The Irish-owned and bred mare Suma’s Zorro received a standing ovation from the packed stands of spectators under the shadows of the Eiffel Tower at the City of Light in Paris, France tonight (Saturday), after taking a superb victory in the €300,000 five-star Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix.
The 14-year-old chestnut mare Suma’s Zorro was bred in Kilkenny by Susan Lanigan-O’Keeffe and Marily Power and is owned by Joanne Sloan-Allen from Sycamore Stables in Co Antrim. The Irish mare was drawn second last to go in the jump-off with Egyptian Sameh El Dahan, who has ridden Suma’s Zorro for the last seven years.
They were chasing a target which had been set by Wexford’s Bertram Allen and his grey mare Molly Malone. Allen had been first to go of 11 combinations against the clock and set a blistering time of clear in 36.86. Their time put enormous pressure on those who followed and only El Dahan and Suma’s Zorro could go quicker while keeping the fences standing, after they crossed the line clear in 36.32.
El Dahan collected a winners prize of almost €100,000, with Allen pocketing €60,000 while World No.1 Harrie Smolders (NED) filled third place on the podium with Don VHP Z.
Horse Sport Ireland CEO Ronan Murphy commented:
“This is another fantastic result for Irish breeding, Irish owners and Irish riders at the very top level of the sport. I want to congratulate the breeders of Suma’s Zorro – Marily Power and Susan Lanigan-O Keeffe from Suma Stud in Kilkenny. It was a brilliant result for the mare’s owner Joanne Sloan-Allen and rider Sameh El Dahan. With Bertram Allen and Molly Malone finishing second, it was a memorable night for Irish connections at such an iconic venue as Paris.”
The result in Paris comes on the back of another fantastic result for Ireland in the Global Champions Tour last weekend in Monaco where Tipperary’s Shane Breen took the Grand Prix winners prize.
Suma’s Zorro – 2004 chestnut mare by Ard VDL Douglas (KWPN) out of Vixens Frolic (ISH), by Horos (TB). Breeder: Susan Lanigan-O’Keeffe, Co. Kilkenny. Owner: Joanne Sloan-Allen & Sameh El Dahan. Rider: Sameh El Dahan (EGY)
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