Peter Moloney wins four-star Grand Prix in Spain

Waterford native recorded the fastest of three double clears on Ornellaia

Peter Moloney and Ornellaia. Photograph: Sunshine Tour

Peter Moloney and Ornellaia. Photograph: Sunshine Tour

 

Ireland’s best result on the international show jumping scene on Sunday came on the Sunshine Tour at Vejer de la Frontera in southern Spain where Co Waterford’s Peter Moloney won the four-star Grand Prix with Ornellaia.

Just five of the 50 starters progressed to the jump-off round with Moloney, who is from Colligan outside Dungarvan, recording the fastest of three double clears on Team Harmony’s 14-year-old Holstein mare. With a fence down against the clock, Cork native Billy Twomey finished fifth on his own and Sue Davis’s Lady Lou.

Moloney was thrilled with Ornellaia, a recent addition to his string of horses: “The mare felt amazing. This was my first show with her. I just jumped the small class with her on Thursday, jumped the ranking class on Friday and jumped clear and I decided not to go in the jump-off and it paid off today. It feels really good, she hasn’t jumped since November and she is new to me, we are still trying to figure her out and this was an amazing result.”

There was also an Irish winner in the morning’s 1.45m speed class, through Sligo’s Richard Howley and Seryna van Keulen’s British Sport Horse mare Cruising Star, while, riding Gretchen Johnson’s Dabelle, Tipperary’s Greg Broderick scored a runner-up finish in the day’s 1.45m jump-off competition.

Meanwhile in the three-star Grand Prix at Vilamoura in Portugal, Peter Moloney’s cousin Anthony Condon finished fourth with SFS Aristio having picked up a single time fault in round one.

As week eight of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida concluded on Sunday, Co Cork-born Shane Sweetnam was once again the recipient of the Niall Grimes “Cheers” perpetual trophy which is awarded each year to the top Irish rider during Nations’ Cup week at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Centre.

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