Category Archives: Tryon

Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili Win $204k Coca-Cola Grand Prix CSI 4*

Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – June 9, 2018 – The $204,000 Coca-Cola® Grand Prix CSI 4* for the Governor’s Cup at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) ended in victory for Kristen Vanderveen (USA) aboard Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili, navigating the short course in 36.573 seconds to capture the highlight class of the 90th Tryon Riding & Hunt Club (TR&HC) Charity Horse Show Spring 6 competition. Aaron Vale (USA) took second aboard Finou 4, a 2006 Hanoverian gelding (Flashlight 16 x Concetto Famos) owned by Thinks Like a Horse and Donald Stewart, completing his jump-off round in 38.028 seconds, and Pablo Barrios (VEN) rounded out the podium steering his own Elana 22, a 2009 Dutch Warmblood mare (Harley VDL x Almox Prints), to third place honors in 38.807 seconds.

Thirty-one entries tested the first-round track set by Ireland’s Alan Wade, and nine horse-and-rider pairs returned for a shot at the podium. Vanderveen and the 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Berlin x Udarco), owned by Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC, were sixth to go and put down a fast, clear run that could not be contested.

Vanderveen described how her crowd-favorite mount has been competing for three weeks following a four-week break, and she “just had a feeling” about her win. “I can feel it with him,” she said. “He loves this sport so much and he has a lot of personality. He had about a four-week break, and this is our third week back showing. Typically the first week he is a little fresh; the second week we work out the kinks, and by the third week he is really focused. He gave me a really good feeling,” she said.

Explaining that she initially planned to try a new mount in the CSI 4* competition, Vanderveen said, “It was actually never my plan to jump him tonight, either. I have a new horse that I am really excited about, so I thought this class was where I really wanted to try and see where we were at together as a team. However, Frosty jumped so well on Thursday, I just couldn’t not use him! He’s my main man.”

Although she went late in the short-course order of go, Vanderveen elected not to watch the riders before her. She elaborated, “My horse has such a huge stride. It is deceiving, which allows us to do things that other horses can’t do. I had my plan pretty much set before any of them went. It is crazy how much ground he can cover,” she said of the stallion’s forward stride.

“I had to really focus on not rushing him and just letting his stride help him out tonight without me trying to force the issue,” she continued. “Sometimes I get a little too excited and it’s not necessary. Every time I start to mentally rush, I rush him and I might have a fault. I have to focus on the fact that I have a super fast horse. He’s got it covered and I just have to keep my cool.”

A frequent blue-ribbon recipient at Tryon, Vanderveen relayed that she’s glad to be back winning big, and in a familiar place. “It is really exciting to win tonight. It sounds silly, but it feels like it has been a while since we have had a big win. We went and did FEI World Cup Finals™ in Paris and it was a great experience to be in Miami, New York, and all of those big places. It was a lot of traveling and good placings and going from CSI 5* to CSI 5*, so it is nice to pull in a win back here at our venue. It feels like home,” she concluded.

Please visit www.tryon.com or call (828)-863-1000 for more information.

Luis Pedro Biraben Scores Big Win with Caillou in $70,000 1.50m Welcome Stake CSI 4*

Louis Pedro Biraben and Caillou. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – June 7, 2018 – Luis Pedro Biraben (ARG) and Caillou flew through the short-course timers in 38.827 seconds to claim victory in the $70,000 1.50m Welcome Stake CSI 4*, a highlight jumper class during the 90th Tryon Riding & Hunt Club (TR&HC) Charity Horse Show Tryon Spring VI at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Fernando Cardenas Jr. (COL) and his own Quincy Car, a 2004 Oldenburg stallion (Galiani Car x Amour Parfait), put in the only other clear jump-off round to earn the red rosette in 40.132 seconds, while Samuel Parot (CHI) and the Stransky’s Mission Farms, Inc. entry Thriller P, a 2004 Swedish Warmblood stallion (Cardento x Lucky Night), rounded out the podium on their four-fault, 36.294 second short-course performance.

Fifty entries tested the Alan Wade (IRL) course before six horse-and-rider pairs returned to tour the short course. Biraben and the 2007 gelding were second to go and were uncatchable after putting in a fast and clear performance. Biraben complimented his mount’s success in the past year, saying, “He finished the Wellington season nicely and then [did well] in Kentucky. Now he has a win here after competing well last week.”

