Mikey Pender wins CSIO5* 1.50m ranking class in Sopot with HHS Catwalk

  • 15 June 2023, 20:08

Mikey Pender and HHS Catwalk (ISH) after the combination’s win in Sopot, Poland. Picture @csio5opot Instagram

Irish eyes were smiling in Sopot on Thursday evening as Mikey Pender kicked off FEI Longines Nations Cup weekend with a win in the CSIO5* 1.50m ranking class on board HHS Catwalk (ISH).

Kildare’s Pender, on board the Bravo Hughes Ltd.-owned 11-year-old mare, got a crucial week for Ireland’s senior show jumpers off to the perfect start with a thrilling win in the Polish venue.

Pender topped the podium, jumping clear in a lightning-fast time of 65.05 seconds, putting the field to the sword by over two seconds.

Italian speedster Emanuele Gaudiano finished in the runner-up position on board Crack Balou, clocking a time of 67.31 seconds for his clear round, with hometown rider Adam Grzegorzewski completing the podium on Stakata in a time of 68.09 seconds.

After his win, Pender said: “I’m absolutely delighted with how my horse jumped, she jumped really well and hopefully we can keep it going for the rest of the week. Fingers crossed now the rest of the week is very successful.”

Pender will represent his country in Sunday’s five-star Nations Cup on board another Hughes Bravo Ltd. Horse, HHS Calais (ISH), joining Jessica Burke and Express Trend (ISH), Jack Ryan and BBS McGregor (ISH) and Michael G Duffy with Clitschko 17 in Michael Blake’s team.

Ireland have enjoyed an excellent Nations Cup campaign in 2023 to date, finishing on podiums in the middle east and America, before winning in Rome for the first time in 97 years.

Blake’s team then backed that up with a dominant success in Vancouver, Canada, just a week later and now face into Europe Division 1 action for the first time this year.

There will be points on offer on Sunday and Ireland will be hopeful of another fine placing as they bid to qualify for the Nations Cup final in Barcelona later in the year.

After Sopot this week, the team will move to Rotterdam, Hickstead and the Dublin Horse Show for the Aga Khan Trophy in August, where they will bid to defend the title they won in a thrilling jump-off last year.


HHS Catwalk (ISH) – 2012 mare by Cit Cat (HOLST) out of HHS Clo Jo (ISH)[TIH]. Breeder: Thomas A Hughes, Co. Kilkenny. Owner: Bravo Hughes Ltd. Rider: Michael Pender (IRL)

HHS Calais (ISH) – 2011 gelding by Cavalier Royale (HOLST) out of MHS OBOS Cruise (ISH) by OBOS Quality (OLD). Breeder: Ita Brennan, Co. Kilkenny. Owner: Bravo Hughes Ltd. Rider: Michael Pender (IRL).

BBS McGregor (ISH) – 2012 gelding by Cardento (HOLST) out of Random Chance (ISH) by Mark Twain (TB). Breeder and Owner: Marguerite Ryan, Co. Kilkenny. Rider: Jack Ryan (IRL).

Express Trend (ISH) – 2010 gelding by Future Trend (OLD) out of Condios Express (ISH) by Condios (HOLST). Breeder and owner: Liam Nicholas. Rider: Jessica Burke (IRL).


The Irish Show Jumping team is sponsored by The Underwriting Exchange

Charles Ancona – Official athlete clothing supplier to HSI’s Senior Olympic programmes