DERMOTT Lennon from County Down tonight (Monday) won the Olympia Grand Prix in London with the Irish-bred mare Loughview Lou Lou. Lennon, a former world champion, beat 32 of the world’s best riders to take the 24,000 euro first prize.
The 42 year-old was the only Irish competitor to make the cut for the 11 horse jump-off, and set an early second round lead that proved unbeatable, with only Spain’s Manuel Anon and the mare Rackel Chavannaise coming close, taking the runner-up spot a fifth of a second behind Lennon.
The Banbridge-based rider had also taken a third place in Sunday’s big Rolex World Cup class at the London venue with Woods Rosbotham’s Hallmark Elite, and had another win with Loughview Lou Lou in Thursday’s jump-off competition.
Afterwards Lennon said: “Loughview Lou Lou is a very competitive horse and she is naturally fast but I was really delighted with the way she jumped tonight. I got her a year ago and she has been steadily progressing since her first win at Maubeuge in France in May of this year. But I have to say it’s fantastic to see an Irish-bred horse back winning a five-star Grand Prix like this. She was just super.”
Horse Sport Ireland Chairman Joe Walsh said tonight: “This is a brilliant result for Ireland and I want to congratulate Dermott Lennon and the mare’s owner and breeder Judith Sossick. It is a great boost for the sector.”
•Loughview Lou-Lou (ISH) – 2002 bay mare by Limmerick (HOLST) out of Loughview Diamond Lucy (ISH), by Jack Of Diamonds (ID C1). Owner/Bred by Judith Sossick, 17 Old Staffordstown Road, Randalstown, Co. Antrim. Rider: Dermott Lennon (IRL)