Equestrian: Moloney seals national title
Eddie Moloney brilliantly claimed the title of National Show Jumping champion aboard Slievanorra at the National Championships in Coilog Equestrian Centre, Kildare yesterday, writes louise parkes.
However, defending champion, 22-year-old Nicola FitzGibbon, pushed him all the way when scooping yesterday's €20,000 Grand Prix honours with her gelding Puissance.
FitzGibbon's chance of retaking the title was already gone after faltering in Saturday's second qualifier won by Moloney, but she would ensure her successor would feel the pressure on his way to claiming the honours.
Edward Little, overnight second and carrying just four faults from the opening round, threw down the gauntlet when clear at his second attempt with Kalvinretto.
But FitzGibbon cantered home for a double-clear in 57.96 seconds and, when Moloney decided to hedge his bets with a clear that was quick enough for second place and good enough to clinch the title, FitzGibbon took the lion's share of the prize fund.
Tipperary rider Greg Broderick won the 7 Year Old Championship with Ballypatrick Mystique and the 5 Year Old title with Cappaneleigh Cruise, while Vincent Byrne topped the 6 Year Olds with Mr Rockafeller.
Meanwhile, Denis Lynch went home €65,000 richer after collecting €57,000 for runner-up spot in the Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Holland on Saturday and another €8,000 in yesterday's Medium Tour Final.