Whether it was the luck of the Irish on St. Patrick's Day or just natural skill and talent, the Irish riders were on a roll on the final day of competition for week ten of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by Horseware Ireland. Richie Moloney and Equinimity LLC's Slieveanorra jumped to victory in the $33,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic to conclude the week's jumper competition.
Showing at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Sunday afternoon, 31 entries showed in the 1.50m class over a course set by Germany's Olaf Peterson, Jr. Eight competitors were able to clear the first round course without fault and seven went double clear in the jump-off. It was the Irish horse/Irish rider combination of Richie Moloney and Slieveanorra that completed the fastest clear round in 32.91 seconds for the win. The pair was honored additionally with the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award for week ten presented by Laura Whitlow.
Winner, Slieveanorra, is an eleven-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Voltaire x Flagmount Diamond. Moloney had some great results with the horse last year, including a grand prix win and second place finish in Kentucky and a fourth place finish in a World Cup qualifier in Toronto. Moloney admits that Slieveanorra has been off to a slow start this year, but hopes that he is just getting going and gearing up for the last two weeks of the circuit. Sunday's win was a good one for both horse and rider.
"The first round he was being very careful," Moloney noted. "When he is on form, he normally doesn't want to knock the jumps down, so he was definitely on form today."
Brazil's Carlos Ribas and Ronaldo, owned by Ribas and Roberto Villa Real Jr., finished second with a time of 34.39 seconds. USA's Karen Polle and With Wings were third in 35.38 seconds.
Commenting on his speedy round in the jump-off, Moloney explained, "I think I actually did one more stride between the second two jumps in the jump-off than other people, but he is naturally very quick, even over the jumps. He doesn't waste any time; he is always going."
The rider described Slievanorra further, stating, "He is kind of a sensitive horse. You have to take your time with him to do everything. Even to get up on him you have to just take a minute and pet him. My brother used to own him before my sponsors bought him, so I have known him for a long time and we have a good relationship. He is a good horse. He is a real winner when he is on form."
Final Results: $33,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic
1. SLIEVEANORRA: 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Voltaire x Flagmount Diamond
RICHIE MOLONEY (IRL), Equinimity LLC: 0/0/32.91
2. RONALDO: 1998 KWPN gelding by Ahorn x Stuyvesant
CARLOS RIBAS (BRA), Roberto Villa Real Jr. & Carlos Ribas: 0/0/34.39
3. WITH WINGS: 2003 KWPN gelding by Larino x L. Ronald
KAREN POLLE (USA), Karen Polle: 0/0/35.38
4. VALDATO: 2002 KWPN gelding by Emilion x Caretino
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Trelawny Farm, LLC: 0/0/35.55
5. WAOMI: 2003 KWPN mare by Lupicor x Boreas
MEAGAN NUSZ (USA), Amalaya Investments: 0/0/36.00
6. LITTLE TINKA: 1998 AES gelding by Tinka's Boy x Fiorello
HOLGER HETZEL (GER), Holger Hetzel: 0/0/36.43
7. WHITNEY: 2003 KWPN mare by Oklund x Iroko
TIFFANY FOSTER (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC: 0/0/36.65
8. VORNADO VAN DEN HOENDRIK: 1998 BWP gelding by Darco x Ramiro
JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN (USA), Stone Hill Farm: 0/4/34.88
9. RIVA: 2004 Canadian Warmblood mare by Rio Grande
JAY HAYES (CAN), Summerhill Farm & North Ridge: 1/79.25
10. QUIET EASY 4: 2004 Oldenburg gelding by Quidams Rubin x Zapateado
BEN MAHER (GBR), Mrs. Phillips: 4/70.92
11. ROUNDTHORN MADIOS: 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Condios x Clover Hill
LAUREN TISBO (USA), Tequestrian Farms, LLC: 4/73.26
12. CAPALL ZIDANE: 2004 KWPN gelding by Concorde x Baloubet du Rouet
RONAN MCGUIGAN (IRL), Ronan McGuigan: 4/73.61
Source: Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
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