“It’s been an incredible Autumn MET in Oliva. But, to be honest – it is down to the horses. We set up together three years ago, and it takes time to get a new stable going. Suddenly, we find ourselves with a great group of owners and an incredible bunch of horses – so things are good, but it’s down to good horses! The horses we have here, we all produced ourselves – either they have come to us as youngsters or from amateur riders.”
Simpson’s winning mount, Chessy 17 has been reunited with her rider after being sold last year.
“Her rider Leah DeMartini has gone off to college, so she asked me at the start of the summer if I could ride Chessy again and I said ‘definitely’,” smiled Simpson. “Leah has done an incredible job with her, she came back and has not stopped winning. Chessy is a pleaser, so careful and fast – and she loves grass rings. I just love her, she has everything you want in a horse.”
TEENAGER MICHAEL PENDER WINS IN MIJAS
Kildare teenager Michael Pender also scored a win in the 1m40 Two Phase class at Mijas in Spain with HHS Hercules, while The Irish Sport Horse Carlow Cruiser finished third with Britain’s Stephen Franks.
Mayo’s Jack Dodd scored another win for Ireland at the three-star Belgian fixture in Opglabbeek. The 22-year-old guided Wrangler II to a double clear round in 37.49, leaving him over a second ahead of Belgian runner-up Francois Mathy Junior in the 1m45 contest. Co Antrim’s Harry Marshall was best-placed of the Irish in the Opglabbeek Grand Prix, taking fifth place with Bordeaux behind Brazilian winner Marlon Modolo Zanotelli riding Sirene De La Motte.
At the Italian World Cup show in Verona, Tipperary’s Shane Breen finished fifth in the Accumulator competition riding Millfield Ultymate. A single fence down in the feature Longines World Cup competition denied Breen a place in the jump-off with Golden Hawk, although a 15th place finish did see Breen add two points to his league total to keep him in ninth place overall on the table after four rounds. Egyptian Abdel Said took the Verona World Cup winners prize of over €43,000 with Hope van Scherpen Donder.
In the Young Riders Academy Under 25 competition in Verona, Galway’s Michael Duffy scored a runner-up finish with ESI Hazel.
YOUNG HORSE WIN FOR BERTRAM ALLEN
At Munich’s four-star show in Germany, Bertram Allen and the seven-year old Christy Jnr emerged as winners of the Youngster Cup, while Allen later added an eighth place finish in the Munich Grand Prix with Izzy By Picobello behind German winner Maximilian Schmid aboard Chacon.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, Derry-born Daniel Coyle and Fortis Fortuna scored a win in the Alfred Rogers Under 25 National Championships at Toronto’s World Cup fixture in Canada. At the same venue, Cork’s Shane Sweetnam and Chaqui Z finished sixth in the $75,000 GroupBy ‘Big Ben’ Challenge, while Offaly’s Darragh Kenny also finished sixth with H-Cassino in the $20,000 Canine-Equine Challenge.