Darragh Kenny (IRL) rode Billy Manjaro to victory in the 1.40m $8,000 CSIO5* Palm Beach Masters Warm-Up, besting 49 competitors on a bright and balmy Wednesday afternoon at Deeridge Farms. Sydney Shulman (ISR) placed second with Azilis du Mesnil, while Canadian Olympian Amy Millar and Ericson were third. The competition was the first CSIO5* event of Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Week CSIO5*/CSI2* at the Palm Beach Masters Series®.
“He was a little bit fresh, so he was cantering a bit quick. Not many people went very fast, and he was kind of running away with me, so I was just kind of going along with it,” said Kenny, adding that he has high hopes for the 10-year-old AES gelding.
“He still is green, and he gets a little bit tense sometimes, but he has a lot of quality, and a lot of scope, and I think he’s going to be a really incredible horse.”
This season is a reunion of sorts for Kenny and Billy Manjaro, who haven’t competed together in two years. “I bought him when he was seven, and I’ve slowly produced him until now. The two boys that ride for me, they [helped produce] him,” he explained. “I rode him a little as an 8-year-old, and I took him back over as a 10-year-old.”
Kenny comes into Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Week fresh off a win in the CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Wellington, Presented by Canadian Pacific, during the first leg of the 2020 Palm Beach Masters Series®. He plans to compete Billy Manjaro in Saturday’s 1.50m $36,600 CSIO5* PBM Classic, and will also be part of the Irish team in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United States of America on Sunday.
“The Jacobs, they do a fantastic job with the show, and they always have tried to have the best of everything for all the riders and the horses and the owners,” Kenny said. “It’s one of the best rings in the world.”