IRISH show jumping riders were in superb form across the Atlantic on Saturday with Denis Lynch and Michael Duffy both finishing on the podium in the five-star Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Mexico City, while Conor Swail took victory in the Kentucky Invitational three-star Grand Prix in the USA.

Just six combinations managed to jump clear in the opening round of the Mexican Grand Prix, with two of those coming from Ireland. Tipperary town-born Lynch was second to go against the clock with the 13-year-old gelding Brooklyn Heights and they took the lead with a brilliant clear in 44.56 seconds. Galway’s Michael Duffy and Zilton SL Z were second last to go and they crossed the line just three hundredths of-a-second behind Lynch to move into second place.

It looked at that stage that an Irish one-two was on the cards however Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum claimed a dramatic victory when crossing the line five hundredths of a second faster than Lynch with Mila to take the winner's prize of €100,000.

Lynch collected €60,000 for his runner-up finish while Duffy pocketed €45,000 for placing third. As Beerbaum had already won a GCT Grand Prix earlier this season, runner-up Denis Lynch becomes the third athlete to qualify for the Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix later this year in Prague.

Swail shines in Lexington

Meanwhile in Kentucky, USA, Co Down’s Conor Swail showed more of the form that has seen him rise to fifth position on the Longines World Rankings, by taking victory in the $225,000 Kentucky Invitational three-star Grand Prix. Riding Vital Chance De La Roque, Swail finished just under a second ahead of Limerick’s Paul O’Shea who took runner-up spot with Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu while Cork’s Shane Sweetnam finished sixth with James Kann Cruz (ISH).

Conor Swail and Vital Chance De La Roque winners of the three-star Kentucky Invitational in Lexington