Darragh Kenny Doubles Down in Dodd Technologies CSI3* 1.45m Speed

January 12. 2024

Darragh Kenny was seeing double on Friday afternoon after winning his second FEI class in the same number of days during the Winter Equestrian Festival’s Week 1. This time, the Irish Olympian piloted Serendepety to win the $32,000 Dodd Technologies CSI3* 1.45m Speed from a field of fifty-six riders over tracks set by USA’s Nick Granat.

Conquering the clock, Kenny and the nine-year-old Hanoverian mare (Emely x Escudo l) owned by Oakland Ventures, posted the eventual winning time of 54.34 seconds, which held for the second half of the class. 

Darragh Kenny & Serendepety, winners of the $32,000 Dodd Technologies CSI3* 1.45m Speed. Photo © Sportfot

“These 1.45m speed classes [at WEF] are incredibly competitive and fast,” admitted Kenny. “With such a large field of high talent it’s a bit of a luck of the draw of who gets the prize that day. That being said, I knew I could count on this mare to be quick and careful so I followed the planned track and it ended up being enough.”

Serendepety has demonstrated all the characteristics of a winner as a part of Kenny’s string. “We bought her when she was five, then trained her until she was seven,” said Kenny, who now owns the mare in partnership with German Olympic champion Ludger Beerbaum. “The idea for her is to continue working towards the highest level, and so far it looks promising. 

Serendepety gained experience at the 1.45m level with Kenny last year and made her debut in CSI3* competition this week. “She won a 1.45m grand prix as an eight-year-old, but this class was her first 1.45m of the year. So far we’re on the right track.

“The plan is to continue to step her up a bit more throughout the season and see what she can do,” continued Kenny. “I think she’s quite special. She’s a really careful but quick horse, and so much fun to ride. Over the past several years we’ve taken our time with her; there’s no rush in her success but we would love to step her up possibly into the 1.50m over the next few months and see how it goes.”

Darragh Kenny & Serendepety presented as winners by Mark Dodd, CEO of Dodd Technologies, Inc. Photo © Sportfot

Following Kenny on the leaderboard was Lebanon’s Jad Dana, and Fleur-De-Lis’ Cherie, a twelve-year-old mare (Tovita x Lancer ll) owned by The Cherie Group. Dana and the mare tried catching the winning time but fell short, completing the course in a close 55.04 seconds. Taking third was USA’s up-and-coming Caroline Mawhinney and her own Stella Levista. Mawhinney and the sixteen-year-old mare by Levade 35 closed out the podium in 57.39 seconds. 

Earlier on Friday, the day of speed began in the International Arena with the $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Speed Challenge. USA’s Hugh Mutch and his own mount Cassava took home the win after completing Granat’s course in a clear and swift 57.454 seconds. Guatemala’s Alvaro Tejada and Jasperlion PB, owned by Isabel Castillo Echeverria, took second, while Canada’s Erynn Ballard and Ilan Ferder’s Kummel took home third. 

Hugh Mutch & Cassava, winners of the $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Speed Challenge. Photo © Sportfot

The week’s CSI3* action will come to a peak with the $140,000 Southern Arches CSI3* Grand Prix, beginning at 7pm ET during ‘Saturday Night Lights’ on January 13.