Wellington, FL - 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.
WEF 10, sponsored by Horseware Ireland, features CSI 3* competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on March 15-19, 2017. The week's highlights include the $130,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3* and the $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series Semi-Final, presented by The McNerney Family, on Saturday, March 18.
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 less 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.
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.
Final Results: $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m
1. SLIEVEANORRA: 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Voltaire x Flagmount Diamond RICHIE MOLONEY (IRL), Equinimity LLC: 0/64.81
2. QUOINTREAU UN PRINCE: 2004 Selle Francais gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Rosire LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Laura Chapot & McLain Ward: 0/65.04
3. RYANAIR DE RIVERLAND: 2005 Selle Francais stallion by Quick Star x Papillon Rouge JULIE WELLES (USA), Alexander LLC: 0/65.33
4. BUCKLE UP: 2006 KWPN gelding by Colandro x Caretino SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), The Blue Buckle Group: 0/65.59
5. IMKE 111: 2008 Belgian Warmblood mare by Der Senaat 111 x Heartbreaker ABDEL SAID (EGY), AS Sport Horses: 0/65.63
6. VRAGANCE MANCIAISE: 2009 Selle Francais mare by Cassini II x Power Light DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Vlock Show Stables LLC: 0/65.79
7. THORNHILL KATE: 2005 Irish Sport Horse mare by Courage II x Clover Hill LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Laura & Mary Chapot: 0/65.88
8. LORDAN: 2004 Hanoverian gelding by Lordanos x Landor NAYEL NASSAR (EGY), Nayel Nassar: 0/65.99
9. INDIGO: 2000 KWPN gelding by Indoctro x Dutchman MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Griese, Garber, Hidden Creek & Gladewinds: 0/67.89
10. CARIMBA B: 2008 Hanoverian mare by Contendro I x For Pleasure ERYNN BALLARD (CAN), Looking Back Farm: 0/68.52
11. HENDRIK 41: 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Querlybet Hero x Major de la Cour ALEC LAWLER (USA), Alec Lawler: 0/71.29
12. CONCORDE: 2007 KWPN gelding by Vaillant x Concorde CHRIS PRATT (CAN), The Epic Group LLC: 0/71.59