Ireland’s Michael Pender & MHS New York joint winners of The Al Shira’aa British Six Year Old Jumping Championship at Hickstead

Ireland's Michael Pender & MHS New York (right) and Britain's Matt Sampson with Ivory (left) were joint winners of The Al Shira'aa British Six Year Old Jumping Championship at Hickstead on Friday. Credit: Breandán Ó hUallacháin.

Ireland’s Michael Pender & MHS New York and Britain’s Matt Sampson with Ivory were joint winners of The Al Shira’aa British Six Year Old Jumping Championship at Hickstead today, with both combinations going clear in 33.94 seconds.

When Pender entered the Longines International Arena with the six-year-old gelding, they shed almost a full second off the previous best time set by Briton Pippa Goddard and the stallion Nero Van De Kwayde Hayde. Just when it looked as though the Irish rider would take the victory, Matt Sampson and Ivory, the penultimate combination to go, incredibly went clear in the exact same time as Pender, stopping the clock at 33.94 seconds.

Commenting on his joint victory, Michael Pender admitted:

“It’s unbelievable to have the same time in such a big arena. It’s very special (to take a win at Hickstead). It’s unbelievable to know your horse can step up (in a big International Arena). He won the five-year-old in Dublin in the Main Arena last year.”

Aoife O’Connor and Leestone Mylords Trumps were 15th in the class, having had 12 faults with the mare, and crossing the line in a time of 47.29 seconds. Earlier in the day, O’Connor and Emirates De Vie were 11th in The Al Shira’aa Five Year Old Jumping Championship, the combination having 4 faults in the 1st phase and jumping a clear in the second.

Ireland took three of the top four places in the Equitop Myoplast Senior Foxhunter (First Round) in the Horseware Ireland Ring 2 with Trevor Breen and the seven-year-old gelding Cordouan Fontanel taking the win ahead of Jay Halim of Britain, with Irish riders taking the next two places, Shane Breen and Coquette Chapotiere in third and Derek Mccoppin and Pauldary’s Lord Luie fourth.

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