Lexington, KY - There was a fun-filled atmosphere at the CP National Horse Show on Friday night as athletes and residents alike got in the Halloween spirit. Local groups were invited out for "Barn Night" to watch the $35,000 Accumulator Costume Class, sponsored by Salamander Hotels & Resorts. Eight riders had a perfect score over the track and jumped the high point "joker" fence without error, but it was Ireland's Richie Moloney dressed as Popeye on Alsvid that was two seconds faster to win the top prize. "It's great, and it's a very good atmosphere here," smiled Moloney after his victory. "It's a fun class, and there's good money too!"
Twenty-two horse and rider combinations tackled the Guilherme Jorge track with numbered fences 1-9. If they jumped an obstacle without error they would add that obstacle's number to their point total, but if they lowered it, that number would be subtracted. At the end of the course, riders had the opportunity to jump a final fence worth 10 points, or the higher "joker" fence, which would add 20 points if jumped correctly, or subtract 20 points if knocked down.
Eight entries managed to clear all the fences on course and the joker fence for a total of 65 points, and they were separated by their time over the track. Belgium's Nicola Philippaerts, dressed as a doctor, was the first to break the 50-second mark aboard H&M Harley Van De Bisschop, owned by Ludo Philippaerts and Ben Beevers. The pair completed the track and cleared the joker fence in 49.98 seconds.
Ireland's Conor Swail as a green orc tried to catch Nicola's time with Susan and Ariel Grange's Martha Louise, but he was just a touch too slow, breaking the beam at 50.75 seconds, for the eventual fourth place award. Another Philippaerts brother would slip ahead of him. Olivier Philippaerts dressed as the Easter bunny on Ludo Philippaerts and Gerald Nothdurft's H&M Legends of Love stopped the clock at 50.47 seconds to take over the third place position.
None of the riders could touch the time laid down by Moloney though. He and Alsvid, owned by Equinimity LLC, made an especially tight rollback to the eighth fence and managed to take the lead from Nicola with a time of 47.71 seconds, scoring the blue ribbon.
"I didn't get a chance to see anybody," admitted Moloney. "I just know my horse. I heard the numbers that everybody did, and everything came up perfectly. I think I left out strides around the turns. It was a little bit risky [to 8] if it didn't come up, but it came up very nicely. This horse has been so consistent this summer. He's been great. He's gotten one or two results at every show he's gone to all summer."
RESULTS: $35,000 Accumulator Costume Class
1 481 ALSVID RICHIE MOLONEY 65.700
2 578 H&M HARLEY VAN DE BISSCHOP NICOLA PHILIPPAERTS 65.600
3 576 H&M LEGEND OF LOVE OLIVIER PHILIPPAERTS 65.500
4 474 MARTHA LOUISE CONOR SWAIL 65.400
5 484 HICKSTEAD'S AXEL SHARN WORDLEY 65.300
6 258 CONSTABLE LAURA KRAUT 65.200
7 295 CALL ME HANNES DAVID BEISEL 65.100
8 271 CHECKPOINT U KATHERINE DINAN 65.000
9 273 NAVALO DE POHETON SCHUYLER RILEY 56.000
10 266 INDIGO MARGIE ENGLE 55.100
11 257 FLAMING STAR CHARLIE JACOBS 55.000
12 284 HH CARLOS Z MCLAIN WARD 25.600
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