CONSIDERED as one of Ireland's finest showjumping riders, Warrington native Eddie Moloney hit the top nationally this year when claiming the coveted National Showjumping Champion title.
Entering the showjumping arena at a young age, it has been a long journey but it is one that Moloney did with style, recording wins in every category.
Combining competition with producing young horses, Moloney has built up a successful business buying and selling horses for markets at home and abroad. Working closely with siblings, Thomas, Ellie, Marie and Richie, the family business at the Top Flight Equestrian Centre, Warrington has grown from strength to strength.
This year the Kilkenny venue held its first HSI Chippison Spring Tour, which attracted one of the largest entries in the series.
"The Equestrian centre is developing all the time. Last year we held our first registered showjumping events along with our first Grand Prix," Eddie explained.
Lots of talent
"The centre is run by my parents Tom and Ann and my sisters, Marie and Elle. The Warrington Pony Club and Riding club are connected with the centre. All the family were members of the Warrington Pony Club. It is great to be able to offer the facilites to the club.
"We have a lot of budding showjumping students and this year a good group of them competed at the pony owners show in Millstreet and also in Cavan. There is plenty of equestrian talent in Kilkenny. Many of the students have high hopes of competing at the top level."
The Moloney family is steeped in equestrian experience. As a result Eddie's choice of career came as no surprise.
Moloney tasted success at an early age, making his first appearance in the RDS when he was 10 in the 128cm division. At the age of 13 he took fifth place in the RDS 148cm championship on Lakeview Lady, and a year later he took the honours in the 148cm Young Pony Championships with Garryhinch Lad.
The transition to the junior ranks proved equally as successful with Moloney being chosen to represent Ireland at two European Junior Championships in 1992 and 1993.
Moloney's natural talent did not go unnoticed. In 1995 he was approached by Max Hauri to work for him in Switzerland. It was here that he picked up valuable experience in buying and selling horses.
On his return to Ireland, Eddie began to compete at senior level. It wasn't long before he began to show huge talent in this division.
First major success
His first major success came in 1999 when he won the five-year-old Championship in the RDS on Future Flight. The combination went on to represent Ireland in the World Breeding Championships in Lanaken.
Returning a year later to Lanaken, the combination took eighth place in this world class field. In 2001 Moloney travelled again to Lanaken, this time with Master Ballinteskin to finish second in the seven-year- old final.
However, 2003 was a good year for Moloney. He took the honours in the RDS five-year-old Championship with Cavalier Starlight. The same year he recorded his first Grand Prix win with Kilmoylan Warrier.
His first Nations Cup appearance came in 2006 in Podebrady in the Czech Republic with John Mc Donald's Chatsworth Dan. Previous to this, the powerful combination had clocked up a series of results, including a second place in Hickstead, along with a string of wins on the National Grand Prix circuit.
Continuing with the upward spiral, Eddie took the honours in the SJI Premier Series with Chatsworth Dan taking the leading horse in 2009.
This year Eddie achieved the highest national accolade when he was crowned Showjumping Ireland national champion riding his own Slieveanorra.
Only back from a trip to Poland where he picked up a host of good placings at the three star Rolex FEI World Cup show, Moloney finished off the season at the Cavan Show at the final of the Kingsland/SJI Autumn Grand Prix league.
Eddie Moloney's career is certainly a success story, and there is a lot more to come from this rider. Achieving his Horse Sport Ireland level 1 coaching, Moloney intends to help other riders in their quest to make it in the industry.
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