Richie Moloney won his second class this week at the 39th Annual Hampton Classic, guiding Asvid to the top prize in the $10,000 Royalton Farm Open Jumper during the Wednesday morning session. His jump-off time of 39.173 seconds nipped Ramiro Quintana on Versus (39.562) and Michael Hughes on MacArthur (41.462). On Tuesday, Moloney, 32, won the $10,000 Newsday Open jumper, on Bailey.
Victory in the $10,000 Royalton Farm Open Jumper added 50 points to Moloney's total in the $30,000 Longines Rider Challenge, which he won in 2013. Moloney's 125 points puts him second to fellow Irishman Darragh Kenny (158). Shane Sweetnam, another U.S.-based Irishman, is third (105), with American Lillie Keenan fourth (90).
Moloney recalled that at this stage last year, he hadn't earned any points in the Longines Challenge, but that his results in the weekend's three big classes, which count for more points, propelled him to the title—and the money. This time, he'll have to do it in reverse, he said, especially because his top horse isn't able to compete this weekend. "There's always a chance, but my horses in the big classes aren't the fastest in the jump-offs. We'll see what happens," he said with a shrug.
But Moloney was pleased with Asvid's performance over Guilherme Jorge's testing track in the Grand Prix Ring. "It was a tough course all the way around, starting with the first fence right in front of the in-gate and the double combination at the other end of the ring, jumping into the grandstands," said Moloney. Asvid is owned by Equinimity LLC, a farm in Riverhead, NY, about 30 minutes away. "So this is our home show," said Moloney.
Asvid, now 13, won the Young Jumper Championships at the Hampton Classic as a 5-year-old. "He's a great horse—always knocking at the door," said Moloney. "In the jump-off, I just let him go at a pace he was comfortable at, and it was fast enough to win."
The Classic's world-class field of Grand Prix riders competes daily in the Classic's open jumper division, which features an FEI-recognized Grand Prix on three consecutive days, Friday through Sunday, Aug. 29-31: the $50,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix Qualifier, presented by Longines, on Friday, the $40,000 Longines Cup on Saturday, and Sunday's $250,000 Grand Prix and FEI World Cup™ Qualifier, presented by Land Rover, a qualifying competition for the 2015 Longines FEI World Cup Final in Las Vegas next April.
The rider who accumulates the most points in the horse show's Open Jumper division wins the $30,000 Longines Rider Challenge.
Further information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show is available at the Hampton Classic website at www.hamptonclassic.com.
Source: Press release by hamptonclassic.com
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