Ireland’s Richie Moloney climbed atop the podium in the $70,000 Carolina Arena Equipment Grand Prix CSI**, on July 14, during the highlight class of the week at Tryon International Equestrian Center, after piloting the Equinimity LLC entry Button Sitte around the night’s jump-off track in 38.33 seconds.
Second place honors were captured by Todd Minikus, riding to a final short course time of 38.40 seconds aboard Autumn View Farm’s Excel, a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Douglas—Tarisme VDL, Quick Star). Chile’s Samuel Parot completed the second round of competition aboard his own 15-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Andiamo—Dodana W, Royal Bravour L) Atlantis, closing out the top three with the quickest time of 36.29 seconds but adding four faults.
Moloney and the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion (Ogano Sitte—Riviera Sitte, Parco) have been partnered together for nearly 2 ½ years, and the duo have maintained a consistent record to date. “He always jumps very well here,” Moloney commented. “He had some very good results in Wellington, [Florida], and he placed in the 1.50-meter final. He’s a very nice horse and very scopey. He’s lovely to work with, and he’s a really sweet horse.”
“His strengths are his scope and how easy he is,” he continued. “Even during the week you don’t have to work too hard before a class. You just need to move him around a little bit. He’s very uncomplicated.”
The pair bested a field of 22 horse-and-rider combinations and returned to contest the Catalina Cruz-designed course with five other competitors. “It was a good course,” Moloney said. “The jump three to four sequence was quite difficult in the first round. Apart from that, I thought the course was a good course tonight.”
Moloney has been based at the venue for the majority of the Tryon Summer Series and had positive words for the facility and the “Saturday Night Lights” competition in general. “It’s a great facility and there’s always a great atmosphere and a great crowd here to watch,” he said. “[Button Sitte] also prefers the atmosphere under the lights. He’s good in smaller arenas like this because you have to keep turning and jumps are always in front of you.”