Just five of the 53 starters managed to jump clear in the opening round of the Stephex-sponsored 1m50 contest, Condon and the 11 year-old gelding Balzac, who he owns along with Kat Taylor, were first to go against the clock, and produced what proved the only double clear of the competition. Switzerland’s Paul Estermann finished fifth with the Irish Sport Horse Castlefield Eclipse.
The result proved a welcome change in luck for Condon, after he was denied a potential win with Balzac at last weeks Eschweiler Grand Prix in Germany. Balzac’s bit broke in half when jumping clear just two fences from home, leaving Condon with no option but to retire with the finish line in sight.
In Saturday evenings Nick Motmans Memorial Flanders Derby in Lummen, Co Down’s former World Champion Dermott Lennon and The Irish Sport Horse Gelvins Touch grabbed a runners-up finish. Five combinations finished the tough first round course with 8 faults to set up a jump-off against the clock. Lennon and the Victoria Loane-owned Gelvins Touch jumped clear in the second round in 45.43 seconds to finish a second and-a-half behind Dutch winner Johnny Pals riding Urjul van Generhese, while Steve Guerdat (SUI) finished third with Dioleen.
Meanwhile at Hagen’s four-star show in Germany, Cork’s Billy Twomey and the Terry Payne-owned gelding Diaghilev took third place on the podium in the feature 1m50 jump-off class. Twomey and Diaghilev were one of a massive 27 combinations who jumped clear in the opening round to set up a hugely competitive jump-off against the clock. Another clear round against the clock for Twomey in a time of 29.94 saw him finish third behind Italian winner Emanuele Gaudiano riding Carlotta (28.69).
Offaly’s Darragh Kenny and had earlier scored a superb win with the Kerry-Anne McCahill-owned Charly Chaplin S, at the five-star Global Champions League fixture at Shanghai in China along with his Paris Panthers team mate Jack Hardin Towell (USA).
Gelvins Touch (ISH) – 2006 grey gelding by Touchdown (ISH) out of Whitestown Diamond (ISH), by Diamond Lad (ID). Bred by John McCann, Co. Roscommon. Owner: Victoria Loane. Rider: Dermott Lennon (IRL)
Castlefield Eclipse (ISH) – 2002 mare by O.B.O.S. Quality 004 (OLD) out of Furisto Clover Hill (ISH), by Furisto (HANN). Bred by Pat Nihill, Co. Clare. Owner: Fasana Jocelyne. Rider: Paul Estermann (SUI)