CORK show jumpers Simon McCarthy and Conor O’Regan both won three-star classes at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) in Michigan, USA, last week.

McCarthy began by winning Thursday’s $38,700 1.45m two-phase to open the FEI action. From a field of 32, McCarthy had a favourable late draw and blazed around the second phase in 25.57 seconds with the 12-year-old mare Gotcha to win for the second year in-a-row.

“We messed up the jump-off last Sunday so I definitely wanted to redeem myself today,” McCarthy said. “My mare Gotcha loves it here so it seems to be a good place for her and I’m delighted to win two years in a row. Any day you beat Kent is a deserved win!”

He beat USA Olympian Kent Farrington into second place, with USA’s Charlotte Jacobs in third aboard the Irish Sport Horse Rincoola Milsean (Aldatus x Cruising), bred by the late Harold McGahern.

Conor O’Regan won Friday’s $38,700 Elk Rapids Marina CSI3* Welcome Stake aboard Mendini DR, owned by Dynomite Ranch, LLC. He bested a 13-horse jump-off, eight of which jumped double-clear, taking victory with nearly a second to spare and winning almost €12,000 in prize money.

Last to go against the clock, he posted a time of 36.80 seconds to see off USA’s Samantha Schaefer with James Bond HX.

“I got her at the end of her six-year-old year, so it’s been five years,” O’Regan reflected on his partnership with the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare. “She’s not your typical conventional jumper, she has her own style. She’s not the biggest horse in the world with the biggest stride but she’s got a big heart and she always wants to jump the jumps clean and try her best all the time.

“She’s definitely a careful horse but it’s about allowing her to use that front end and get out of the way.

“Once I do that, I know that she’ll always try to make the back rail and that’s a big help. She never goes too high; she always does what she needs to do to get across and most of the time she leaves the jumps up.”