Five Irish in Show Jumping top 50

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Updated: April 8, 2011

The recent fine run of successes for Irish riders is reflected in the latest Rolex World Show Jumping rankings just released with two Irish riders in the top 10 and five in the world’s top fifty – a great achievement .

Cork’s Billy Twomey maintains his number seven slot for the second month running due to consistent European Grand Prix results. Tipperary’s Denis Lynch follows in eighth place, recently adding a victory in the Netherlands World Cup Qualifier to his list of Grand Prix successes.

Meath-based Cian O’Connor makes Ireland’s biggest one-month jump in the rankings, rising from 43rd place to 30th, after a run of victories and top five placings with the Irish-bred ‘Larkhill Cruiser’ in the United Arab Emirates and the Spanish Sunshine Tour.

Antrim’s Jessica Kurten is in 37th position in the rankings, a drop of 17 places, while another Tipperary rider, Shane Breen, has fallen by just three places, from 37th to 41st, giving Ireland its fifth listing in the World Top 50.

France’s Kevin Staut, the current European Show Jumping Champion, remains the highest-placed rider in the Rolex Jumping Rankings.,which includes some 2200 officially registered riders from all over the world.

Billy Twomey enjoyed some early successes in Ireland but his career really blossomed after moving to England and working closely with top British rider Michael Whittaker.

With an insatiable thirst for more experience, Billy approached Michael Whitaker. The talented teenager initially travelled to Michael’s Nottinghamshire yard to train with him.

“By hook or by crook, I wanted to work at the yard full time and staying on there was the best decision I ever made. Michael is a brilliant teacher and I can’t put a value on the experience I gained with him.”, he says of Whittaker, though they often are on ‘opposing sides’ in

Nations Cup events. He has also forged an excellent relationships with owners Sue and Ed Davies in Cheshire (many of whose horses, including Je T’aime Flamenco, he rides in major competitions throughout Europe).

Married, to long term partner, Joanne, the couple have two young daughters, Lily and Evie.

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