The top fifteen horse-and-rider combinations based on faults after the first round (25% of the original entries) of the CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Series Final advanced to a second phase to decide the ultimate winner, and faults were cumulative through the two rounds. Moya crossed the final timers in 49.59 seconds for the win over Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) aboard Soory de l’Hallali.
“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 the Bourns family in Ireland 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.”
After suffering a fall from a young horse in the fall of 2018, Moya underwent surgery in Spain and only returned to riding six weeks ago, saying, “I started in Wellington pretty late and I didn’t know if I could ride or not. But, I had a very good doctor Dr. [Ramon] Cugat who works with all the football players and I didn’t have any pain or a lot of physical therapy. I feel good!”
De Luca and Soory de l’Hallali, owned by Stephex Stables, finished just fractions behind Moya in 50 seconds flat. Their partnership is a new one after de Luca got the ride in October and the jump-off was only the second one of their career together.
“If I went again now, I would go exactly the same,” he said. “I only started jumping her a little bigger after WEF 8 and overall I’m quite happy. She’s a For Pleasure, so she’s a little bit stiff in her shoulder, but she’s always been really careful. She used to be ridden by Zoe Conter and she did very well. She’s very sensitive and she’s a chestnut mare, but I am very excited for her future.”
The second-place finish clinched de Luca the series championship with consistent finishes throughout 11 weeks of 1.50m competition. In recognition of his series championship, de Luca was presented with a trip for six people on the CaptiveOne Advisors yacht, Reel Captivating.
“I am really happy to win overall because it’s very competitive and it’s difficult to have good results here,” concluded de Luca.
U.S. grand prix veteran Leslie Howard took third riding Donna Speciale, owned by Laure Sudreau, with another double-clear performance in 50.78 seconds.
“We’ve had sort of a funny career with her,” said Howard. “Last year she was doing the 1.60m and getting ribbons in the World Cup. As horses happen, she got out of form, just not jumping well. Now, I feel that her scope is back. I was saying to my husband Peter that it’s the first time in a year I felt she had the scope she had a year ago. You just have to play it day by day and show them in classes they’re capable of winning, and not get caught up in the fact that just because they were jumping 1.60m six months ago, doesn’t mean they want to jump1.60m tomorrow.
“I have to try not to go too fast because she’s so fast on her own,” continued Howard. “I was quick one, two, three, four, but we got totally stuck in the left turn back to the vertical, which cost me. I had seen the winner go, I knew I was out of it so then my thought process was just jump the last three jumps clean and settle for third.”
Catherine Tyree (USA) took fourth with a single time fault from the first round riding Catungee for owner Mary Tyree. Ireland’s Aiden Killeen also carried a time fault over the opening round to round out the top five aboard Fair Play, owned by
Andrea Hippeau Vogel.