Photo: Stefano Grasso/LGCT
The Whitaker brothers went head-to-head in the Longines Global Champions Tour of Monaco, with Michael finishing just tenths of a second ahead of John.
The CSI5* Trophée Casino de Monte-Carlo concluded with a thrilling jump-off, with Michael snatching victory from his older brother.
John was riding his top stallion Argento, who was making his return to five-star level for the first time this year, while Michael was partnered with the talented Valmy de la Lande.
“He’s been beating me all his life, but it’s nice to get one back!” said Michael. “My horse is unbelievably careful, he’s a fighter. He’s got a little bit more experience to come, but I’m excited about him.”
The jump-off featured a tough track, which saw many top combinations faulting, including Gerco Schröder, Bertram Allen and Julien Epaillard.
The time allowed also proved to be incredibly tight, with the top three placings all incurring one time penalty.
John produced the first clear with Argento in a time of 36.41sec, which put them in the lead, despite their time penalty. Michael also finished with one fault, but his slightly faster time of 36.04sec knocked John off the top spot.
Ireland’s Michael Duffy was just behind John on Egalini, to take third place.
The LGCT of Monaco proved to be a great show for Ireland, with Shane Breen enjoying the biggest win of his career in the Grand Prix, and Denis Lynch coming third.