Darragh Kenny (IRL) rode Billy Manjaro to victory in the 1.40m $8,000 CSIO5* Palm Beach Masters Warm-Up, besting 49 competitors on a bright and balmy Wednesday afternoon at Deeridge Farms. Sydney Shulman (ISR) placed second with Azilis du Mesnil, while Canadian Olympian Amy Millar and Ericson were third. The competition was the first CSIO5* event of Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Week CSIO5*/CSI2* at the Palm Beach Masters Series®.
“He was a little bit fresh, so he was cantering a bit quick. Not many people went very fast, and he was kind of running away with me, so I was just kind of going along with it,” said Kenny, adding that he has high hopes for the 10-year-old AES gelding.
“He still is green, and he gets a little bit tense sometimes, but he has a lot of quality, and a lot of scope, and I think he’s going to be a really incredible horse.”
This season is a reunion of sorts for Kenny and Billy Manjaro, who haven’t competed together in two years. “I bought him when he was seven, and I’ve slowly produced him until now. The two boys that ride for me, they [helped produce] him,” he explained. “I rode him a little as an 8-year-old, and I took him back over as a 10-year-old.”
Kenny comes into Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Week fresh off a win in the CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Wellington, Presented by Canadian Pacific, during the first leg of the 2020 Palm Beach Masters Series®. He plans to compete Billy Manjaro in Saturday’s 1.50m $36,600 CSIO5* PBM Classic, and will also be part of the Irish team in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United States of America on Sunday.
“The Jacobs, they do a fantastic job with the show, and they always have tried to have the best of everything for all the riders and the horses and the owners,” Kenny said. “It’s one of the best rings in the world.”
Team Pride on Full Display at CSIO5* Horse Inspection
All 126 CSIO5* horses passed inspection Wednesday afternoon at Deeridge Farms as Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Week began for the event’s most elite competitors.
Thirteen nations will be represented in CSIO5* competition, with eight slated to line up for the week’s feature, the $230,000 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ USA on Sunday, Feb. 16 at 1:30pm ET.
Athletes representing Australia, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Israel, Ireland, Mexico, and the United States came to the inspection dressed for the occasion. Decked out in team apparel with their country’s colors on display, each nation’s team members jogged the runway, constructed on the fields of Deeridge Farms.
A healthy mix of veterans and rookies were present, from individual Olympic gold medalists Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and Eric Lamaze (CAN) to 18-year-old Brian Moggre (USA), who sports Team USA’s coveted red jacket for the first time this week.
The U.S. squad also features Margie Engle, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden, and Jessica Springsteen.
“We have a lot of veterans on [the team],” U.S. Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland said. “It’s great. We have what you call a three-two team: three veterans and two younger riders. We’re trying to send a pretty good team on the field. It’s the first Nations Cup of the year, and we get to start it off [on home soil], which is a big honor for us.”
Lamaze will make his Palm Beach Masters Series® debut when suiting up for Team Canada. The individual gold medalist from the 2008 Games in Beijing (CHN), Lamaze is part of a squad that also includes Erynn Ballard, Amy Millar, Tiffany Foster, and 17-year-old Sam Walker.
Darragh Kenny returns to the Palm Beach Masters Series® to represent Ireland after winning the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Wellington Presented by Canadian Pacific at Deeridge Farms just two weeks ago. He’ll be joined on the Irish team by Capt. Brian Cournane, Cian O’Connor, Paul O’Shea, and Billy Twomey.
The defending Champion, Mexico will attempt to hold onto its title from 2019. Manuel Gonzales Dufrane is the only member of that winning squad returning in 2020. Competing alongside him this year will be Jose Antonio Chedraui, Carlos Hank Guerreiro, Nicolas Pizarro, and Daniel Rihan.
“I’m very happy with the team,” Mexican Chef d’Equipe Stanny van Paesschen said. “We always give chances to everybody to compete and see where they can go. Here, we have different riders from 12 months ago, but I believe in the boys, and I think we have a really good chance. We’re going to defend [the title] to our best [ability].”
Israel, who finished third in its Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ debut last year, also returns to Deeridge Farms, while Australia, Brazil, and Great Britain are new additions to the lineup in 2020.
2020 $230,000 CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ USA Team Lineup:
Results: $8,000 Palm Beach Masters Warm-Up CSIO5*
1- Darragh Kenny (IRL), Billy Manjaro 0/59.47
2- Sydney Shulman (ISR), Azilis du Mesnil 0/59.64
3- Amy Millar (CAN), Ericson 0/61.88
4- Roberto Teran Tafur (COL), Diabolo la Quadra 0/63.23
5- Andres Torres Hernandez (MEX), Chabacon 0/63.68
6- Alberto Michan (ISR), Ictus d’Emma 0/65.52
7- Rodrigo De Paula Pessoa (BRA), Ze Carioca 0/65.68
8-Yuri Mansur Guerior (BRA), QH Alfons Danto Antonio 0/66.73
9-Lucas Porter (USA), C Hunter 0/66.85
10- Devin Ryan (USA), Caspar’s Lasino 0/67.25