Darragh Kenny on top in CSI3* Grand Prix of Wellington (VIDEO)

Darragh Kenny on top in CSI3* Grand Prix of Wellington (VIDEO)

A wave of unseasonably cold weather for Wellington, FL, worked to Darragh Kenny’s advantage during “Saturday Night Lights”, giving Volnay du Boisdeville a little extra spring in his step. Together, they topped the CHF140,000 CSI3* Grand Prix during week 1 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

A course designed by Nick Granat (USA) produced six clear rounds representing four different countries. The trailblazer in the first round, Kenny (IRL) again set the pace in the jump-off with a blistering clear round in 37. 58 seconds. His lead would not be breeched as the five challengers to follow all pulled rails.

“He’s an incredible horse and he’s better when he’s fresh,” said Kenny of Volnay du Boisdeville, a 2009 Selle Français stallion (Winningmood x Jaisco B) owned by Vlock Show Stables. “The cold weather was a good factor for us tonight because it had him a little fresher than normal.

“You can trust him at the jumps and he’s very fast in jump-offs,” continued Kenny. “I knew it was a competitive jump-off, so I just tried to go as quick as I could and hope that the jumps stayed up.”

The last to jump over the short course, Carly Anthony (USA) made a solid effort but finished on four in the runner-up position with Jet Blue for owner Portfolio Horses LLC. U.S. Olympic team gold medalist Laura Kraut rounded out the podium with Dorado 212 in the horse’s official debut in the international grand prix ranks.

“It was a magic night in the end,” said Kenny, whose owner Teddy Vlock celebrated a birthday while watching his horse bring home a CSI3* victory. “He loves this horse, and he picked a fantastic night to win.”

Volnay du Boisdeville sits at the helm of Kenny’s string and will next focus on the CSI5* during WEF 7. While the stakes are high for the horse, he’s a very simple ride according to Kenny. “He’s really simple. He’ a stallion but not a stallion at all.”

Kenny was presented to as winner by Wellington International President Michael Stone on behalf of Southern Arches. Then Quentin Judge, Cayce Harrison and Caitlin Creel gave the $500 Grooms Award, presented by Double H Farm to Vlock Show Stables groom Alejandro Suarez.

“We are really happy to do this for the second year in a row; the grooms are an integral part of the whole operation,” said Quentin Judge on behalf of Double H Farm. “We wouldn’t be able to be here if it wasn’t for the grooms, and we think it’s important to recognize them. It’s a hard job and it’s nice when your horse jumps well to recognize them for it.”

Top five results: CHF140,000 Southern Arches CSI3* Grand Prix

1. Darragh Kenny (IRL) & Volnay du Boisdeville: 2009 Selle Français stallion (Winningmood x Jaisco B)
Owner: Vlock Show Stables

2. Carly Anthony (USA) & Jet Blue: 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding by VDL Zirocco Blue
Owner: Portfolio Horses LLC

3. Laura Kraut (USA) & Dorado 212: 2013 Oldenburg gelding by Tailormade Diarado’s Boy
Owner: St. Bride’s Farm

4. Heather Caristo-Williams & Dionysos de al Vigne: 2013 Selle Français gelding (Diamant de Semilly)
Owner: QBS Equestrian LLC

Mark Bluman (COL) & Cheilane de Blondel: 2012 Selle Français mare (Non Stop x Kassidi)
Owner: BVBA de Roock Gilbert