Mill Spring, NC – July 24, 2021 – Richie Moloney (IRL) and Rocksy Music rocked the short course during the Tryon Summer 6 $137,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC), finishing first with a time of 38.574 seconds. Brooke Kemper (USA) and Arpeggi, the 2010 Westphalian gelding (Arpeggio x Lancer III) owned by Caroline Blum, finishing just 0.2 seconds behind Moloney, claimed second place with a time of 38.714 seconds. Third place honors were awarded to Santiago Lambre (MEX) and Easy Girl, the 2011 Oldenburg mare (Conthargos x Nintender) owned by Mario Onate, after a clear round and a jump-off time of 39.252 seconds.
A thunderstorm that began midway through first-round action Saturday evening paused the competition, which resumed Sunday morning. Thirty-four riders attempted the first round of the Ken Krome (USA) course, with six riders qualifying for the shortened second round of the competition; three riders qualified during Saturday night’s competition and three qualified Sunday morning. Moloney earned his ticket to the jump-off on Sunday morning, and acknowledged that the delay was a benefit to his mount. “The weather helped me a little bit, I think!” Moloney said. “He’s a little bit more up under the lights, so he was more relaxed this morning.”
Moloney and Rocksy Music, the 2008 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ars Vivendi x Diamond Serpent) owned by Equinimity LLC, have competed together for the last five years. “I’ve had him for five years, since he was an eight-year-old, actually!” he explained enthusiastically after his win. “He’s been jumping really well lately, so I’m really happy I got this win.”
As the Tryon Summer Series comes to an end, Moloney will be taking a vacation before maintaining the momentum of his win once he returns to competition in a month. Moloney concluded by saying, “I just want to thank the owners of the horse. I’d like to thank the groom and everyone that helped with this. It’s a team effort; there’s a lot of people involved!”
Mill Spring, NC — October 27, 2019 — It was Richie Moloney (IRL) aboard Merqusio to win Sunday’s $25,000 American Standard Grand Prix to conclude Tryon Fall 6 competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), with a fault-free effort in a time of 43.623 seconds. Tracy Fenney (USA) and MTM Apple, a 2011 Danish Warmblood mare (Favorit Ask x Willemoes) owned by MTM Farm, retired in the jump-off to finish second, while fastest four-faulter Roberto Teran Tafur (COL) and Dena Sienne, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood mare (Van Gogh x Animo) owned by Waldman Horses BV, claimed third-place honors after completing the first round in 75.697 seconds.
Anthony D’Ambrosio’s (USA) course saw 22 entries test the first round, with only two returning for the jump-off. Moloney explained that he thought it was the triple combination in the first round that seemed to cause the most trouble, but “apart from that it was a really fair course.
“I went first in the jump-off, so I just wanted to be quick and put some pressure on her [Tracy Fenney]. I knew her horse is really fast, so it was important for me to leave all the jumps up,” detailed Moloney of his second-round strategy.
Moloney and the Equinimity LLC-owned 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Cicero Z x Flamenco De Semilly) have been a team for a couple years, shared Moloney. “He’s been competing at the 1.45m and 1.50m level and he has done some FEI Grand Prix as well. He’s a good horse and is very careful.
“Last Sunday I had really good results and then yesterday I was second in the Grand Prix and today I had a win, so it’s a nice way to finish up,” Moloney said. “We’re going to Wellington on Tuesday but Equinimity, whom I work for, has a farm ten minutes away so I’ll be back in April.”
Hunter Kay and Alright Rise to the Top in the $20,000 Open Hunter Classic 3’-4’
Friday’s $20,000 Open Hunter Classic 3’-4’ at TIEC saw Hunter Kay (Columbia, SC) and Alright score a two-round total of 176.25 to win the blue rosette. Dorothy Douglas and Abigail Davenport’s MTM Exceptional, the 2009 Holsteiner gelding (Casall Ask x Unknown), earned second after receiving a two-round score of 173, while Jacqueline McQueen piloted Quadrolino, the 2011 Bradenberg gelding (Quadroneur x Unknown) owned by Holly Calantoni Houser, to a third-place finish after receiving scores of 172.5.
Twenty-six horse-and-rider pairs tested the Archer “Skip” Bailey course in the first round, with Kay qualifying for the handy on three different mounts. “I liked the course. There were a lot of broken lines, a couple of combinations, and not a lot of direct distances or numbers so you could just do what you wanted and show off with different things.
