Ireland Wins $150,000 FEI Nations’ Cup at Winter Equestrian Festival

Ireland Wins $150,000 FEI Nations’ Cup for Second Consecutive Year at the Winter Equestrian Festival

Gavin Moylan and String of Pearls Excel in Young Hunter 3’6″ Division

The Irish team of Cian O’Connor, Paul O’Shea, Conor Swail, and Shane Sweetnam emerged victorious in Friday night’s $150,000 FEI Nations’ Cup at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL. The team from USA finished second, and Brazil placed third.

WATCH Cian O’Connor and Seringat Seal The FEI Nations Cup™ Win for Ireland!

The home squad for USA included Ali Wolff and Blacklick Bend Farm’s Casall, Catherine Tyree aboard Mary Tyree’s Bokai, Chloe Reid riding Team Reid LLC’s Codarco, and anchor rider Georgina Bloomberg with Gotham Enterprizes LLC’s Lilli, led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland.

Tyree jumped double clear in her first-ever senior Nations’ Cup appearance for USA and commented on a great night as well.

“I’m thrilled with how my horse went,” she stated. “He has such a great character and such a great mind. I knew once I went in the ring that everything would be okay. I jumped the first jump, and it felt like every other class that I have done so far down here. I could not be happier.”

Watch the second clear round from Catherine Tyree and Bokai!


Third place finishers for Brazil included Yuri Mansur riding his own and Euro Stables’ Babylotte, Pedro Muylaert aboard Stenio da Silva’s Prince Royal Z MFS, Luiz Francisco de Azevedo with his own Comic, and Eduardo Menezes riding his own and Gestut Lewitz’s Quintol.

Great Britain placed fourth with 28 faults, Canada placed fifth on 36 faults, and Argentina took sixth place with 43 faults.

Also competing in the International Arena on Friday, Jimmy Torano (USA) topped the $10,000 Griffis Residential CSIO Speed Stake riding Missy Clark and North Run’s Betagravin. The class saw 27 entries and 11 clear rounds, with Torano clocking the winning time of 54.90 seconds. Todd Minikus (USA) and Wyndmont’s Zephyr finished second in 56.63 seconds. McLain Ward (USA) and Ali Nilforushan’s Balando placed third in 57.98 seconds.

Jimmy Torano and Betagravin in their winning presentation with Ian
and Susan Griffis of Griffis Residential and ringmaster Steve Rector.

Ward got a win earlier in the day riding Sagamore Farm’s Calvados in the $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m Speed Challenge.

Gavin Moylan and String of Pearls Excel in Young Hunter 3’6″ Division

After winning two over fences classes and the under saddle, Gavin Moylan of Middleburg, VA, and String of Pearls were named champion of the Young Hunter 3’6″ division. The pair also earned second and third place ribbons over fences. String of Pearls is owned by Priscilla Denegre, who is the mother of Moylan’s wife, Alden Moylan. Denegre has previously shown the mare in the Adult hunters.

Of the 2010 Hanoverian by Clinton I, Moylan said, “She’s a mare that I found in Germany as a four-year-old with super breeding. I think it took us about two and a half seconds to decide to buy her when we first saw her. She’s the whole package; a good mover, a really great jumper, and has such a quality mind.”

Gavin Moylan and String of Pearls


Moylan started showing String of Pearls at WEF in 2015 and has spent the past two years competing her in the Baby Green and Pre-Green hunter divisions.

“Her owner is not able to come down this season, so I have the ride on her this winter,” Moylan explained. “We decided to move her up to the 3’6″ and now the Young Hunters are being offered, which is a great division for her to show in.”

The pair has found much success in the Young Hunter 3’6″ division, winning the championship at WEF during weeks three and five as well.

Moylan, who spends the rest of year in Middleburg, VA, has been attending WEF for the past five years. “I love it here,” Moylan continued. “The quality of competition makes you want to rise to a higher level every time you’re here.”

Hunter Kay of Charlotte, NC, and Bastille, an entry of Eliza Fauntleroy, captured the reserve title. Kay piloted the coming seven-year-old gelding by Catoki’s Cannon to first, second, fourth, and fifth place finishes over fences, and a second place finish under saddle.

Week eight of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival continues on Saturday featuring the $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m Classic, the $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix, and the $100,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic in the International Arena. The Alessandro Albanese Equitation 15-17 3’3″ division will award championship and reserve honors in Ring 6. For full results, please visit

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