Kilkenny's Richie Moloney and the Irish Sport Horse Slieveanorra, owned by Equinimity LLC, outpaced America's Jessica Springsteen to take the winners prize in the $35,000 Welcome Speed class at the four-star CP National at Lexington, Kentucky USA.
"It feels great to win here," said Moloney. "It's the first day so you never know what may happen. It's a nice way to start the week," the man from just outside the city at Warrington said.
Forty-three combinations navigated the Michel Vaillancourt-designed course, but only 12 successfully finished with no faults. Jessica Springsteen (USA) (Bruce's daughter) 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 60.62 seconds, but by the end of the night their time would be second best to Moloney's.
Moloney has had the ride on Slieveanorra, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, bred by Ronnie Hollinger from Co. Monaghan, for five years, and has picked up multiple Grand Prix wins throughout their career.
"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 event on Friday. In Saturday's Grand Prix, I will be on Carrabis Z,” he said hopefully.