“He felt really good in this class,” Kay said of Ann Rice Ervin’s 2011 Warmblood gelding with unknown breeding. “I think the big ring got his attention and he was able to gallop. I thought he might be a little tired since he also competed in the 3’9” division this week, but he jumped great. We love the big ring!
“I had just a little bit of a bobble in the first round, so I wanted to correct that. We picked up a good canter from the start and just tried to maintain the same pace and have a nice gallop at the last one,” shared Kay of his handy-round strategy.
Mill Spring, NC – October 5, 2019 – Richie Moloney (IRL) and Ypaja Yando fought their way to a win in the $72,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 2* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort, stopping the jump-off timers in 46.819 seconds. Santiago Lambre (MEX) and Dingeman, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Nintender x Darnels) owned by Aurora Rangel De Alba, claimed reserve on a jump-off performance of 47.542 seconds, while third-place honors went to Brooke Kemper (USA) and her own Classified, a 2004 Holsteiner/Thoroughbred gelding (Crescendo x Aim at Me), who put in a 48.001-second jump-off ride to secure the podium finish.
Peter Grant (CAN) saw 49 entries challenge the first-round track, with five horse-and-rider pairs returning to test the jump-off. Moloney’s strategy with the Equinimity LLC mount, the 2007 Finnish Warmblood stallion (Quinar x Lasino), was to go quickly and smoothly, but initially thought he left the door open, he explained.
“It was a big [CSI] 2*, with a long course, and a long jump-off. I’ve had this horse since he was eight, and he’s always a competitive horse at this height and the 1.50m classes. So the strategy was to try to jump clear and then be very quick in the jump-off.
“I think I was just kind of quick enough everywhere – nothing crazy,” Moloney admitted about his slick jump-off performance. “Everything was pretty calculated, with no risks. Number B of the double, maybe the seven was a bit steady, because when I came out of the ring I thought I could have done six strides there, but it worked out that I didn’t have to!”
For full results from the $72,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 2*, click here.
Mill Spring, NC – July 15, 2018 – Just twelve hours after a win in the $70,000 Carolina Arena Equipment Grand Prix CSI 2*, Richie Moloney (IRL) clinched another blue ribbon aboard a different grey mount. Riding the Equinimity LLC’s Merqusio, Moloney was once again awarded first place, besting competition in the $35,000 1.45m Sunday Classic CSI 2*, with a jump-off time of 47.288 seconds.
Samuel Parot (CHI) who also claimed a spot on Saturday night’s podium, stepped up once more, taking the second-place position aboard his own 2004 Selle Francais gelding Quick Du Pottier (Hurlevent de Breka x Cuba), riding to a time of 38.508 seconds, but with eight added faults. Third place was awarded to another Ireland native, David O’Brien, who piloted the Spy Coast Farm LLC entry Kir Royal SCF, a 2010 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Amaretto D’Arco x Nabab de Reve), through the first round in 85.62 seconds and with four added faults.
Moloney and the 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Cicero Z x Flamenco de Semilly) have been competing at TIEC on and off throughout the spring and summer and maintained a winning streak to round out the weekend. “He was good out there,” commented Moloney, “and I’m very happy to win out here on him today.” Of the gelding, he continued, “I’ve been partnered with him for two and a half years now, so I know him well. This horse is very careful and very scopey.”
Moloney plans to continue with top level FEI competition, as the pair has also contested CSI 5* level classes and previously recorded a third-place finish in the $35,000 1.45m Welcome Stake CSI 2* during Tryon Spring I. “We’ll just keep going and compete in some 1.50m classes with him,” noted Moloney, “and then we’ll add another Grand Prix when he feels ready.”
The morning welcomed fourteen entries to the Derby Field, and Moloney and Parot were the only two to return for a turn on the Catalina Cruz (MEX) designed jump-off track. “The course was great today,” concluded Moloney. “It was nice to get him out and ride here on the field for a change. His next show will be on grass, so it was nice to get out here this week and finish strong.”
Please visit www.tryon.com or call (828)-863-1000 for more information.
Mill Spring, NC – July 14, 2018 – Richie Moloney (IRL) climbed atop the podium in the $70,000 Carolina Arena Equipment Grand Prix CSI 2* during the highlight class of the week at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), after piloting the Equinimity LLC entry Button Sitte around the night’s jump-off track in 38.336 seconds.
Second place honors were captured by the USA’s Todd Minikus, riding to a final short course time of 38.402 seconds aboard Autumn View Farm’s Excel, a 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Douglas x Quick Star). Samuel Parot (CHI) completed the second round of competition aboard his own 2003 Zangersheide gelding (Andiamo x Royal Bravour L) Atlantis, closing out the top three with the quickest time of 36.297 seconds, but adding four faults.
