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Irishmen rule grand prix

July 6, 2011
By MORGAN RYAN, News Sports Editor
LAKE PLACID — Jonathan McCrea and Richie Moloney turned the North Elba Show Grounds into an Irish celebration Sunday, July 3 in the $75,000 Mirror Lake Inn Grand Prix of Lake Placid.

McCrea and his horse Colorado took the top prize after completing the eight-jump tiebreaking jump-off cleanly in 40.369 seconds. Moloney, a fellow Irishman, wasn’t far behind, finishing in 40.538 seconds for second place aboard Let’s Go. Charlie Jacobs had to settle for third after knocking down a rail at the first part of a double combination.

Only five of the starting field of 24 riders advanced to the jump-off round with clean rides on the 17-jump first-round course. The two Irishmen were the only riders to go fault-free in the jump-off.

“Steve (Stephens) always builds challenging courses,” McCrea said. “If you didn’t have your exact plan, and execute it, you were in trouble.”

McCrea made a few adjustments on Colorado after seeing the course first-hand aboard Victor E earlier in the first round.

“I changed my mind with the first horse on a couple lines and it set me up for my time with Colorado,” McCrea said. “It was definitely an advantage to have already been around one time. He (Colorado) was great, I just sat there.”

McCrea, who arrived in Lake Placid on Saturday, became the second-straight Irish winner of the Grand Prix of Lake Placid, following Darragh Kenny’s win on Gael Force last year. Sunday was the first time Irishmen took 1-2 in the Grand Prix.

Colorado is a 9-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion, owned by Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables of Windsor, Conn.

“Not the fastest horse in the world, but he’s young,” McCrea said. “Originally, I planned to do the inside at the option at the vertical, the third-to-last fence. But since I was clean at that point and there were only two more after me, I decided that I’d slow down and put the pressure on the last two.”

McCrea, whose wife Chrissie McCrea was a Grand Prix champion in Lake Placid in 2007, was awarded the Whitney Perpetual Challenge trophy for the victory.

Competing for the first time in Lake Placid, Moloney took a conservative approach in the jump-off round aboard Let’s Go.

“He’s not a very quick horse,” Moloney said. “It was his first grand prix, so I didn’t want to overdo it on his first time.”

Moloney was the final jumper in the tiebreaker round and he said he realized that there was only one clear ride to that point.

Sunday was the completion of a successful Intercat, Inc. Lake Placid Horse Show for Moloney as he took first in the Whiteface Mountain 1.45m Jump-off aboard Alsvid on Wednesday and the High Peaks Resort 1.40m aboard Bailey on Thursday.

Sunday, July 3 was the closing day of the Lake Placid Horse Show. The I Love New York Horse Show began Tuesday, July 5 and ends Sunday, July 10 with another grand prix.

Earlier in the day Sunday, Charlotte Jacobs rode Karonda Van da Schl’hof to the win in the Pepsi Beverages Co. High Junior Jumper Classic. Jacobs topped a field of 23 entries, nine of whom reached the jump-off.

Jacobs qualified three horses for the jump-off and was the last entry in the class on Karonda Van da Schl’hof. She blazed over the course fault-free in 34.807 seconds to edge Christina Kelly who had led with a clean ride in 35.410 seconds on HH Narcos du Marais. Her win also gave her the horse show’s High Junior Jumper Championship.

Following the win by Jacobs, her uncle, Charlie Jacobs, rode Flaming Star to victory in the FarmVet High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. After 11 of 29 entries rode clean to reach the jump-off, Jacobs set the mark to beat with the jump-off’s first clean ride and a time of 35.250 seconds. 

Although the final four entries all rode clean, none could beat Jacobs’ time, with the closest being second place finisher Paris Salon, who had a time of 35.282 seconds on Orlando LA, and third-place finisher Lou Jacobs who had a time of 35.433 seconds on Kachina.

Salon and Orlando LA won the High Amateur-Owner Championship with the two Jacobs brothers tying for Reserve on Flaming Star and Kachina.

With their wins, the Jacobs both earned valuable points toward the $50,000 year-end championship final of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series, a national season-long series for junior and amateur-owner riders. The $50,000 Hall of Fame series final will be held at the Alltech National Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park in November.

The Lake Placid Horse Show’s closing day also saw wins by Charlene Graham on Only You in the Horse Show Services NAL Adult Amateur Hunter Classic; Maddie Sisco on Summer Time in the Horse Show Services NAL Children’s Hunter Classic; Katherine Strauss on Fardella in the Price Chopper NAL Children’s Jumper Classic (14 and under) and Rose Borzillo on The Flying Dutchman in the Price Chopper NAL Children’s Jumper Classic (15-17).  These Classics culminated The Hooker Family Children’s Jumper Division.  The horse show’s closing day also featured the Juliam Farm Lead Line Class and the C.M. Hadfield’s Saddlery Parade of Champions.

Article Photos

Morgan Ryan/Lake Placid News
Jonathan McCrea and his horse Colorado return to the grand prix ring for the awards presentation after winning the $75,000 Mirror Lake Inn Grand Prix on Sunday, July 3



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