Geneva CHI: Darragh Kenny talks about his first Top 10 Final
Tonight, Darragh Kenny will compete in his first IJRC Top 10 Final. A nice way to conclude his wonderful season. A few hours before this first experience, the Irishman confided in Studforlife.
Is it a victory for you to be part of the Rolex IJRC Top Ten Final?
Darragh Kenny: Yes, absolutely. I've always dreamed of participating in this mythical event, and it's a great opportunity to be here. I’ll take advantage of it and do my best, because I’m well aware that this opportunity may never come around again. But it's not going to be easy, look at the starting list! Steve Guerdat and Martin Fuchs are in incredible form, Ben Maher rides what is perhaps the best horse in the world, so the least you can say is that there will certainly be a competition...
And who will you ride?
D.K: The Top Ten is a very special, a very competitive event. Ten riders, two rounds, an often ultra-fast jump-off... That's what made me choose Romeo, he’s able to go a little faster than Balou in a jump-off. I’m reserving the latter for the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday, it’s a competition format that’s made for him (Editor's note: he was 3rd in the 2018 Rolex Grand Prix).
Darragh Kenny, 3rd last year at the Rolex GP of the CHI Geneva with Balou de Reventon
How do you feel when you are back in the CHI Geneva arena?
D.K.: It's an incredible competition, undoubtedly the best indoor in the world. It’s nice to see what Rolex is doing for the sport, by supporting exceptional competitions. I like this philosophy of quality over quantity. I honestly believe that nothing could be done better at the CHI Geneva: the atmosphere is crazy; the audience is incredible. When Steve enters the arena, you can hear the crowd's cheers all the way back at the stables!
You have made a dazzling progression in the world rankings this year. How do you explain that?
D.K.: It's a whole picture: good horses, fantastic owners, a lot of work, a great team around me. Between Stockholm and Paris, for example, I had to make a detour to the United States and therefore I wasn’t able to ride my horses at home. My riders did the job and I found mounts in perfect condition when I got to Paris. I’m so lucky to be able to count on such a competent team.
You're based between Holland and the United States, right?
D.K.: Yes, Hardin Towell and I have set up a new way of working by collaborating within the Oakland Stables. He’s based in the United States, I’m in Europe, and this allows us to make the best of each continent. We work with owners, but also invest in young horses that we find promising together. Of the seventy horses we work in our two stables, a good third belongs to us. It’s an original business model, which we’ve created from scratch, and which suits us very well.
The Top 10 Final participants © CHI Geneva - scoopdyga.com