Moloney and the 2007 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Ogano Sitte x Parco) have been partnered together for nearly two and half years and the duo has maintained a consistent record to date. “He always jumps very well here,” he commented. “He had some very good results in Wellington and he placed in the 1.50m final. He’s a very nice horse and very scopey. He’s lovely to work with and he’s a really sweet horse.
“His strengths are his scope and how easy he is,” he continued. “Even during the week, you don’t have to work too hard before a class. You just need to move him around a little bit. He’s very uncomplicated.”
The pair bested a field of 22 horse-and-rider combinations and returned to contest the Catalina Cruz (MEX) course with five other competitors. Of the course, Moloney said, “It was a good course. The jump three to four sequence was quite difficult in the first round. Apart from that, I thought the course was a good course tonight.”
Moloney has been based at the venue for the majority of the Tryon Summer Series and had positive words for the facility and the “Saturday Night Lights” competition in general. “It’s a great facility and there’s always a great atmosphere and a great crowd here to watch,” he concluded. “He [Button Sitte] also prefers the atmosphere under the lights. He’s good in smaller arenas like this because you have to keep turning and jumps are always in front of you.”
Please visit www.tryon.com or call (828)-863-1000 for more information.
Kendra Gierkink Returns to Equitation to Win Ariat National Adult Medal
Wellington, FL – March 17, 2017 – It was a win for the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, as Richie Moloney and Slieveanorra took top prize in the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m speed class on Friday, March 17 at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
Course designer Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) saw 66 entries and 21 clear rounds over his 1.45m speed track. Julie Welles (USA) and Alexander LLC’s Ryanair de Riverland set a fast pace, second to go in 65.33 seconds, and eventually finished third. Laura Chapot (USA) with her own and McLain Ward’s Quointreau un Prince topped that time in 65.04 seconds and held a long lead, but settled for second place in the end. Third to last in the order, it was Irishman Richie Moloney riding Equinimity LLC’s Slieveanorra who took the win in 64.81 seconds.
The 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Voltaire x Flagmount Diamond) had a strong 2016 season and took some time off after concluding his year in November. He started back in week eight at WEF and came out fresh for his first FEI event this week.
“He is naturally a very fast horse,” Moloney said of his longtime partner. “I think I did more strides than the people before me, but his stride is so quick. He is quick across the ground, and he does not waste any time in the air. I just knew to keep going as quick as I could and I would be close enough.
“I saw Laura go,” Moloney added. “I knew it would be hard work to catch her. I saw that the top seven or eight were around 65 seconds, so I knew we had to try to win or else we could be seventh or eighth. He is just quick everywhere. She did fewer strides than me from number five to six; my horse just covered the ground faster.”
Moloney is pleased to have Slieveanorra back jumping in good form and hopes to compete the gelding in more 1.45m classes over the last two weeks of WEF competition.
Also competing in the International Arena on Friday, Christina Antonucci and Zonneglans won the $2,500 Engel & Völkers High Amateur-Owner Jumper Power and Speed. Santiago Lambre (MEX) topped the $6,000 FEI 1.40m speed class riding Dingeman. The day concluded with a win for Georgina Bloomberg (USA) and Gotham Enterprizes’ South Street in the $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m Speed Challenge.
Kendra Gierkink Returns to Equitation to Win Ariat National Adult Medal
After aging out of equitation competition at the end of the 2016 show season, Kendra Gierkink of Harpswell, ME had no plans to ever compete in another equitation class. However, on Friday morning, Gierkink rode Casstess HBC to win the Ariat National Adult Medal. The class consisted of a first round and a test of the top four riders. Gierkink and Casstess HBC, owned by Kadley Holdings, LLC, earned the high score in the first round, an 88, and laid down a flawless test to take the blue ribbon.
The nine-year-old Holsteiner stallion by Cassiano had never competed in an equitation class before Friday, as he was previously campaigned by Gierkink’s sister, Addison Gierkink, in the Medium Amateur-Owner jumpers.
“I started riding him at the beginning of the winter circuit,” Gierkink explained. “He decided he doesn’t want to be a jumper anymore, so I’ve just been riding him at home and taking lessons. I was doing the warm-up in this ring on Tuesday and my trainer, Missy Clark, said, ‘Oh, he goes really cute; why don’t you do an Adult Medal?’ We decided to do the Ariat, and he was super!”
