Richie Moloney storms to $100,000 Grand Prix victory in South Carolina – Irish Sport Horses shine in Europe

  • 9 November 2020, 10:43

Kilkenny’s Richie Moloney and the grey gelding Merqusio, owned by Equinimity LLC, scored an impressive win in Sunday’s two-star Grand Prix in South Carolina, USA,  the first CSI ever held at Bruce’s Field at Aiken Horse Park.

Richie Moloney and Merqusio (Photo: Split Rock Jumping Tour)

Just four combinations jumped clear in the opening round to make it into the jump-off, with Moloney double handed against the clock after he produced foot-perfect rounds with Merqusio and Button Sitte. Moloney crossed the line clear in 37.26 seconds in the second round with Merqusio to take victory, ahead of Abigail McArdle (USA) in second with Victorio 5 in a time of 37.93. Third place went to Doug Payne (USA) and Quintessence when clear in 39.28, with Moloney also jumping double clear with Button Sitte in 42.10 to take fourth.

“Two of my horses jumped very well today,” said Moloney. “Merqusio jumped really well, he always does, keeping it nice and smooth. This (the $100,000 1.45m FEI Grand Prix) was the aim all week with both horses.”

Back in Europe, two Irish riders scored runner-up finishes in Grand Prix competitions on Sunday afternoon. Meath’s Alexander Butler and The Irish Sport Horse Pico finished second in the three-star Grand Prix at Vilamoura in Portugal. They were one of just three combinations to produce a double clear round to collect just over €10,000. Fifth place went to Tipperary’s Shane Breen with the Carmel Ryan-owned and bred stallion Compelling Z while Brazil’s Eduardo Pereira De Menezes took victory with H5 Chaganus.

At Valencia in Spain, Galway’s Jessica Burke and The Irish Sport Horse Express Trend, owned and bred by Liam Nicholas, finished second in the 1m50 three-star Grand Prix which was won by Robin Muhr (ISR) and Vino Z.

Pico (ISH) – 2011 stallion by Chekhov PZK (OLD) out of Da Soffer (AES) by Carrolls Flight (AES). Breeder: Norman Allen, Co. Westmeath. Owner: Timaskea Stud.

Express Trend (ISH) – 2010 gelding by Future Trend (OLD) out of Condios Express (ISH) by Condion (HOLST) bred and owned by Liam Nicholas ridden by Jessica Burke