Richie Moloney Kicks Off Kentucky Spring Classic with $35,000 Welcome Stake Win

Lexington, Ky – May 17, 2017 – The Kentucky Spring Classic kicked off its international competition at the Kentucky Horse Park with the $35,000 Welcome Speed Stake CSI3*. The class tested 46 athletes over a single round speed course designed by Bernardo Costa Cabral of Portugal. Ireland’s Richie Moloney came out on top with his longtime partner Slieveanorra after producing a clear round in a time of 61.88 seconds. Margie Engle and Bocksmann’s Lazio completed the course 63.06 seconds to earn second place, while another Irish athlete, Shane Sweetnam closed out the top three spots on Cyklon 1083, crossing the timers at 63.53 seconds.

Moloney, who owns and operates Equinimity, LLC, went earlier in the class on a grey stallion, Button Sitte, who was using the Welcome Stake as a warm up for the $130,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix that will be the main event in the Rolex Stadium on Saturday evening. When he entered the ring on Slieveanorra, he knew the pace it would take to win the class was becoming increasing hard to beat. Two rounds before Moloney, Olympian Margie Engle had produced a lightening fast round on Bockmann’s Lazio, knocking the previous leader Shane Sweetnam off the top of the board.

Richie Moloney on Slieveanorra

The Kentucky Spring Classic is the first show that Slieveanorra has competed in since finishing the winter season in Wellington, Florida. The 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding has helped Moloney to multiple FEI wins in the six years that the pair have been competing together. In 2016, Moloney won the $35,000 Shelby Drazan Foundation International Open Jumpers Welcome Speed CSI4* at the CP National Horse Show, held at the Alltech Arena, just feet from Rolex Stadium where they competed today. More recently the pair won the $35,000 1.45m class during Week Ten of the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Jumper action continues tomorrow at the Kentucky Spring Classic with the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix. Scheduled to begin at 5:30pm, the highlight event is part of the Hagyard Challenge Series.  The series consists of seven grand prix classes to be held during the 2017 show series at the Kentucky Horse Park. Following the final event, a cash prize of $50,000 will be awarded to the rider accumulating the most points throughout the series.

Richie Moloney Accepting the win on Button Sitte


Richie Moloney

On Competing Two Horses:

“The first horse I was schooling because he is doing the Grand Prix on Saturday. It definitely helped that I was later to go in the order on Slieveanorra because the first half was beatable but the second group started going 5 seconds quicker, so I knew that you needed to take every chance to go as quick as I could.”

On Slieveanorra:

“He is careful and you can gallop down to jumps and he tries to always get out of the way. He is just a real winner.”

On Show at Kentucky Spring Classic:

“The Rolex Stadium is a lovely big ring and the show is very well organized with good jumps. The horses enjoy it here and I love that you can ride outside in the grass.”

$35,000 Welcome Classic 1.45m CSI3*

1.    Slieveanorra / Richie Moloney / Equinimity, LLC / 0 / 61.880
2.    Bockman’s Lazio / Margie Engle / Gladewinds Partners, LLC / 0 / 63.060
3.    Cyklon 1083 / Shane Sweetnam / Spy Coast Farm / 0 / 63.530
4.    Basimodo / Eric Navet / Signe Ostby / 0 / 63.900
5.    Hip Living / Santiago Lambre /Santiago Lambre / 0 / 64.060
6.    Baloppi / Lacey Gilbertson / Seabrook, LLC / 0 / 64.590
7.    VDL Aberlino / Samuel Parot / Samuel Parot / 0 / 65.84
8.    Boo Van Het Kastanjehof / Andrew Welles / Peter Welles / 0 / 67.330
9.    Warinde B / Lauren Hester / Hester Equestrian, LLC / 0 / 67.430
10.    Victorio 5 / Adam Prudent / Plain Bay Stables / 0 / 68.550
11.    Beorn / Alex Granato / Alliy Moyer / 0 / 68.750
12.    Carlo / Aaron Vale / North Face Farm / 0 / 68.750

It’s a Win for Mom: Farmer and It’s Me Triumph in Green Hunter 3’9

Returning for the first day of the Kentucky Spring Classic just a few short days after Mother’s Day, Kelley Farmer produced two wins aboard her mother’s gelding, It’s Me, as Bibby Farmer looked on. It’s Me, a now 9-year-old Warmblood, is a titleholder in the Stonelea Ring, having swept the Green Conformation Hunter championship as a stallion last spring. He went on to claim the Grand Open Hunter  Championship with Farmer in the irons in 2016.

Farmer of Wellington, Florida showed with two talented entries in the opening classes of Green Conformation Hunter 3’9″ division, the other being Nina Moore’s Kodachrome, winner of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby in April at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

It’s Me performed effortlessly through both of the Bobby Murphy designed courses on Wednesday, executing smooth rounds. The combination’s hard work and dedication paid off with two blue ribbons at the end of the day.

Katherine Newman placed second, piloting Allwyn Court’s Everglade VDL and Farmer also placed third with Kodachrome in the first round. Havens Schatt picked up the second place award in the second class aboard Contentintal, while Newman rounded out the top three with Everglade VDL.

This past Sunday on Mother’s Day Farmer placed second in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby with It’s Me, and although she received top honors with Point Being, she had hoped to win first aboard It’s Me for her mom. According to Farmer, her horses were still getting back into the right mindset for competition during the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, but It’s Me has shown he is back in form and ready to conquer week two.

Kelley Farmer and It’s Me win both rounds in Green Hunter 3’9


Kelley Farmer

On It’s Me:

“It’s Me has a great attitude and he always tries his hardest in the ring; he’s like a little wind up toy. He was a stallion last year and then we gelded him, but he’s never had a bad attitude and he always wants to do his best. He wants to be a good horse.”

On what makes a great show hunter:

“In a word: desire. When I’m looking for a young horse, I want them to be aware of everything, but not scared of anything. It’s a great trait in a horse, but it’s hard to come by because they have to be careful, but not nervous.”


1. It’s Me / Kelley Farmer / Bibby Farmer Hill
2. Everglade VDL / Katherine Newman / Allwyn Court

1. It’s Me / Kelley Farmer / Bibby Farmer Hill
2. Continental / Havens Schatt / Use The Ring LLC


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