All four riders in the test executed the more challenging and shortened track smoothly, but Gierkink’s consistency and smoothness over both rounds helped her win the class.
Speaking of her trips, Gierkink said, “In the first round there were several options, but I decided to ride off of what I was feeling. I liked the course and my horse went around really well, he landed all the leads and was great. Testing is not always my strong suit, but I thought it was a good test!”
Catie Staszak of Boynton Beach, FL piloted Agnes Augusta, an entry owned by East Wind Farms, LLC, to the second place ribbon. The pair earned the second highest score in the first around, an 86. Rounding out the top three placings was Gabi Morris of Bridgewater, NJ. Morris guided her own Hypnotic to a first round score of 85.
Week ten of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival continues on Saturday in the International Arena featuring the $35,000 Hollow Creek Under 25 Grand Prix Series Semi-Final, sponsored by The McNerney Family, and the $130,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3*, which starts at 7:30 p.m. The Bruno Delgrange Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division will determine championship and reserve honors in the Rost Arena. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Danielle Grice and High Life Capture $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Mill Spring, NC – July 22, 2016 – Capturing their second victory in a two-week span, Richie Moloney (IRL) and Slieveanorra earned another victory in George H. Morris Arena, this time in the $35,000 1.45m Horseware® Ireland Speed Stake at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Moloney and Slieveanorra crossed through the timers in 56.09 seconds to push Samuel Parot (CHI) and Atlantis to second place, as the pair finished in 56.30 seconds. Emanuel Andrade (VEN) and Bon Jovi captured third place honors, completing the track in 57.67 seconds.
Catsy Cruz (MEX) is the course designer for this week’s FEI tracks in the George H. Morris Arena and is known for her strong building technique, which asks riders questions of technicality and quickness in each class. Moloney and Slieveanorra rode a neat and fast round, which placed them atop the leaderboard.
With 21 combinations contesting the track, Moloney had the advantage of tackling the course last in the order of go, already piloting his other mount Alsvid through the course. Seven pairs rode to finish with fault-free trips, but Moloney left everything on the line, entering the ring with an understanding that he would need to best the 56.30 seconds earned by Parot.
“He was very fast around the turns in between the lines and I think that’s where he upped the time,” said Moloney. “He’s naturally a quick horse and that helps in these speed classes. He felt great and is very aware of what is going on in the ring.”
When Moloney walked the course, he felt that while there were more efficient options available, he preferred to stick with a fast and straightforward approach, ultimately paying off with a victory.
“He always has a chance because he jumps up, but doesn’t waste time in the air. I thought that there were a couple of options to leave out strides and we didn’t even need to do that because it still worked out well,” he explained.
The 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Voltaire x Flagmount Diamond) owned by Equinimity LLC, has been a staple in Moloney’s string for a number of years and performs with a sense of consistency and strength that make him an invaluable member of the top competition team.
“He’s adjustable and naturally very quick around the turns. I don’t always have to take the fastest option, because I know he will make it up around the rest of the course,” he commented. “He’s very experienced, and like I said last week, we try to save him for classes we know he will do well in and this was one of those occasions.”
Moloney will look to continue his success throughout the week as top mount Carrabis Z is entered in the $216,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix CSI 4* Saturday evening, while Alsvid and Slieveanorra will both contest the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Classic on Sunday, July 24. Looking forward to a rest for the horses in the coming weeks, but also already preparing for a strong fall campaign, Moloney reflected on his team’s success so far this season.
“I’m just pleased that my horses are all going well. We’re picking up good results at almost every competition and going forward I think we’d like to keep that,” he said.
Danielle Grice and High Life Capture $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Danielle Grice of Mufreesboro, TN and High Life, owned by Allison Reichenbach, rode to victory in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at TIEC, taking the class with a two round score of 121. Morgane Qualls of Mufreesboro, TN and Limousine, owned by Julie Burton, took second place honors with a score of 163, while Jillian Briggs of Wellington, FL piloted Roc Du Triomphe, owned by Barry H. Carragher, to third place, receiving a 156.
Grice and High Life, a flashy dapple grey gelding, impressed the judges, earning the two highest scores of the class with an 87 in the first round and an 84 in the handy. High Life plays dual roles as he is ridden by owner Allison Reichenbach in the Adult Amateur Hunter divisions and then transitions to Grice for the larger classes.
“I thought this was a great derby course. I liked how they had the high options early on in the course so that you could impress the judges right off the bat,” said Grice. “The first bending line looked like it was riding as a very long seven and I was a little bit nervous after watching the first few go, but he has a huge step and carried me down early in the seven.”
