very, very excited,” he said. “I have some brilliant clients, and I’m very lucky that they own some very good horses for me as well. I have a couple of really, really good horses for this winter so I’m quite excited about it.”
The full results can be viewed here.