KILDARE’S Mikey Pender won a three-star 1.50m in Vilamoura, Portugal, last Friday aboard the Irish Sport Horse mare HHS Fast Forward.
Some 15 of the starting 49 combinations made it through to the jump-off, where Pender and Marion Hughes’ home-bred mare by Heritage Fortunus, out of China Cavalier (Cavalier Royale), was the fastest of six clears in a brilliant time of 35.59 seconds. He had almost two seconds to spare over France’s Robin Lesqueren and Dorado de Riverland (0/0 37.28). Pender picked up just over €6,000 in victory.
Kilkenny’s Susan Fitzpatrick finished fourth in Thursday’s three-star 1.45m Table A with Keatingstown Stables’ nine-year-old gelding Keatingstown Skorphults Joker. The pair were among 13 clears in the class of 45 competitors, breaking the beams in 61.20 seconds. Victory went to Frenchman Victor Bettendorf with Astuce de la Roque (0/ 58.99).
Kildare-based Aidan Killeen was also in action at the venue and he picked up a ninth place finished in Saturday’s three-star 1.45m Table A. Riding Prime Equipment Ltd’s 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Inlaws Orinoco (Harlequin du Carel x Oklund), bred by Michael Byrne, he was clear in 65.32 seconds.
The Ita Brennan-bred MHS Fernhill Showtime (Cavalier Royale x O.B.O.S. Quality), owned by Carol Gee, was ridden to seventh place by Portugal’s Duarte Seabra. Victor Bettendorf also took the win in this class.
The Irish were out of luck in Sunday’s 1.50m Grand Prix where Mathieu Billot landed a home win with Baschung Courcelle. It was an all-French podium with Robin Lesqueren in second and Kevin Staut in third.
At one-star level, Kirsti Connole landed two victories with Michael Connole’s 18-year-old Lupicor gelding Zazu Van Terhofstede. The pair won Friday’s 1.10m when fastest of 27 clear rounds, before going on to land another victory in Saturday’s 1.10m with a lightning fast double clear round.