Sligo’s Richard Howley fills top two places in Spanish Grand Prix – Runner-up finishes for Simpson and Fitzpatrick in Portugal and France

  • 25 October 2020, 18:06

A dominant performance from Sligo’s Richard Howley has seen him fill the top two places in today’s (Sunday) two-star Grand Prix at Valencia in Spain, taking victory with El Wee Widge and second place with Arlo de Blondel.

Richard Howley was in superb form in the Valencia Grand Prix (Photo  ACP Fotopantel/CES Valencia Tour)

From the 39 starters, 16 made it through to the jump-off with no less than five of those representing Ireland. Howley was in stunning form, crossing the line clear in 34.44 seconds to win aboard the Michael Whitaker-owned gelding El Wee Widge. Another fast clear (35.16) with his own gelding Arlo de Blondel saw Howley grab another huge slice of the prize fund in second place. Kevin Gallagher was the next best Irish finisher after he guided the Irish Sport Horse Ballypatrick Flamenco to sixth place.

Meanwhile at Vilamoura in Portugal, Derry’s David Simpson finished best of the Irish in the four-star Ashford Farm Grand Prix. Simpson guided the Breen Equestrian & Quirke Sport Horses-owned Foudre F to an excellent runner-up finish to take home €19,000.  French rider Titouan Schumacher took victory after a seven-horse jump-off with Atome Z, finishing less than a second ahead of Ireland’s Simpson.

At Royan in France, Kilkenny’s Susan Fitzpatrick and Verdict de Kezeg finished as runners-up in the two-star Grand Prix which was won by Tony Cadet (FRA) with Uppsale Del Cabalero.

Ballypatrick Flamenco (ISH) 2010 gelding by Je T’Aime Flamenco (BWP) out of Cruise Leaf (ISH), by Cruising. Breeder: Dr Noel Cawley. Owner: Greg Broderick.