“The handy round had some great options, which I think really showed off his highlights,” she added.
Grice and Reichenbach have been working with High Life for a year now, as they purchased him from Chad Keenum and have been competing him since, specifically with Reichenbach who competes in the amateur classes.
“He’s been doing the First Year Greens and we’ve kept him at the 3’3″ height to preserve him for next year. He’ll start doing the bigger classes and larger derbies, and Allison will also step him up in the amateur classes too,” explained Grice.
According to Grice, the ring presence of High Life has had a major impact on his success in the ring, influencing his ability to score well with both herself and Reichenbach. She commented, “He likes to show off, but he’s super quiet. He has this tremendous presence in the ring that I think draws people to him. He jumped some of the best jumps of his life in the schooling area before the class, so I knew he was ready.”
The pair who rode two elegant and smooth rounds, finished well atop the leaderboard, which helped them to gain needed experience for what Grice hopes will be a successful fall campaign.
“I would love to get him to indoors and take him to some big places. He doesn’t care very much about the environment. We always want him to be impressed with what he sees in the ring,” she noted. “I think it would be fun to get him to some of those bigger horse shows and show him off.”
Competition at TIEC continues Saturday featuring the highlight class of the week with the $216,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix CSI 4*. Gates open to the public at 6:00 p.m., while entertainment will begin at 7:15 p.m. Competition will commence at 8:00 p.m. For more information on TIEC and to see a full list of results, please visit www.tryon.com.
Mill Spring, NC – July 17, 2016 – Richie Moloney (IRL) and Slieveanorra made the most of their time in the George H. Morris Arena at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), topping the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Classic, bringing a close to the final day of FEI classes at Tryon Summer III. Moloney and Slieveanorra jumped past Samuel Parot (CHI) and Couscous Van Orti, who were the only other pair to advance to the short course. The winning combination stopped the clock in 40.787 seconds, while Parot collected four faults and crossed through the timers in 40.40 seconds. Alison Robitaille (USA) and Sensation 21 took third place, completing the fastest four fault trip around the original course, finishing in 75.54 seconds.
Moloney and Slieveanorra went late in the class order, which featured 23 entries and was set by this week’s FEI course designer Manuel Esparza (MEX). While Moloney was surprised that only two combinations moved forward to contest the second round, he was pleased with the way Slieveanorra handled the track, as the 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Voltaire x Flagmount Diamond) owned by Equinimity LLC, made efficient work of the difficult course.
“I thought after I walked it that there might be one or two more clears, but it proved to be pretty difficult for everyone. It was a long way around and I think that also it’s the end of the week and some of the horses may have been feeling less fresh than at the beginning of the week,” said Moloney.
Slieveanorra was originally sourced by Moloney’s brother from Ireland early in his career and has been successfully guided to numerous top finishes in FEI classes around the world. The gelding produced a valiant effort around both tracks, which helped the duo secure the win.
“This horse is pretty quick as well, so I said that I would try to go fast enough to try to secure the win. I wanted to go fast because I knew that even if we had one down there was still a chance that we could take the class depending on Samuel’s ride,” he added.
Moloney is careful to regulate and select specific classes where he and his team feel Slieveanorra will have the opportunity to be the most successful. While age is a factor, Moloney said that Slieveanorra feels better than ever and continues to love his job and the thrill of competition.
“He’s fourteen now and is an Irish horse that originally came from my brother when he was just nine,” he explained. “He’s a very cool horse and I’ve been able to have the ride on him for most of his career. We will still use him to do the odd grand prix, but we really try to save him because he’s a bit older.”
“We typically put him in the speed classes and the 1.50m classes. He enjoys these classes and always seems to do very well,” he detailed.
Moloney had a successful campaign at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta earlier in the summer but is happy to have returned to the venue, where he has had incredible success over the past two seasons, including a top ten finish in the $216,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI 4* last night aboard Carrabis Z, also owned by Equinimity LLC.
“We’re happy to be back here at Tryon. We did a few of the weeks at Spruce Meadows and will be here for the remainder of the series,” detailed Moloney. “After next week the horses will get a good break before we look at some of the bigger classes coming up later in the summer and then we’ll come back here for the fall.”
