Tipperary’s Denis Lynch (pictured above) collected a brand new car valued at almost €60,000, when he claimed the Mercedes-Benz Championship at Hamburg’s five-star Global Champions Tour show in Germany.
Riding the 13-year-old stallion RMF Echo, Lynch was one of 14 combinations to jump clear in the opening round. Another brilliant clear against the clock in a time of 40.21 seconds saw the Irish rider finish half a second ahead of American runner-up Lauren Hough with Ohlala. The Mercedes Championship also counted as the first round of Hamburg’s Global Champions League competition. Lynch’s clear round along with another clear from his Miami Glory team mate Scott Brash (GBR) with Hello Forever, means they top the standings at the halfway stage, with the second round of the Global Champions League to come on Saturday.
Lynch’s Mercedes victory came on the back of another Irish win earlier in the day at the same venue for Billy Twomey and Diaghilev, after they came out on top in the 1m45 Derby qualifier.
Twomey and Diaghilev (pictured left) are the reining Hamburg Derby champions having won in 2016. In today’s qualifier they finished ahead of Dutch rider Johnny Pals and Urjul van Generhese, while Germany’s Mario Stevens finished third with El Bandiata B. This Sunday, Twomey will hope to defend the Hamburg Derby title he won 12 months ago.
Irish riders were also in superb form at Rome’s five-star show in Italy ahead of Friday’s Nations Cup. Co Louth’s Mark McAuley made it a hat-trick of Irish wins in the space of a few hours when he landed the five-star Speed Class with the grey gelding Miebello (pictured below).
They finished three-quarters of a second ahead of French rider Kevin Staut with Silver Deux de Virton HDC. Another Irish rider, Shane Breen, finished eighth with Ipswich van de Wolfsakker.
McAuley and Breen were earlier named on Rodrigo Pessoa’s Irish team, sponsored by The Underwriting Exchange and Devenish, for the Rome Nations Cup. They will be joined by Limerick’s Paul Kennedy and Cork’s Shane Sweetnam, with Sweetnam showing good form with a runner-up finish in Thursday morning’s Land Rover Speed Class with Indra van de Oude Heihoef.