Ireland's Billy Twomey won the TheraPlate UK Liverpool International Grand Prix for a remarkable third time in five years, after a terrific New Year's Eve performance at the M&S Bank Arena on Merseyside.
Twomey followed his Liverpool Grand Prix wins with Diaghilev in 2015 and 2016 by scooping a £26,000 top prize, this time with Kimba Flamenco who is owned by Kim Barzilay.
An eight-horse jump-off saw Twomey triumph by almost two seconds from 18-year-old British prospect Jack Whitaker, riding Elucar VE, and British Tokyo 2020 Olympic hopeful Holly Smith, who was third aboard Hearts Destiny.
The result preserves Ireland’s incredible record in the Liverpool Grand Prix which was won last year by Tipperary’s Shane Breen.
"To win the Grand Prix three times here is amazing," Twomey said.
"My horse jumped fantastic. He has been close to doing something in the last couple of shows, and finally it has paid off for me and him here. I am delighted for the owner and everyone involved with the horse. A win always helps everything.
"He is an extremely talented horse. He has won a five-star Grand Prix in Falsterbo (SWE), so he is winning at every level, which is good."
"You needed to jump the course. It wasn’t a rat-race. In the jump-off, I tried to put it up to the rest of the riders. Sometimes, when you go early, you don’t really know, but thankfully I held on to clinch the win."
The result crowned an excellent few days for Irish riders in Liverpool, where Mikey Pender finished in a share of victory in the Puissance competition. Daniel Coyle also scored a win on Monday, while Padraig McCarthy came out on top in the Eventing Grand Prix.