AFTER a spell on the side lines due to a broken collarbone, Sligo’s Richard Howley recorded a runner-up finish in Sunday’s two-star Grand Prix at Oliva in Spain.

Riding Arlo De Blondel, Howley jumped one of 16 clears in the first round from 67 starters. He posted a blistering time of 37.14 seconds which set the standard for the rest to chase. It looked too good to catch until Italy’s Emilio Bicocchi just beat him by half a second in 36.66 with Rondine del Terriccio. Howley earned €6,000 for second place.

“The strategy was simple, because Richard Howley was really, really, fast,” Bicocchi said afterwards about his plans for the jump-off. “I tried from the beginning to be faster if possible, and in the end it was enough. In the first round today, the faults came a little bit everywhere and this too means that the course designer did a good job.”