Alma Bjorklund of Wellington, FL and her own Loro Piana Ballyleck rode to victory in the $10,000 High Junior/Amateur Owner Classic, presented by Asheville Regional Airport, topping the class of 22 entries with a jump-off time of 39.356 seconds. Nicole Loochtan of Lincolnshire, IL and her own Carla de Kalvarie Z took second place honors with a time of 41.871 seconds. Bjorklund also picked up third place aboard her own S.I.E.C. Contessina, dashing through finish in 41.006 seconds.
Competition at TIEC resumes on Wednesday, July 20, welcoming the final week of the 2016 Tryon Summer Series, which will feature an FEI CSI 4* including the $216,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix CSI 4* on Saturday, July 23. For more information on TIEC and to see a full list of results, please visit www.tryon.com.
Richie Moloney and Carrabis Z. Photos copyright Sportfot.
Lexi Maounis Pilots Fetching to Victory in Osphos® Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3″
Wellington, FL – March 12, 2016 – Ireland’s Richie Moloney and Equinimity LLC’s Carrabis Z were the winners of Saturday night’s $380,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI 5* during week nine of the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Competing under the lights of the International Ring at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), Moloney topped a field of 42 starters and an eight-horse jump-off, with Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Casper in second, and Lillie Keenan (USA) aboard Super Sox third.
WEF 9, sponsored by Douglas Elliman Real Estate, concludes on Sunday, March 13, with the $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. The 12-week WEF circuit runs through April 3 offering more than $9 million in prize money.
Alan Wade (IRL) set the track for Saturday night’s main event, with eight entries clear to advance to the jump-off, and three double clear rounds. Keenan and Chansonette Farm’s Super Sox set the pace over the short course with a time of 47.11 seconds to eventually earn third place honors. Wordley and the Sky Group’s Casper were next to go with a faster time of 46.69 seconds. Moloney and Carrabis Z then crossed the finish line in the winning time of 45.04 seconds.
Kent Farrington (USA) and RCG Farms’ Uceko, and Todd Minikus (USA) and Two Swans Farm’s Babalou 41 were both faster, but had four faults along the way. Farrington and Uceko finished fourth with a score of four in 42.65 seconds. Minikus and Babalou placed fifth with four faults in 42.67 seconds.
Moloney and Carrabis Z, a 13-year-old Zangersheide stallion (Canabis Z x Grannusso), have been a team since 2012 and have many great wins together. Most recently, the duo was part of the winning Irish team in week eight’s Nations’ Cup.
Speaking of their victory on Saturday night, Moloney stated, “My horse jumped great tonight. He was a little looky into the double in the first round. It was a tough enough line. When I did the jump-off, he was jumping better than the first round. He was more relaxed and really jumping. It is a great win. I was happy enough being clear in the first round, and I could not be happier.
“When I jumped, the plan was just to try and beat who was ahead of me,” Moloney said of the jump-off. “I knew there were one or two after me that would probably be faster. I was lucky enough tonight we got the win in the end. My horse deserves it. He was very unlucky last week in the grand prix. We had one down and it was probably my fault, so it was nice to come back tonight and do him justice because he deserved to be clear last week. This is his third big grand prix win in the last six months. He is a great horse for me, and he has really stepped up in the last 12 months.”
Moloney thanked the sponsors of the night’s class, Douglas Elliman, and also praised his owners at Equinimity LLC, including Diana and Jenji Mercer, who were there to celebrate his win.
“The Mercer family are great owners and great people to work for,” he acknowledged. “I appreciate them very much, and it is nice to give them this win here tonight. I have been there five years, and you could not find better people to work for.”
For Sharn Wordley, the night’s second place finish was fantastic with his mount Casper, a ten-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Contender x Baloubet du Rouet).
“I have had him since end of circuit last year and this was his first five-star,” Wordley detailed. “I was really happy with him – he was double clear in the WEF (Challenge Cup) on Thursday and he got better as the week went through. He learned a lot here, and he is jumping fantastic. I am really excited about him.”
Wordley spoke of his strategy for the jump-off, stating, “Because it was his first really big class under the lights, my strategy was just to go clear and medium fast because I was hoping the end result was people would try to go a little faster and have some rails down. Then I would get results without actually having to use my horse up too much. I got lucky and he got second, which is pretty exciting in a five-star.”
Wordley also spoke of the night’s course, noting, “Alan Wade is one of my favorite course builders, and I think one of the best ones in the world. I have jumped quite a few of his courses recently, and I really enjoy them. Tonight’s course really used all facets of show jumping. The horse had to be really rideable and careful. There were a lot of tight lines with big verticals. It really tested the rider as well. If you had a hole in any one part of it, you were not going to do so well. He seems to get just the right amount of riders in the jump-off to make it interesting. It was a fair course and tough, like any five-star ever is.”