“It rode really nicely,” said Biraben of the track. “There were not so many clears today. When I walked it I thought there would be ten, maybe twelve clear, and to have only six return in such a big field and others with so many faults on different obstacles throughout the course is significant.”

Based on his performance, Biraben explained that he has changed his plan to include piloting Caillou in Saturday’s $204,000 Coca-Cola Grand Prix CSI 4* instead of Colorado 210, who finished on 15 faults, he joked: “I don’t know what happened with [Colorado 210], but Alan is a top course designer. It was a very nice course to ride, with distances maybe a little bit short, but still very nice.”

After competing for the past two weeks at TIEC, Biraben plans to take the next two weeks off before setting off on a tour that includes competing in Kentucky, two additional weeks of competition at TIEC, and tentative appearances at competitions in Michigan, Chicago and New York.

Please visit www.tryon.com or call (828)-863-1000 for more information.

Parot Jumps to Success during Conclusion of Tryon Spring V CSI 3*

Samuel Parot and Quick du Pottier. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – June 3, 2018 – Chile’s Samuel Parot concluded competition at Tryon Spring V on a high note, guiding his own 2004 Selle Francais gelding Quick du Pottier (Hurlevent de Breka x Silnette de Menell) to a first place victory on the Derby Field at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in the $35,000 1.45m Sunday Classic CSI 3*.

Parot piloted his mount across the fast track in 39.44 seconds, besting more than 25 combinations and riding more than two seconds ahead of second place pair Aaron Vale (USA) and Cassevel, a 2007 Holsteiner gelding (Cassini II x Quidam de Revel) owned by Hays Investment Corp., who claimed the red rosette after a jump-off time of 41.57 seconds. Third place honors were awarded to Manuel Torres (COL) aboard Santa Catalina Farm’s Alejandro, a 2009 Rheinlander gelding (Acorado’s Ass x Continue), who rode through timers in 41.7 seconds.

Parot and the gelding have been competing at the FEI level together since 2016 and have notched several top finishes at the venue. Of his turnout for the day’s class, Parot explained, “This horse has a lot of experience out on the grass. I’ve taken him out on it a lot in Europe at shows over there. It’s easy for him to come out here. This footing is fantastic.”

The duo competed throughout the course of the week, placing fifth in the $35,000 1.50m Welcome Stake CSI 3*, after riding to the fastest jump-off time of 33.505 seconds, but adding four faults to their score.

“He jumped out here the first day and we had a fast jump-off, but knocked a rail,” exclaimed Parot. “Yesterday he competed in the Grand Prix, but had two down very quickly, so I retired him to save him for today. That was the right choice and today he was fantastic.”

Parot plans to continue on with competition next week during the CSI 4*, and will stay at the venue until the end of July. He concluded, “For the summer I will stay here and then I will figure it out from there!”

Please visit www.tryon.com or call (828)-863-1000 for more information.

Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili Capture $35k 1.50m Welcome Stake CSI 3*

Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Hardin Towell and Sandetto Open Week with Win in $6,000 1.40m Power & Speed CSI 3*

Mill Spring, NC – May 31, 2018 – Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili jumped to the top of the leaderboard during the $35,000 1.50m Welcome Stake CSI 3* of Tryon Spring V at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Vanderveen and the 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Berlin x Udarco), owned by Bull Run Jumper’s Six LLC, blazed through fast-track timers in 33.662 seconds, claiming first place in the competitive class.

Of her well-known mount, Vanderveen commented, “He’s been feeling really good for the past couple of weeks, but it just hasn’t really gone our way the last few times. Today, he felt great. I had a great warm-up and I thought that going in. The course was really well done. It was just enough that it was fun and competitive, but not entirely out of control.”

Second place honors were awarded to Carlos Ramirez (COL) and his own 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion Happy Wandor Van’t Roosakker (Wandor Van de Mispelaere x V Cento), after riding to a jump-off time of 36.933 seconds around the Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) designed course. Samuel Parot (CHI) and Dazzle White, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Calvino Z x Narcos II), rounded out the top three, jumping the short-course in 38.788 seconds.

Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili have become fan favorites at TIEC as the pair have amassed an impressive record at the venue over the past few years. Vanderveen plans to continue her season in Tryon, competing in next week’s CSI 4*, before taking a small break.

“I’ll be competing here in next week’s CSI 4*,” she explained, “and we’ll actually take a break for two weeks after that. It’s been a while since we’ve had that kind of break and then we’ll be back here for a few weeks. My fall season really picks up this year. I’m trying to develop some of my eight- and nine-year-old horses, so that I have some coming up behind Frosty.”

The pair is coming off an intense spring campaign that included representing the United States at the FEI World Cup Finals™ in Paris, France at the end of April. Of her first European experience, Vanderveen said, “It was great and it was my first time going over to Europe, so that in and of itself was great to experience. I think you realize once you’re there that when you’re here in Tryon, you compete with just as good a quality of riders. It was helpful to have that to keep expectations realistic and to understand that it’s not necessarily a whole new sport over there. It’s the same.”

The $6,000 1.40m Power & Speed CSI 3* competition hosted on Wednesday, May 30 to start the week awarded the blue ribbon to Hardin Towell (USA) and Vlock Show Stables LLC’s Sandetto, a 2008 Oldenburg stallion (Sandro Boy x Chellano Z), after the pair crossed through the timers in 28.872 seconds. Santiago Lambre (MEX) and his own 2008 Belgian Warmblood stallion Ibabco (Nabab de Reve x Darco) clinched second place, riding to a time of 29.654 seconds. Daniel Bedoya (BOL) and Carolyn M. Elsey’s 2004 Zangersheide mare (Quasimodo Z x Nimmerdor) Quilona V Z took third, marking 30.005 seconds.

Please visit www.tryon.com or call (828)-863-1000 for more information.

Rowan Willis and Everse W Finish on High Note at Tryon Spring 4

Rowan Willis and Everse W. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – May 27, 2018 – Tryon Spring 4 competition concluded Sunday at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) with a win for Australia’s Rowan Willis aboard Everse W in the $35,000 1.45m Sunday Classic CSI 3*, stopping the short-course timers in 40.162 seconds. Daniel Bedoya (BOL) claimed second place honors with Carolyn M. Elsey’s 2004 Zangersheide mare, Quilona V Z (Quasimodo Z x Nimmerdor), clearing the course in 41.6 seconds, while Deborah Stephens (USA) rode Cairo B, a 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Vermont x Mr. Blue) owned by Centennial Farm Inc., to third place after their 41.865-second performance on the short track.

Willis and Dinah Posford’s 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lexicon x Carthago) were last to go after 16 entries toured the first round and six pairs returned to test the short track. Willis also achieved eighth place aboard his own Shark, a 2008 Anglo European Sport Horse gelding (Arko x Pilot), after a speedy four-fault first round.

“The course was strong enough, actually, and it rode how it walked for me,” Willis said of the track set by Hector Loyola (PRI). “I thought it was going to be a little bit easier being a 1.45 meter on Sunday, but [Hector] builds a tough, but nice course. It was a competitive enough jump-off. I was lucky to go last because Everse W has been drawn first all week, so that was nice. When you let him off and go fast he’s got such a big stride and just covers the ground easily.”

Entering the class with two mounts that also tested the $70,000 Spy Coast Farm Grand Prix CSI 3* Saturday night was a last-minute but fruitful decision, Willis explained, as he was hoping to improve his rides on both mounts before leaving the venue.

“I’m off to Spruce Meadows next. I was actually going to start driving there today, but after I didn’t ride so well in the Grand Prix last night, I thought we had to stay and jump today,” said Willis of his two mounts Everse W and Shark.

Willis has been named to the Short List for the Australian Jumping Team ahead of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) hosted at TIEC September 11-23, 2018, and while he’s not aiming Everse W at the Games, Willis commented that his first experience as a competitor at the venue was positive, and he hopes to carry this momentum forward.

“It’s a great facility. I’ve been very impressed,” he emphasized. “It’s lovely, and I’m really excited about coming back in September. [Everse W] is a great horse, but I’m not aiming him at this WEG since he’s only nine. I’ve got my older one Blue Movie here that I’m hoping to bring back. Maybe [Everse W] for the next one!”

