Shane Breen Claims Victory at Bolesworth CSI3* Grand Prix

Shane Breen and Scarteen. Bolesworth Grand Prix winners 2024. Image credit 1st Class Images / Bolesworth

Shane Breen Claims Victory at Bolesworth International Equestrian Summer Festival’s CSI3* Grand Prix

The grand finale of the Bolesworth International Equestrian Summer Festival, presented by Al Shira’aa, witnessed an exhilarating climax as Ireland’s Shane Breen clinched victory in the highly competitive Al Shira’aa CSI3* Grand Prix (LR) 1.55m. The prestigious class featured seven Olympic longlisted athletes from two countries, alongside a Gold medal-winning Olympian, promising a thrilling contest for the spectators.

The class saw 48 top-tier competitors, all of whom had qualified through rigorous ranking classes earlier in the week, challenge the 1.55m course designed by Javier Trenor. With a maximum time limit of 81 seconds for the first round, the track tested the skill, speed, and precision of each participant.

The first to secure a clear round in round one was Seamus Hughes Kennedy, who clocked a time of 77.64 seconds aboard Esi Rocky. Kennedy, who had previously triumphed in Thursday’s Ranking Class, the CSI3* jump-off 1.50m (LR) Grand Prix Qualifier sponsored by HM3 Legal, faced fierce competition from the 2023 Bolesworth International Grand Prix winner, Billy Twomey, and Chat Botte ED.

Ireland’s Shane Breen and the 11-year-old grey gelding Scarteen took the next clear round in a time of 79.58. Who is no stranger to a big fence at Bolesworth, having won the 2018 Puissance and setting a record at the time with the wall at 7ft3. Olympic hopefuls Tim Gredley and Imperial Hbf, who were 40th to compete, also managed a clear round within the optimal time, posting 80.87 seconds.

Local talent James Davenport, riding One To Watch, from the Davenport Stud, completed a flawless round in 79.04 seconds. In total, four clear rounds were recorded in the first phase, with 13 retirements, one elimination, and a mix of faults and time penalties affecting the rest of the field.

The top 13 riders progressed to the second round, featuring nine final jumping efforts and four Olympic hopefuls. Out of the initial clear-round competitors, three (James Davenport, Tim Gredley, and Shane Breen) maintained their clean records. However, early leader Seamus Hughes Kennedy unfortunately rolled a pole, dropping him to fourth place.

Tim Gredley secured third place with Imperial Hbf, while James Davenport and his homebred horse, One To Watch, finished a commendable second. The day, however, belonged to Shane Breen, who delivered a fast, clean round in 50.95 seconds to claim the illustrious Bolesworth International Grand Prix title.

Upon his victory, Breen expressed his elation, stating:

I’m delighted with the win. Scarteen is a homebred, which is nice to have at this level. I thought the first round of the course was quite challenging. In the second round, I watched Tim Gredley go, with the aim of trying to beat him, and thought James (Davenport) might beat me, but today it was my day and I thought everyone did a great job around the course.

Breen’s triumph at Bolesworth capped off a remarkable show, having also placed second in the CSI2* Big Tour LR Grand Prix class last week with Cato Boy and securing a win in the CSI3* Jump Off 1.35m final with Be Golden.

Shane’s win concludes this year’s two-week Bolesworth International Equestrian Summer Festival, which has delivered nine days of world-class sport, shopping, family entertainment, and live music.

The year’s event at Bolesworth welcomed 12,000 visitors, with 500 riders bringing 800 horses to the site each week.

Speaking on the success of this year’s Festival, Bolesworth’s Managing Director, Nina Barbour said:

We are incredibly grateful to all the visitors, trade stand holders, competitors, and sponsors for their unwavering support at this year’s festival. The feedback on the new-look festival has been overwhelmingly positive, and we eagerly look forward to welcoming everyone back in 2025. I’d like to extend my congratulations to Shane Breen on winning today’s Grand Prix, as well as our presenting partner,  Al Shira’aa, for their continued support.

Feature image: Shane Breen and Scarteen. Bolesworth Grand Prix winners 2024. Image credit 1st Class Images / Bolesworth

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