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‘A great buzz’: champion Flat jockey wins international showjumping class


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  • Three-time champion Flat jockey Oisin Murphy has already enjoyed some good results since venturing out on the showjumping circuit, finishing second in the 1.10m amateur championship on his debut at Hickstead in June. 

    But he has stepped his jumping up a level recently and on Saturday (11 December) he landed his first international success, winning the CSI1* bronze tour accumulator on the Autumn MET (Mediterranean Equestrian Tour) in Spain. Oisin scored maximum points over the 1.30m fences, flying home 0.03sec faster than his closest challenger.

    “I really enjoyed it!” Oisin told H&H. “I was told exactly where to go and how fast, so I just tried to ride to instructions. But it’s a great buzz – very different, but a great thrill all the same.”

    The Derby-winning jockey was riding one of three new horses he has bought, nine-year-old mare Medusa Van De Kooldries, who was sourced by Oisin’s friend, Irish showjumper Richard Howley, and was previously ridden to CSI4* level by Nicole Pavitt. 

    “I definitely have the right horse there!” said 26-year-old Oisin. “Richard found her specifically for the job and hopefully I’ll be able to do a bit more with her, just for fun.”

    Oisin, who competed in jumping classes as a child before concentrating on his racing career, travelled to Oliva Nova in Spain for two weeks with no intention to jump as high as 1.30m. But the combination jumped double clear on their first attempt at 1.30 (shown in the video above), then took their win six days later.

    “My ambition there was probably to jump the 1.10m and maybe the 1.20m the second week,” said Oisin. “But Richard pushed the boundaries a bit and Medusa was great.”

    Oisin recently “swapped saddles” with Ben Maher, and the Olympic champion’s tips have obviously paid off. 

    “That was very good fun, and what a gentleman Ben was. It was great to get an insight from him,” said Oisin.

    So, with his first CSI success under his belt, does Oisin Murphy now consider himself a fully fledged international showjumper?

    “I’m very much an amateur!” he said. “I did Hickstead in the summer on one of the Davenports’ horses called Tiger and that was really good fun but I just didn’t really have a chance again. So when Richard sourced Medusa, he said we’ll send her down to Spain and you can jump her there.

    “But the plan is to do more – in January, wherever Richard goes, she’ll go in the lorry too. I’m really enjoying it.”

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