Everse W started off Eventing before Willis acquired the ride for owner Dinah Posford and plans to continue building the gelding’s experience at Spruce Meadows as he prepares for potential WEG contention, he noted. “Hopefully next time I’m back here I’ll be winning, too!”

Please visit www.tryon.com or call (828)-863-1000 for more information.

Holloway and Eastern Jam Win $70k Spy Coast Farm Grand Prix CSI 3* during Tryon Spring 4

Hunter Holloway and Eastern Jam. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – May 26, 2018 – The $70,000 Spy Coast Farm Grand Prix CSI 3* hosted at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) during Tryon Spring 4 saw Hunter Holloway (USA) and Eastern Jam secure top honors after the pair flew around the short course in 45.06 seconds ahead of Santiago Lambre (MEX) and his own Cetano Van Aspergem Z, a 2009 Zangersheide gelding (Clinton x Ahorn Z), who finished in second with a time of 45.525 seconds. Richie Moloney (IRL) claimed third place aboard Rocksy Music, a 2008 Irish Sport Horse gelding (ARS Vivendi x Diamond Serpent) owned by Equinimity LLC, with a time of 44.876 second and a four-fault finish.

The field of twenty-two entries saw four pairs return to test the short course designed by Hector Loyola (PRI), and Holloway was last to go in the jump-off. Lambre had just finished the first clear round in the jump-off, but Holloway felt she could complete the fast track just a tiny bit quicker than Lambre.

“I knew I could shave off a little time on Santiago’s round and [Eastern Jam] is a really quick horse on his own, so he helped me out a lot. He was a great boy,” said Holloway of her jump-off strategy.

“This horse is amazing,” she said of the 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lexicon x Monaco) owned by Hays Investment Corporation. “I got him about two years ago now and have just brought him along slowly. He’s really developed into an amazing Grand Prix horse. He just won the Grand Prix in Omaha, so to come back and win his second Grand Prix in a row is super. He just moved up to the FEI level mid-circuit in Wellington, so I’m really proud of him.”

Holloway complimented the course designer on a “lovely” course, saying, “I thought it had a good flow and it was fair. It was set really well and rode nicely,” she explained. “There was a question about how many strides to do in the five to the six – I did six to seven on mine, and on my other ride I did six to six, so I think it required knowing your horse there, but overall I thought it was a great track.”

Though her mount is still new to the international competition action, he took well to TIEC’s electric atmosphere and Holloway added that Eastern Jam actually enjoys the spotlight.

“In general, this horse is a winner. He likes to win and to be in the arena and have it be all about him – so he’s pretty straightforward,” she said. “We’ll keep developing him since he’s still fairly green. We’ll show the next two weeks here and then he’ll have a week or two off before we go to Spruce Meadows and see how he is there,” she concluded.

Please visit www.tryon.com or call (828)-863-1000 for more information.

Torano Triumphs at Tryon Spring III with Two Impressive Wins

Jimmy Torano and Glasgow de Muze. Photo Credit ©TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – May 22, 2018 – Jimmy Torano of Wellington, FL and Glasgow de Muze stole the show in the $25,000 Marshall & Sterling Grand Prix on Saturday, May 19, dashing through the short-course timers in 37.968 seconds to claim top honors, besting a field of eighteen entries. Sarah Bagworth of Toronto, ON and her own Malou took second place, navigating the jump-off track in 42.655 seconds, while Torano once again rounded out the podium aboard his own Day Dream, finishing their second round in 36.878 seconds with an added four faults.

The course, set by Catalina Cruz (MEX), saw only five of eighteen pairs return to test the jump-off track. Torano had three mounts entered, and noted that piloting multiple rides had its advantages in the jump-off.

“I knew that there were only five in it and I had a couple behind me. Celso [Ariani] is very fast and I knew I had another ride last in the jump-off, so I thought I’d really take a shot with my first horse [Day Dream]. I got into a little trouble turning back on the double.”

“When Sarah went she played it smart. She went for a slow clear, but forced me to jump clear and be faster than her. I kind of stuck with my original plan. I went for the win and went fast. I figured that in the worst case, I would have one down and come in second, and best case I wanted to make sure that if I went fast enough I’d win the class.”

