Gerard Clarke and Zanzibar V clear the wall at Olympia in the puissance. Photos: Mark Chappell
Gerard Clarke and Zanzibar V clear the wall at Olympia in the puissance. Photos: Mark ChappellView More Images
There was disappointment for Ballivor rider Gerard Clarke on his debut at the prestigious London Olympia horseshow on Thursday night in the Alltech Christmas Puissance when the nine-year-old gelding Zanzibar V refused at the first warm up fence.
Clarke, who was first into the arena in the nine-horse jump-off for the big prize, recovered quickly and duly negotiated the small obstacle and the other two warm up fences before going on to clear the wall at the initial height of 1.80m.
However, the first fence refusal incurred four faults and the Meath rider exited along with two other competitors in the first round.
Another rider, the highly-regarded Ben Maher, a previous winner of the event, also experienced problems with the first fence and demolished it.
The third rider to exit in the first round was Jean Christophe De Grande and Dargentina des Bruyeres after finding the 1.80m of the big wall too much to negotiate.
Italian rider Luca Maria Moneta claimed the title with the nine-year-old French-bred mare Quova de Vains in front of an estimated 8,000 spectators.
Clarke, who is based at Drishoge Stud outside Ballivor was, at only 22, the youngest competitor in the puissance and the only Irish representative also.
See brief video taken from Eurosport
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