Anthony Condon takes the Grandstand Welcome Stakes at HOYS
Anthony Condon continued the feelgood factor surrounding Irish showjumping by launching the Horse of the Year Show international classes in thrilling fashion. Anthony, an Irish Nations Cup rider who is based in Cheshire, won the Grandstand Welcome Stakes and its £3,300 top prize with Zira VH Kapelhof Z, clocking a lightning time of 40.98 seconds.
Drawn 27 of 29 starters, Anthony’s time clipped more than a second off the previous leader’s time – Frenchman Titouan Schumacher on Oceane de Nantuel – while Britain’s Louise Saywell finished third with Feigtling.
Anthony won the Boleswortth International grand prix earlier this summer, and his latest victory came just over a month after Ireland won European team gold in Gothenburg under the direction of their Brazilian chef d’equipe Rodrigo Pessoa.
“It was a fast class,” Anthony said. “I saw some of the earlier horses go, so I knew how fast I had to go. She is naturally a fast horse anyway, and she helped me out a little but down the last line. I took a bit of a risk, but it paid off.
“It was a big boost to Irish showjumping to win that European gold medal. It was very well deserved. Our boys did brilliantly there, and it gives everyone a lift and an aim of trying to break into the team. I have been on a few Nations Cup teams this year, and it has been a great experience under Rodrigo. He has been brilliant with advice.
“I have learnt quite a lot from him. He keeps it very simple, and he is very knowledgeable. He understands horses very quickly, so he can give you some advice, and it makes a big difference to the rider and horse.”
Eleven combinations went clear in the class, with Louise Saywell being followed home in fourth and fifth places by Belgian Francois Mathy Jr and Britain’s Helen Tredwell.