Richie Moloney and Alsvid. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.
Kira Kerkorian Tops $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix; Josh Dolan Pilots Amara to $5,000 USHJA Hunter Derby Win
Mill Spring, NC – July 10, 2015 – Competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) continued today with the $34,000 1.45m Speed Stake FEI in the George H. Morris Arena in Tryon Stadium, capping another win for Richie Moloney (IRL) and Alsvid, making it two in a row for the duo. Moloney and Alsvid crossed the timers with a speedy clear round in 58.52 seconds. Sharn Wordley (NZL) aboard Popstar Lozonais followed behind, with a time of 64.83 seconds. Lauren Tisbo (USA) and Shamira Semilly rounded out the top three, finishing fault free in 66.45 seconds. Competition continues at TIEC tomorrow with the highlight $210,000 Asheville Regional Airport Grand Prix FEI CSI 4* beginning at 8pm. TIEC will also host “Saturday Night Lights” Beach Bash starting at 6pm. The Tryon Summer Series will conclude on July, 19.
Moloney and Alsvid have had a banner week at TIEC, winning both of their contested FEI classes so far at Tryon Summer 3. The experienced pair made easy work of the difficult Ana Catalina Harris (MEX) designed course, which only saw three double clear rounds out of 17 entries.
“When I was going into the ring, there was only one other clear round so I think if there had been more clear I would have even pushed it more and left out a few more strides, but I went as quick as I could while playing it a bit safe and it worked out in my favor,” explained Moloney.
Today marked the third FEI win for the Irish this week and when asked, Moloney smiled, saying he hopes they can keep their consistency moving into tomorrow night for the biggest class of the week, the $210,000 Asheville Regional Airport Grand Prix.
“This is very good for us and we’re having a great week. I’m hopeful that we’ll keep it up for the next two days. David and I both have pretty good records on Saturday nights so far and I’m expecting a great class tomorrow night,” he noted.
Alsvid is a consistent and experienced mount for Moloney, proving himself time and time again on the international stage. Moloney explained on Wednesday after his win, that the 2001 Hanoverian gelding (Escudo I x Adonca) enjoys the faster speed classes and always performs well.
“He felt spot on today and he’s gone so well this week. He really felt like himself today and I think it’s great that he’s been able to come out twice and win both of his classes,” commented Moloney. “We’ll do the 1.50m class on Sunday and then he’ll get some time off. He’s a great horse for me and I want to make sure that he gets a well-deserved rest after this week.”
“I’m looking forward to the rest of the season, especially with him. I know I can always count on him to do his best and come through in the ring. With what we have on the schedule, he should be very competitive for the rest of the season. He’s a great ride and deserves these wins this week.”
Kira Kerkorian Tops $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix
Kira Kerkorian of Sagaponack, NY added another top finish at TIEC this week, improving on her second place finish in the $10,000 Under 25 Welcome Classic on Wednesday, by championing the first $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix of the Tryon Summer Series today aboard Nightfire 25. Kerkorian set a fast pace in the jump-off, which couldn’t be matched after going third in the order of the ten-horse jump-off, stopping the clock in 36.936 seconds. Wilton Porter of Bartonsville, TX finished in second and third, riding Delinquent JX to a time of 37.465 seconds then piloting Patriot across the timers in 38.873 seconds respectively.
“This is my first Under 25 win and he’s one of my new horses, which makes it that much more special. I thought the course was really well done and there were some places that you really had to work. The plank was really spookey and it felt like a really smooth course but difficult too,” commented Kerkorian. “My game plan didn’t change too much from when we walked it to when I went actually went into the ring. We watched Wilton go and I knew that I was going to have to pull out all of the stops to beat him.”
Kerkorian, who trains with Nicole Simpson of Simpson Show Jumping, has steadily improved and her hard work continues to pay off in the ring. She placed second in the $10,000 Under 25 Welcome aboard Cassi, barely getting nudged out of top honors at the end of the class by Haley Gassel and Quite Dark 2.
