Lynch’s Echo scores re­sound­ing suc­cess

A horse that Ire­land’s De­nis Lynch nearly lost the ride on six months ago clinches Ken­tucky’s World Cup qual­i­fier

Horse & Hound - - Showjumping - By JEN­NIFER DON­ALD

IRE­LAND’S De­nis Lynch will look back on 2017 as a re­mark­able year. As well as be­com­ing a new dad, the 41-year-old Ger­many­based rider has won some of the big­gest com­pe­ti­tions of his ca­reer. Euro­pean team gold a cou­ple of months ago will un­doubt­edly re­main a high­light but suc­cess in Lex­ing­ton’s $250,000 (£190,700) Longines FEI World Cup qual­i­fier this week ranks right up there, too.

Quick­est of nine jump-off con­tenders, De­nis and Rushy Marsh Farm’s 13-year-old Bel­gian-bred RMF Echo hur­tled round to gain nearly a half-se­cond ad­van­tage over USA rider Lau­ren Tisbo (Co­rian­dolo Di Ribano).

“Echo is nat­u­rally very quick,” said De­nis. “He’s been un­lucky a few times this year, when he’s been beaten at the post. I think there have been three or four grands prix where he fin­ished se­cond. He de­served it tonight.

“Echo has his own spe­cial way of jump­ing, but he has an in­cred­i­ble heart; he tries a lot for his rider and gives ev­ery­thing. The most im­por­tant thing is

what’s in their head, and he wants to keep the jumps up.”

De­nis has part­nered Echo for nearly a year, tak­ing over the reins from Bri­tish rider Emma O’Dwyer, but al­most lost the ride six months ago be­fore own­ers Mon­ica and Frank McCourt of Rushy Marsh Farm stepped in to pur­chase the chest­nut so he could re­main on De­nis’s yard.

“The horse ended up in our sta­bles last win­ter, and

I was ac­tu­ally short of a horse,” said De­nis. “I started jump­ing him in some shows at the be­gin­ning of the year, and he started pro­gress­ing to be a bet­ter horse. He was sold [af­ter CSI5* Ver­sailles in France], and I was very lucky that Rushy Marsh stepped in overnight and se­cured me the horse, for which I’m ex­tremely grate­ful. It was in­cred­i­ble. I’m very, very lucky to have him.”

Best Bri­tish rider was eighth­placed Emily Mof­fitt (Hil­figer

Van De Ol­men­ho­eve), who had won Thurs­day’s $150,000 CP in­ter­na­tional open jumper — a tremen­dous, high pro­file win at 1.55m for the 19-year-old, who trains with Ben Ma­her.

‘He has his own spe­cial way of jump­ing, but he has an in­cred­i­ble heart’: RMF Echo lands the World Cup qual­i­fier for De­nis Lynch

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