Of the course and his plan for the three mounts, Torano explained, “I went second in the order and I stuck to my plan. After the double oxers on the far end of the ring, the seven strides got very steady with a few people ending up going six strides. I stuck to my plan with all three horses and it worked out; I was first and third so I can’t complain. It really worked out well for my horses.

“The course rode nicely tonight. I thought the designer did a very nice job for the field she had here. There were only five clear out of 18, and I’m sure it was tough to build when she didn’t really know the group of people she was going to get. I thought she did a really good job,” concluded Torano.

Earlier in the week, Torano also galloped away with both first and second place in the $25,000 Welcome Grand Prix on Thursday, guiding Day Dream to first with a jump-off time of 36.202 seconds and Ilan Ferder’s Glasgow De Muze to second place after finishing the short track in 36.245 seconds. Nicole Bellissimo rode Bellissimo LLC’s Jersey V.D. Hunters to third place honors after crossing the timers in 38.169 seconds, with 17 entries testing the course in total.

Torano has been piloting Day Dream since the horse turned seven, but has only had the ride on Glasgow for a few weeks. Tryon Spring III was the pair’s first time in the competition ring together. He explained, “Oddly enough, that’s a horse [Glasgow] that I do not know at all. The Grand Prix was only the second class I’ve ever ridden him in. He belongs to a very close friend of mine, Ilan Ferder, who called me last week and said, ‘I’m going to send you a horse to ride.’ I owe him a lot, and a huge thank you to Ilan for believing in me and trusting me with that horse. So far, we’ve had great success with him. A good start.”

As Torano rounded out his third successful week at the venue, his original plans have shifted. “My plans were to leave after the conclusion of this week,” he said. “I changed all of my plans and I’m actually staying here for three more weeks. That’s how much we like it and how much our customers like it. I think that’s really the root of it. I love this horse show. I love the facility and the footing. There really is nothing to not like about all of it. I think that’s where success starts, when you’re happy to be in a place.”

Jumper Highlights

Elizabeth Eaton of Bernville, PA and her own Herault championed the NAL/WIHS Adult Amateur Jumper Classic after completing their jump-off round in 35.951 seconds to beat the class. Diana Harris of Creedmoor, NC and her own Flair WS collected second place with a time of 40.438 seconds. Lily Bachofen of Raleigh, NC achieved third place aboard her own Seaside Riviera, rounding out the top three with a time of 40.764 seconds.

The $3,000 NAL 1.20m Low Junior Jumper Classic awarded the win to John Angus of Fort Lauderdale, FL and the Stephanie Angus owned Seacrest’s Calvin, with a jump-off time of 37.497 seconds. Jamie Buis of Wellington, FL and Bull Run’s Revelation, owned by Bull Run Jumpers Inc., were presented with second place after completing the track in 38.212 seconds. Faith Davis of Gurley, AL placed third with her own Dekadenz after riding through the fast track timers in 38.994 seconds.

Sarah Meyer of San Antonio, TX rode to victory aboard Cardentos J.W.B., owned by Don Meyer, in the $3,000 NAL 1.20m Low Amateur Jumper Classic after stopping the jump-off timers in 39.249 seconds. Arianna Tucker of Kannapolis, NC and her own Cludy took second place with a time of 40.591 seconds. Courtney Osborne of Marietta, GA and her own TY Boy earned third place after a jump-off round ending in 43.587 seconds.

The $5,000 NAL/WIHS 1.30m Medium Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic was won by Manuel Fernandez Hache of Wellington, FL and Aristides Fernandez Zucco’s Kanisso, after crossing through jump-off timers in 37.742 seconds. Faith Davis of Gurley, AL and her own Cardiff CR earned second place with a time of 38.657 seconds. Judy Sutton of Maggie Valley, NC finished in third place with Win A Date after contesting the course in 40.384 seconds and with eight added faults.

The $10,000 1.40m High Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic saw Grace Boston of Owings Mills, MD and Orpen Horses’ Campanula take first place, stopping the jump-off timers in a quick 44.076 seconds. Manuel Fernandez Hache of Wellington, FL also took home second place aboard Aristides Fernandez Zucco’s Al Calypso after finishing the track in 39.523 seconds, but with four added faults. Maria Gabriela Brugal of Santo Dominigo, FL scooped up third place aboard her own Southern Comfort, finishing with a first round time of 78.953 seconds.

