Week ten of the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by Horseware Ireland, concluded on Sunday with a win for Ireland's Richie Moloney and Alsvid in the $34,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. The FTI WEF, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, features 12 weeks of world-class competition through March 30, awarding $8 million in prize money.
Richard Jeffery (GBR) concluded week ten with 37 starters in Sunday's 1.50m Classic with seven clear rounds to jump-off. Richie Moloney qualified two horses for the jump-off, taking the lead first with Equinimity LLC's Elouise de Muze in 38.45 seconds to eventually finish third. Sixteen-year-old Joao Victor Castro of Brazil briefly took over in 38.25 seconds with Wamira, but settled for second when Moloney returned with his next mount, Equinimity LLC's Alsvid, last to go to secure the win in 36.94 seconds.
Moloney won this same 1.50m class on week ten in 2013 with Slieveanorra and had the added inspiration to defend his title this year. "I just remembered that I won it last year, so I was a little bit motivated to do it again, and I wore the same jacket," Moloney pointed out.
Class winner, Alsvid, is a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Escudo I x Azur and Elouise de Muze is a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare by Nabab de Reve x Darco. "She is pretty green and this is her first 1.50m this year, so I was very happy with her," Moloney stated. "It is her first time to go that quick in the jump-off, and she was close enough."
"The second one, I probably would not have gone as quick with, except that I knew I wasn't in the lead anymore with the other," Moloney laughed. "He was very good. He is a horse that I have had since I started the job with Equinimity, and he is a lovely horse to work with. They have owned him since he was five as far as I know, and he is always knocking on the door, so he was due a result. It is nice for him."
"Alsvid is actually very easy to ride at home and easy to jump at home, just as soon as he gets into the ring he sort of gets wound up," Moloney described. "The first three jumps or even four jumps he can be very strong, but once he settles into a round he is very good. He gets a little bit tense, he worries a little bit, but he is a careful horse and he can do a lot of different classes when we need him. He is very versatile. He jumped the derby in Spruce Meadows two years ago and and he has done some big grand prix classes, but I have never had a win like this on him. He is always in the ribbons, so it was nice to get the win today."
"I have had Elouise for two years now and I have been going pretty slow with her, but she has a lot of potential," Moloney continued. "She is ten. She is pretty inexperienced for ten, but hopefully if all goes well, she will be a very good horse in six months or next year. She is already good, and she will step up to some grand prix classes hopefully this summer."
Moloney has had a good FTI WEF circuit, including a fourth place finish with the Irish team in week eight's $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™, presented by G&C Farm, aboard Carrabis Z. "It has been really good," the rider smiled. "It was a little bit slow starting off, but the Nations Cup was good. It was nice to be on the team and we jumped a clear the second round, which was nice. Week nine I was double clear in the World Cup qualifier and placed with two horses in the 1.50m and was fifth in the 'WEF' (Challenge Cup), so it has been going well the last few weeks."
Moloney will show Alsvid and Elouise again next week and then brings his other horses back out to conclude the circuit for week twelve. He looks forward to showing at Spruce Meadows this summer and hopefully traveling to Europe to compete later in the season. He thanks his owners for their fantastic support.
Also showing on in the International Arena on Sunday, Lucas Porter kicked off the day with a one-two finish in the $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Medium Junior Jumper Classic. Porter won the class with Psychee d'Amour and finished second with Mill's Georgia, both horses owned by his family's Sleepy P Ranch LLC. The $10,000 Animo USA Medium Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic was also featured with a win for Nicole Bellissimo and Bellissimo LLC's VDL Dogan.
A special award was presented to Lauren Hough for week ten as the Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider, an award presented by Martha Jolicoeur of Illustrated Properties in memory of Dale Lawler.
Final Results: $34,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic
1. ALSVID: 2001 Hanoverian gelding by Escudo I x Azur
RICHARD MOLONEY (IRL), Equinimity, LLC: 0/0/36.94
2. WAMIRA: 2003 KWPN mare by Oklund x Animo
JOAO VICTOR CASTRO (BRA), Joao Victor Castro: 0/0/38.25
3. ELOUISE DE MUZE: 2004 Belgian Warmblood mare by Nabab de Reve x Darco
RICHIE MOLONEY (IRL), Equinimty, LLC: 0/0/38.45
4. MELODY DES HAYETTES Z: 2004 Zangersheide mare by Mozart des Hayettes X
Ryon d'Anzex X
TIFFANY FOSTER (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC: 0/0/38.97
5. CALVIN KLEIN: 2004 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Cardento x Feliciano
JONATHON MILLAR (USA), Millar Brooke Farm Ltd: 0/0/41.35
6. WAOMI: 2003 KWPN mare by Lupicor x Boreas
MEAGAN NUSZ (USA), Amalaya Investments: 0/4/38.51
7. HI EIGHT: 2001 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Alibero x Hallo
MICHAEL DESIDERIO (USA), Tranquillity Farm: 0/8/38.77
8. AZIBANTOS: 2005 KWPN gelding by Chin Chin x Cantos
GEOFFREY CASE (USA), Group C LLC: 1/78.61
9. CARTIER: 2001 Zangersheide gelding by Caretino x Zeus
MAX AMAYA (ARG), Stonehenge Stables: 1/79.10
10. VEYRON: 2006 Oldenburg stallion by Conterno Grande x Heartbreaker
LJUBOV KOCHETOVA (RUS), Ljubov Kochetova: 1/79.20
11. URUS 2: 2005 Oldenburg gelding by Canturo x Cento
LJUBOV KOCHETOVA (RUS), Ljubov Kochetova: 2/83.59
12. QUISAS DIAMANT: 2004 Selle Francais mare by Diamant de Semilly x Watzmann
STEPHAN BARCHA (BRA), Stephan Barcha: 4/73.06
Source: Press release from Equestrian Sport Productions
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