Flawless Moloney hits World Cup qualifier jackpot
Kilkenny's Richie Moloney won the $215,000 Longines World Cup qualifier in fine style, guiding Carribis Z to the only clear round of the jump-off at the 4-Star American Gold Cup show in New York.
Only six of the 37 starters found the key to the first-round course designed by another Irishman, Alan Wade.
Moloney's time of 45.74 seconds was not the quickest in the second-round jump-off, but all the rest faulted, while the Irishman left all the poles in place to claim the win, and almost $71,000 in prize-money.
Runner-up was American Olympic gold medallist Laura Kraut, riding Deauville S, while Colombia's Daniel Bluman, who won the hearts of the Irish crowd when winning the Puissance at Dublin Horse Show two years ago, slotted into third place with Conconcreto Sancha LS.
Moloney, whose parents Tom and Anne run the Warrington Equestrian Centre in Kilkenny, has been based in the US for some years now, living in Wellington, Florida during the winter and splitting his time between Tryon in North Carolina and Riverhead in New York during the summer months.
The 33-year-old described his winning horse, the 12-year-old stallion Carribis Z, as "quite small but very scopey and very careful. . . and he's getting better all the time."
His next port of call is another star-studded outing in Central Park, New York later this month.
Meanwhile, Britain's Scott Brash, the World No 1 and a team gold medallist at the 2012 Olympic Games, became the first winner of the Rolex Grand Slam of Showjumping which earned him a bonus of €1m.
Consecutive wins in the major events in Geneva in December 2014, Aachen this summer and at Spruce Meadows in Calgary on Sunday were all achieved with his Olympic ride, Hello Sanctos.