• 29 January 2023, 17:16
Kildareman’s hot streak with HHS Calais (ISH) continues with GP win

Mikey Pender’s fine run of form on board the Irish Sport Horse HHS Calais continued with another win in Sunday’s three-star 1.50m Grand Prix at Vilamoura in Portugal.

The Kildareman and the Hughes Horse Stud-owned 12-year-old have been winning all across the globe of late and this victory adds to successes at five-star level in Riyhad, Saudi Arabia and Valkenswaard in the Netherlands.

The combination, who recently represented Ireland in the FEI Longines Nations Cup final in Barcelona, were one of 13 who jumped clear in round one at Vilamoura, completing the course in 73.87 seconds.

Mikey Pender and HHS Calais (ISH) jumping to victory in the Grand Prix on Sunday. Picture: Vilamoura Equestrian

Pender knew he had a quick horse under him and had a time of 34.77 seconds – set by Frenchman Aurelian Leroy and Croqsel de Blaignac – to aim at.

Having won a three-star Grand Prix at Vilamoura in the past with HHS Calais (ISH), Pender knows the finish line and sailed under Leroy’s time in 32.99 seconds with just Britain’s Oliver Fletcher and Hello William (bred in Ireland by Anne Marie O’Gorman at Lissava Stud Farm) to jump.

That pair could only finish in a time of 34.28 seconds to leave Pender and the Ita Brennan-bred gelding sitting on top of the podium.

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).