“He really helped me out a lot today. I needed to be a little bit quicker after some of my landings but we have a great sense of trust and I knew that he would stay with me,” she explained. “I sprinted for the last fence and he was just amazing and so responsive the entire round. We bought him from Lynne Little here in Tryon last August and have been working to create some consistency. We did the Young Rider classes during the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) this past winter and he’s really stepped up every time we ask something of him.”
Piloting two talented horses around the big tracks, Kerkorian is looking to stay atop the leaderboard for the rest of the 2015 season. “We’re going to keep doing the High Juniors and then we’ll start heading towards some of the smaller grand prixs in Kentucky. I’m so excited with how everything is going and how well my horses are handling everything.”
Kerkorian has plans to take her second mount, Cassi, to the Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) presented by Gotham North at the end of the month in Lexington, KY.
“I would love to do really well at Young Riders this year on the big team and see how well we can finish. I’ve always wanted to qualify for the Prix des States for Zone 2 and want to help earn a team gold there. After that we’re going to start focusing on qualifying for indoors, which is always a really exciting time in the year. I’m just so happy with today and it is the highlight of the season so far!”
Kerkorian was all smiles exiting the ring and even minutes after the class had ended, she was still unable to contain her excitement. “It feels so great to know that hard work matters. I’m so proud of my horses for the performances we’ve had this week and I’m hoping that we can only go up from here,” she smiled.
Josh Dolan Pilots Amara to Win in $5,000 USHJA Hunter Derby
Riding in fine form, Josh Dolan, of Wellington, FL, and Amara, owned by Sarah Tredennick, took the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby with a first round score of 92 and a second round score of 89, to a total of 181, beating Daniel Geitner of Aiken, SC and Sky Pilot, who finished with a total score of 176 for second place. Amy Nunnally of Charlottesville, VA and Cailler finished in third with a combined score of 165.
Amara, a 2005 Warmblood mare, has only competed in two hunter classes before their win today, making the story of her win even more impressive. Tredennick imported Amara from Europe where she had spent majority of her life as a broodmare. Amara tested the jumper ring with Dolan’s trainer Alex Granato, winning at in the 1.30m classes after only six months.
“She’s such a versatile mare and is incredibly smart. She’s taken everything that we’ve thrown at her with complete class and grace and continues to exceed expectations,” said Dolan. “With only six weeks of training, she came in and won her first derby at her second competition as a hunter. We were all very impressed.”
The mare handled the course beautifully and Josh was pleased with the number of options available throughout. J. P. Godard designed the derby course, which offered four high options in the second handy round, which Dolan used to his advantage.
“There were some areas throughout the course where you could make it difficult for the more experienced horses or simpler for some of the younger ones,” he explained. “I made sure to give her a consistent and thorough ride, which worked out really well. She was perfect.”
Dolan is looking to transition back to the hunter ring from the jumpers and Amara has given him a great opportunity to get back into the swing of things. With more competitive hunter competitions on the horizon, Dolan is hopeful that Amara will make a spectacular derby horse for someone in the near future.
“She’s got all of the scope in the world to go higher and she’ll be ready for the 3’6 classes next time out. I think she has the potential to be a real top derby horse, which is exciting considering this is only her first real year of training,” he commented. “She’s been a spectacular and I’m so thankful to Sarah Tredennick for giving me the opportunity to ride this class mare.”
Competition at TIEC continues tomorrow with the highlight $210,000 Asheville Regional Airport Grand Prix FEI CSI 4* beginning at 8pm. This will be the second CSI 4* Grand Prix hosted at TIEC so far this season. Gates will open to the public at 6pm. Parking and admission are free. Please visit www.tryon.com for more information. Please “Like” the TIEC Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tryon-International-Equestrian-Center to be eligible for various contests and promotions.
About Tryon International Equestrian Center
The Tryon International Equestrian Center is destined to become one of the premier centers in the equestrian world. This new facility opened in June 2014 with sanctioned horse shows and initial supporting amenities including 10 riding arenas, 850 permanent stalls, a covered riding facility and fitness center. Future expansion includes a sports complex, two hotels, sporting clay course, and an 18-hole golf course plus a full calendar of equestrian competitions and activities. It is a spring, summer and fall haven for eastern and northeastern American equestrian competitors and enthusiasts. For more information, call 828-863-1000 or visit www.tryon.com.