A BRILLIANT display of jumping from the Irish-bred mare MHS Attraction under Spain's Sergio Alvarez Moya saw the pair take victory in the $134,000 Captive One Advisors 1.50m Jumper Series Final at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida, USA last night (Saturday), beating off a top class field of 60 horses and riders.
Bred by Michael Brennan from Co Kilkenny, MHS Attraction was formerly ridden by Ireland's Jenny Rankin for Bourns Sport Horses.
After suffering a fall from a young horse in the autumn of 2018, Moya underwent ACL surgery in Spain and only returned to riding six weeks ago,
“From the first time I rode her, I thought she was really special,” said Moya of his winning mount, a nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Numero Uno x Diamant de Semilly) that he purchased from Galway-based Bourns Sport Horses just over a year ago.
"She was just in light work at home while I was out, but my people did a great job and that work paid off. She’s naturally very fast, has an unbelievable connection, and is always in front of you,” continued Moya of the mare he plans to now prepare for next year’s competition. “You actually don’t need your leg; as soon as you open your fingers a little bit, you reach the distance. I knew how fast she is and I didn’t want to take everything out of her tonight, so I just did a nice round and I’m very happy.”
Two Irish riders finished in the top six, with Aidan Killeen taking fifth place with Fair Play, just ahead of Daniel Coyle in sixth with Farrel.
Saturday's win was the second major victory for an Irish Sport Horse this weekend in Florida. On Thursday, the Irish Sport Horse Luibanta BH and Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) took the top prize in the $72,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup.
MHS Attraction (ISH) – 2010 mare by Numero Uno (KWPN) out of French Ballerina (ISH), by Diamant De Semilly (SF). Breeder: Michael Brennan, Co. Kilkenny. Owner/ Rider: Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP)
Luibanta BH (ISH) – 2008 mare by Luidam (KWPN) out of Mabanta (KWPN), by Abantos (KWPN). Breeder: Justin Burke, Co. Galway. Owner: David Gochman. Rider: Amanda Derbyshire (GBR)