KILKENNY show jumper Susan Fitzpatrick was in good form at the Portmore Spring Championships last weekend and was rewarded for her consistency when winning the Gain/Alltech National Grand Prix on Saturday with Keatingstown Skorphults Joker.
Fitzpatrick claimed the runner-up spot in the opening round of the league at The Meadows, but she made no mistake this time out as she clocked the winning round in 40.69 in a 10-horse jump-off. The par have recently returned from a successful trip to Vilamoura and Vejer de La Frontera where they were placed at three and four-star 1.45m level
There was a good turnout for this round with 45 combinations battling it out. From those, just 10 combinations secured their place against the clock and four delivered double clears.
Keatingstown Skorphults Joker is a nine-year-old German-bred gelding. By Conthargos, he was bred by Gestut Lewitz out of the Chacco Blue mare Chaccy Anne.
Autumn Grand Prix Champion Eddie Moloney knew what he had to do as he took it on with Temple Alice. The pair crossed the line with nothing to add but had to settle for second place in a time of 42.45. Owned by Moloney and TSI Equestrian, Temple Alice is a 10-year-old gelding by Foxglen Cruise Control out of the Rantis Diamond-sired Innishannon Shamrock.
Tipperary rider Seamus Hayes took a more cautious approach with his own 10-year-old Zangersheide-bred Clarton Clazou Z (Clarissimo Z x Clinton) and it paid off as he kept all the poles in place in a time of 48.24 for third place.
Last of the double clears in a time of 50.13 was Robert Splaine and Cambridge, which saw them slot into fourth place. Bred by Heinrich Grueppemeier and owned by TLK Equine Ventures LLC and Mike Kovanda, the 10 year-old German-bred is by Cloney.
Athlone’s Francis Derwin is another rider to spend the winter outside of Ireland. The 17-year-old was riding for Darragh Kenny in Florida and had much success. He got what was a successful weekend going in Portmore when finishing fifth with his father Francis’ 10-year-old gelding Killerisk Can Ya who won Monday’s leg of the league at Galway Equestrian.
The pair proved that the time could be beaten (40.18) but a pole down kept them off the podium. Killerisk Can Ya, by Can Ya Makan out of the Mermus R-sired R Umonia 14, was bred by Kerry show jumper Maura Counihan.
Derwin also proved out of luck with AHG Whiterock Cruise Down when also finishing with four faults against the clock in a slower time of 49.69 for sixth place. The 13-year-old gelding by Cruisings Micky Finn out of Whiterock Touch (Touchdown) was bred by Anne Gannon Clancy.