Dublin, Ireland—July 24
Young Italian rider Lorenzo de Luca put an emphatic cap on the Dublin Horse Show for Italy with a thrilling win in the Longines Grand Prix of Ireland CSI5*.
“An enormous thanks to Ensor, to Stephan Conter, to all my team, to everyone who believes in what we do every day,” de Luca posted in a Facebook message after the win.
De Luca rode Ensor de Litrange LXII to a nail-biting win in the class—his fifth class win of the Dublin show and a follow-up to his two clear rounds for the winning Italian team in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup on July 22.
De Luca, 29, grew up riding in Italy but has worked for Conter’s Stephex Stables—a busy sales and training stable in Belgium—since January 2015. There he shows a combination of top five-star grand prix horses and younger mounts coming up the ranks. De Luca jumped for Italy at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (France) and at the 2015 European Championships (Germany). He was long-listed for the Rio Olympic Games but Italy’s individual spot for Rio was assigned to Emanuele Gaudino.
Here’s de Luca during the press conference at the Dublin Horse Show after his win…
De Luca prevailed in Dublin in a four-horse jump-off. The class came down to the wire when Irish home favorite Cian O’Connor jumped off last with Good Luck. De Luca had set the pace in the jump-off, after U.S. rider Audrey Coulter with Capital Colnardo, as first to go, had pulled a rail and Irishman Shane Breen was clean but a bit slower than de Luca.
O’Connor and Good Luck looked well on the way to a furiously fast jump-off until O’Connor turned a bit too sharp to a jump and Good Luck ran out. “I mistakenly turned up to tight to the second last in the jump-off today and he ducked out because the turn was too ambitious but I’m so pleased how competitive he has become,” O’Connor said.
It was an eerie echo of the Nations Cup results, where a run-out by the last Irish horse to go allowed the Italian team to take the win. In the end, de Luca and “Ensor” took the win with Breen and Golden Hawk in second, Coulter in third with Capital Colnardo and O’Connor in fourth.
Other U.S. finishers included: eighth—Lauren Hough/Ohlala; 12th—Laura Kraut/Cavalia. See full results of the Longines Grand Prix of Ireland.
Earlier in the day, Hough scored a big win in the 7- & 8-Year-Old Final with the 8-year-old Lady Davos.
The Dublin Horse Show was closed out by a rousing competition in the Hunt Chase, always a spectator favorite! Here’s the winning round of the pair from the Killinicks…