TURLOUGHMORE teenager Michael Duffy continued his impressive rise in the world of showjumping when he claimed a superb hat trick of wins at the Global Champions Tour Show in Hamburg last week.
Duffy’s most notable feat was when – on Dermot Forde’s Westland Ruby – he recorded the fastest clear round in 89.02 seconds in the second of the derby qualifiers. His closest challenger was German Philipp Makowei, who finished 9.48 seconds on Afp S Chantal behind Duffy.
Although Duffy and Westland Ruby opted out of competing in Sunday’s derby final, giving due consideration to the welfare of his horse, for the 19-year-old to come out victorious in such a field – and adding a further €6,000 to his prize money – was a serious achievement.
Duffy and Westland Ruby also won the opening class at Hamburg on Wednesday and the first German derby qualifier on Thursday, with a comfortable 2.8 seconds in hand over John Whitaker, riding the Belgian-bred gelding Uni Stop.
“She (Westland Ruby) jumped three classes and she won three. It was 100% strike rate and that is not all that common in showjumping. You can get it in racing alright but not as easy in showjumping,” begins Duffy.
“She won the opening class on the Wednesday and then she won the next two derby trials after that. Unfortunately, between the owner and me, we decided not to jump her in the final because she has come such a long way in a short period of time.
“It would have been a shame to go too far and burst the bubble. She had enough done in one week than most horses would do in a month,” says Duffy, who admits there was a part of him that was disappointed not to have contested the final event.
Extended report in this week’s Connacht Tribune.