It has been two decades coming for the popular Irishman, but Shane Breen recently won the prestigious 2022 Hickstead Al Shira’aa Derby, celebrating the iconic event’s 60th outing.
Shane lifted the famous Boomerang Trophy at the end of June 2022 after delivering the sole clear round of the competition with the 16-year-old Holsteiner stallion Can Ya Makan (by Canturo).
Shane has finished second and third in the class on several occasions.
Shane said after the climactic event: “I never normally feel pressure, but I was actually getting a bit anxious [leading up to today], because everyone kept saying ‘It’s your year!’”
“I’d say, ‘It’s been my year for the last 15 years’,” added the showjumper who also rode a brilliant round on Golden Hawk to finish on four faults, giving him a one-two finish with his two rides at Hickstead, his home-base.
Showing a masterclass in effective riding, Shane notably won the class with Can Ya Makan in a Kimblewick bit from the iconic Bombers brand.
This bit is popular with elite and nuanced riders, as it is the positioning and feel of the rider’s hand that gives the bit its versatility, in terms of the pressure it applies on the horse’s lower jaw.
Shane is an ambassador for Bombers Bits thanks to an introduction by the firm’s UK distributor, Stephen Biddlecombe of Equine Management.
Shane’s a particular fan of the Bombers Kimblewick (pictured top right in the Bomber Blue mouthpiece.)
“The Bombers Kimblewick bit is an excellent bit which suits many types of horses.”
“They find it very comfortable in their mouth, and as a rider, I find the horses have a very nice contact to the hand,” Shane explains.
“It gives me good control and balance. I’d say this bit is an essential for anyone’s tack room.”
Photos by Elli Birch/Bootsandhooves – provided by The Breen Team.