Irish National Hunt jockey Robert Power returned to his showjumping roots at Hickstead this week and finished his show with victory in the LED Sport Europe Speed Derby.
The 32-year-old Aintree Grand National winner rode his sister Elizabeth’s three-star eventer Doonaveragh O One to a magnificent clear round and a time that none of his rivals could beat.
The top three places in the Hickstead speed derby all went to Ireland. Second was locally based David Simpson, who rode a great round on the eight-year-old Arantos, while last-drawn Gerard Clarke shrugged off a 4sec penalty for an early fence down to gallop into third spot on Kellswater Crimson.
Although he competed internationally as a showjumper before turning to racing, this was Robert Power’s first try in the speed derby.
“And maybe I should keep my 100% record and leave it at that,” joked Robert, who was off home to Ireland to ride at Gowran Park tomorrow (Sunday).
Robert rode O One into third place in the 2012 eventing grand prix here, but this year’s Royal International clashes with the Galway Festival.
“I shall have to allow Elizabeth to ride her horse instead,” he added.
Despite this win, Robert has no plans to abandon his racing career and return to showjumping.
“I’m a jockey first and foremost and, please God, I will have a career in racing for many years to come,” he said.
- Don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine’s full report on all the highs and lows of the British Jumping Derby Meeting at Hickstead, on sale Thursday 27 June, 2013