Lillie Keenan was excited to get a third place finish in the night’s class with her mount Super Sox, a ten-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Salito x Silvio I. Keenan (19) is currently in her freshman year at Harvard University and splitting time between Boston and Wellington throughout the winter. She attended classes Monday through Wednesday, and flew to Florida on Thursday to compete in the WEF Challenge Cup, which is the grand prix qualifier. Keenan also switched trainers this season and began riding with Ireland’s Cian O’Connor as she moves up to competing at the higher level. Saturday night was Keenan’s first five-star with Super Sox and a great finish.
“I have had him for almost two years now and I have to say, he is a special horse, but the program I have behind me makes all the difference,” Keenan stated. “The background team is on a level unlike any other I have ever seen. I was only jumping that horse over the summer in two-star and three-star grand prix, really trying to work on my rideability, my flatwork, and my position and effectiveness, and two months ago Cian told me, ‘When we get to Wellington, you are going to jump a five-star and you are going to jump double-clear’. I do not know if he has a crystal ball, but he certainly knows how to plan and aim for a class, so it is really exciting for me. It is my first five-star on the horse, it is the first time I have ever jumped clear in a five-star, and it is the best result I have ever had in Wellington in a night class, so it is a night of firsts.”
Keenan spoke of her plan going first in the jump-off, explaining, “My strategy was to keep the jumps up and be quick, but not take too many risks. I would say, looking back, hindsight is 20/20. There are a few places I could have gone quite a bit quicker, but I was overwhelmed with excitement just jumping clear in the first round. I am thrilled with my horse, so I really just wanted to stick to my plan, jump as many jumps as I could clear, and trust my horse.”
Don Langdon, Managing Broker at Douglas Elliman for Palm Beach and Wellington, was on hand for the competition and spoke of the great relationship Douglas Elliman has with equestrian sport.
“It is such an outstanding thing for me to come to an event like this in Wellington,” Langdon stated. “I have been here for 30 some years and worked on the development and the real estate side for many years. I played basketball in college, but I did not realize what great athletes these riders all are. Over the past ten years, I have started to realize that, and I compliment all of them on that. What we try to do at Douglas Elliman is align ourselves with high-end sports and the arts. Sponsoring WEF is fantastic because it is 12 weeks and we get to enjoy that. It is a perfect platform for our company and for me especially, it is a special thing to be a part of the sport and give back to all of the people in it.”
For their win, Moloney and Carrabis Z earned the Herman ‘Kappy’ Kaplan Perpetual Memorial Trophy. Carrabis Z’s grooms, Gabriel Barcena and Rodrigo Pimentel, also shared the Groom’s Initiative Award presented by Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners, to reward their dedication and hard work as an integral member of the winning team.
Margie Engle was presented the award for Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider for week nine, an award sponsored by Martha Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
Also competing in the International Ring on Saturday, Brianne Link and Wednesday Mornin were victorious in the $1,500 Sleepy P Ranch High Junior Jumper speed class, and Kelsey Thatcher and Pony Lane Farm’s Everything topped the $15,000 MAYBACH – ICONS OF LUXURY SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. The $1,500 Martha Jolicoeur, Douglas Elliman Low Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class was held in a California Split with a wins for Olivia Chowdry and Cosma 20 in Section A, and Madeline Thatcher with Pony Lane Farm’s Skilliane de Varnel in Section B.
Lexi Maounis Pilots Fetching to Victory in the Osphos® Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3″
Lexi Maounis and her mount Fetching earned three blue ribbons on the way to the Osphos® Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3″ division championship this week. The pair won both over fences classes and the under saddle on Friday afternoon, and earned a sixth-place ribbon over fences on Saturday. Vivian Yowan settled for the reserve honors aboard Saddle Ridge LLC’s Anytime, earning fourth in the under saddle and a third and two second place ribbons over fences.
Maounis, of Greenwich, CT, was thrilled with her rounds this week. “Luke,” as he is affectionately called, is a seven-year-old Holsteiner gelding purchased by Maounis last summer. “I’m really excited because this is my first time getting a champion with Luke!” Maounis said. “He went so well yesterday. Winning all three classes was really exciting!”
Winning three classes on Friday took some pressure off of Maounis to win on Saturday, but she still wanted to give it her best. “We had an unfortunate rail in the first round today, so I was a little worried about the second round,” she revealed. “But Luke is such a good horse that he went back in and we had a great second trip.”
