9 October 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
Corkborn Billy Twomey gave Ireland its first international win this week at the Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham, England today (Friday) when he shared first place in the Five Fence Challenge competition, aboard Terry Payne’s bay gelding Diaghilev.
The Cork rider was one of three to collect ten points in all four rounds, adding 3,000 euro to his prize money at the three-star show. Twomey shared the honours with Britain’s Helen Treadwell on Sebastian VII and Michael Whitaker with Quelbora Merze.
Ireland’s Anthony Condon also took fourth on Kat Taylor’s Balzac.
Yesterday Twomey chalked up two top five places in Birmingham’s first international classes.
Riding Diaghilev in the night’s feature competition, the 38 year-old collected 4,500 euro for a third place, a tight finish seeing him just under two seconds off the pace of French winner Julien Epaillard with Pigmalion du Rozel, and a mere six hundredths of a second behind Colombian runner-up Daiel Bluman and Conconcreto Apardi.
Earlier, Twomey was runner-up in the opening international class at Birmingham, this time with Sue Davies’s grey gelding Tin Tin, failing to catch Swedish winner Angelie von Essen and the bay mare West Falica by just over a tenth of a second.
Condon took fourth in the competition with Kat Taylor’s Balzac, while Shane Breen came home in seventh place on the gelding Undicco, and his brother Trevor one place behind in eighth with the stallion Classic.
The Breen brothers at one stage looked like claiming the top two places in the final round of tonight’s Grandstand Trophy at Birmingham, but in the end had to settle for fourth and fifth places.
Trevor Breen took an early lead in the speed round with Karen Swann’s chestnut stallion Classic, and saw brother Shane come home just under a second behind him with IN Showjumpers Ltd.’s 11 year-old gelding Undicci, but both were eventually overtaken, with the winner’s trophy finally going to France’s in-form Julien Epaillard with Cristallo A LM.
Birmingham’s signature competition, the Leading Show Jumper of the Year, takes place on Sunday night in the city’s National Exhibition Centre.