ichie Moloney and Slieveanorra. Ph. Lauren Baker
International jumper competition got underway on Wednesday at the 2016 CP National Horse Show with the $35,000 Shelby Drazan Foundation International Open Jumpers Welcome Speed CSI4*, where Ireland’s Richie Moloney and Slieveanorra, owned by Equinimity LLC, kicked off the week with a win in the one-round speed class.
“It feels great to win here tonight,” said Moloney. “It’s the first day so you never know what may happen. It’s a nice way to start the week!”
Forty-three combinations navigated the Michel Vaillancourt-designed course, but only 12 successfully finished with no faults. Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Davendy S, owned by Stone Hill Farm, held the lead for the majority of the class as second in the order-of-go with a clear time of 60.620 seconds, but by the end of the night their time would be second best to Moloney’s.
“Davendy S was great!” said Springsteen. “She just came from Washington so I was a bit worried she would be a little bit tired. She pepped up when we went in the ring though and she felt super. She loves the speed classes and it’s really her strong suit.
“The course was much tougher for the opening day than I was expecting,” continued Springsteen. “There was a lot of inside turns and awkward angles. I decided to go around because I had a feeling there was not going to be many clear rounds. I think I will jump her tomorrow and see how she does, but I think that will be enough.”
Jack Hardin Towell (USA) and New York, owned by Evergate Stables LLC, challenged Springsteen’s winning pace, but their time of 61.810 seconds would garner them third place honors in the final rankings.
Moloney has had the ride on Slieveanorra, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, for five years and has picked up multiple grand prix wins throughout their career, which now includes Wednesday night’s victory at the CP National Horse Show.
“I was a little bit lucky at the combination, but it stayed up,” said Moloney. “He’s jumped many grand prix events. Now we are doing speed classes and he’s enjoying himself. He will do the speed Thursday and Friday. In Saturday’s grand prix, I will be on Carrabis Z.”
Fourth place with a time of 63.660 seconds was Catherine Tyree (USA) and Enjoy Louis, owned by Joseph Tyree, while fifth place went to Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Siboney Ranch’s Cornwall in 64.260 seconds. Ali Wolff and Quirie 2, owned by John Wolff, rounded out the top six in 64.730 seconds.
Complete results are at this link.