Patricia Griffith, who trains Maounis out of Heritage Farm, has been successfully competing with the young gelding since Maounis purchased him in August. “He’s a younger horse that needed some experience, and Patricia has given him that,” Maounis said. “She has been doing him in the Green Conformation at WEF, and it has been going really well.”
“It was really nice that once the horse got down to Florida, Patricia already knew him so well. Patricia showing him made the transition to me riding him that much easier,” she continued.
“He has a big stride for a tiny horse and has such a smooth jump,” she remarked. “He has the best personality, an amazing temperament, (and) is so sweet.”
Maounis and Luke have spent the last few weeks of competition getting comfortable and familiar with each other. This week, things finally came together for the pair. “I’m so excited to have won a championship. Luke and I are really getting to know each other well now,” she commented.
Maounis, a 21-year-old junior at the University of Miami, works hard to successfully juggle her pursuit of a degree in advertising with her competition schedule at WEF. “It’s convenient that I only have to commute from Miami. It makes it easy to come on the weekends, but it can still be hard to find that balance between school and riding,” she admitted.
Maounis, who also competes with her longtime mount Sienna in the 3’6″ Amateur-Owner Hunter division, will continue to show in the 3’3″ Amateur-Owner division with Luke for the remaining weeks of WEF. “I hope I keep doing well, and that I get to compete in the 3’6″ amateurs with Luke soon,” she said.
Competition for WEF 9 comes to a close on Sunday, featuring the crowning of the Autism Speaks Children’s Pony Hunter Small/Medium champion in ring 11. Also taking place on Sunday in the International Ring will be the $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. For more information and full results, please visit www.pbiec.com.
Richie Moloney and Alsvid. Photo copyright Sportfot.
Wellington, FL – February 3, 2016 – Week four of the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) kicked off on Wednesday morning with a win for Richie Moloney (IRL) and Equinimity LLC’s Alsvid in the $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m Jumper Classic.
WEF 4, sponsored by Ariat®, runs February 3-7, 2016, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. The week will feature the Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments® on Saturday, February 6. Other highlights include the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 4 on Thursday; the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m Classic and the $25,000 Artisan Farms U25 Grand Prix Team Event, presented by the McNerney Family, on Friday; the $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Saturday; and the $216,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 4* at The Stadium at PBIEC on Sunday. The 12-week WEF circuit runs through April 3 offering more than $9 million in prize money.
Guilherme Jorge (BRA) is the international course designer for week four competition at PBIEC. Jorge set the opening speed track for the $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m with 59 entries and 22 clear rounds. Thirty-eighth in the order, Richie Moloney and Alsvid clocked the winning time of 60.07 seconds.
Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Eternal finished second in 60.24 seconds. Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm LLC’s Cyklon 1083 placed third in 60.88 seconds, and Eric Lamaze (CAN) guided Artisan Farms LLC’s Melody des Hayettes Z to fourth place honors in a time of 61.78.
Moloney and Alsvid, a 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Escudo I x Azur), had an incredible 2015 season and the rider was happy to get off to a good start with a win early in 2016.
“From this last summer onwards he has been really good,” Moloney noted. “This is his sixth FEI class to win since June, so he has been great, and he is 15 now. He is definitely in his prime and he is very good at that (1.45m) level. He is quick without having to try too hard.”
Moloney detailed his winning round, stating, “From jumps one to two I decided to go around, but I did the same strides other people were doing coming inside. Then I left out a stride to number three, which probably helped. I think it was even the rest of the way; I just kept going forward. It was smooth after that, and lucky enough, we got the win.
“I am very happy with this win,” the rider continued. “My horses are going well. Carrabis Z has been placed in the grand prix the last two weeks, so I am very happy with how he is going. It has been a good start to the season.”
Alsvid will continue to jump the 1.45m speed classes throughout the winter circuit, where Moloney hopes he can get more wins like today.
Also competing in the International Ring on Wednesday, the $6,000 1.40m speed, sponsored by Illustrated Properties, was held in a California split with 170 entries in total. Richard Spooner and Legacy Stables LLC’s Tuxedo took home the win in Section A with the fastest of 39 clear rounds. Peter Wylde and Kathleen Kamine’s Royal Flush topped Section B.
The fourth week of competition at the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival continues on Thursday with the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 4 featured in the International Ring. In the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring, the Equine Tack & Nutritionals First Year Green Working Hunters will award championship honors for week four. For more information and full results, please visit www.pbiec.com.