Richie Moloney lands $380,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix
Kilkenny rider records one of the biggest wins of career at Winter Equestrian Festival
Richie Moloney won the five-star $380,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. Photograph: Inpho
Kilkenny-born Richie Moloney recorded one of the biggest wins of his career when landing Saturday night’s five-star $380,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida.
Just eight of the 42 combinations which started jumped clear over the first round course built by Ireland’s Alan Wade with Moloney leaving all the poles intact on Equinimity LLC’s Carrabis Z, a 13-year-old a 13-year-old Zangersheide stallion which he rode as a member of the Nations’ Cup-winning team last week.
In the jump-off, the USA’s Lillie Keenan set the standard with Super Sox when clear in 47.11, a time which was immediately bettered by New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley and Casper (46.69). Moloney then moved into the number one position when clear in 45.04. Both Kent Farrington (Uceko) and Todd Minikus (Babalou 41) of the USA were faster but had a pole down apiece.
“My horse jumped great tonight!” stated Moloney. “He was a little looky into the double in the first round; it was a tough enough line. When I did the jump-off, he was jumping better than the first round. He was more relaxed and really jumping. It is a great win.
“When I jumped, the plan was just to try and beat who was ahead of me,” Moloney said of the jump-off. “I knew there was one or two after me that would probably be faster. I was lucky enough tonight we got the win in the end. My horse deserves it.
“He was very unlucky last week in the Grand Prix. We had one down and it was probably my fault, so it was nice to come back tonight and do him justice because he deserved to be clear last week. This is his third big Grand Prix win in the last six months. He is a great horse for me and he has really stepped up in the last 12 months.”
Moloney thanked the sponsors of the night’s class, Douglas Elliman, and also praised his owners at Equinimity LLC, including Diana and Jenji Mercer, who were there to celebrate his win. “The Mercer family are great owners and great people to work for,” he acknowledged. “I appreciate them very much and it is nice to give them this win here tonight. I have been there five years and you could not find better people to work for.”