Hunter Highlights

The $10,000 USHJA International Derby saw Liza Boyd of Camden, SC guide the Finally Farm Inc.’s Clemens through two rounds in Tryon Stadium at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) Friday night, scoring 383 to take the lead ahead of 20 additional entries chasing behind. Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, AL took second place honors aboard Triompf, owned by Loretta Patterson, with a score of 373, while Boyd also took third, riding Leonardo Aljure’s Easter to a score of 366. The highlight class of the World Champion Hunter Rider week showcased top hunter talent under the lights in the iconic Tryon Stadium, with a course designed by Andres Christiansen.

With 35 entries presented on the Derby Field at TIEC for the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, Sara Taylor of Sherborn, MA piloted Eight Oaks’ So Fun, to victory on a two-round score of 184, scoring 90 and 94. Wakefield, RI native Jennifer Hannan rode Cynthia Sulzberger’s Coeur de Leon to second place on a score of 180.5, and Mary Antonini of New Orleans, LA secured third place aboard her own MTM Making Waves, their two round score totaling 178.5.

Liza Boyd of Camden, SC aboard Cassanto, owned by Maggie Hill, secured champion honors in the Performance Hunter 3’6″, ahead of Jennifer Bliss of Wellington, FL aboard Poker Face, owned by Harris Hill Farm, LLC.

Emma Terry of Cartersville, GA and Jackie Sawyer’s Blue Eyed Bandit were champions of the Short Stirrup 2′ Hunter Division. Reserve champion was awarded to Anna Scott Ault of Kennesaw, GA riding Jackie Sawyer’s Dapple Me Grey.

Jennifer Hannan of Wakefield, RI and Jennifer Smith’s Ocean Mist finished atop the division in the USHJA Hunter 3′ Division. Hannan collected reserve champion with Namaste, owned by Cynthia Sulzberger.

The Greenville-Spartanburg Airport Small Junior Hunter 3’6″ Division champion was awarded to Elly Ficca of Charlotte, NC riding her own Cleopatra’s Smile. Reserve champion was awarded to Maggie Hill of Jackson, WY and her own O’Ryan.

Ashley Conkle of Wellford, SC was awarded champion of the USHJA Hunter 2’6″ Division with winning mount Pillow Talk, owned by Chris Brown. Reserve champion was presented to Caroline Foto of Waxhaw, NC and Huckleberry Finn, owned by Sarah Hattaway.

Sadie Parker of Waxhaw, NC and Jump Forest Jump, owned by Parker, finished atop the USHJA Hunter 2’3″ Division ahead of Grace Mangrum of Milton, GA, who collected reserve champion with her own Josiahs Elegant Comet.

The Large Junior Hunter 3’6″ Division was won by Grace Boston of Owings Mills, MD and Major Key, owned by Orpen Horses. Devin Seek of Ocala, FL and Don Stewart’s Addison captured reserve champion honors.

For more information, please visit www.Tryon.com.

Leslie Burr-Howard and Donna Speciale Best Field in $70k Tryon Resort Grand Prix CSI 2

Leslie Burr-Howard and Donna Speciale. Photo Credit ©Sportfot & TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – May 5, 2018 – An electric atmosphere came to a hush at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) on Saturday night, as Leslie Burr-Howard (USA) and Donna Speciale took to Tryon Stadium as the final combination in the jump-off round of the $70,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix CSI 2*. The duo leapt to a fast, first place finish to revive the highly anticipated “Saturday Night Lights” competition and mark the first FEI show jumping victory of the 2018 season.

A total of 45 combinations took to the arena to contest the Richard Jeffery (GBR) designed course, with only eight returning to take their turn around the fast track. The field saw a battle until the very end, with Howard and the 2008 Dutch Warmblood mare (Cavalier x Concorde) claiming the blue ribbon after securing the fastest time as the last pair on course for the evening, stopping the timers in 42.167 seconds.

“I thought Richard [Jeffery] did a great job,” Howard explained of the night’s track. “It’s a sign of a good course when you have somewhere between six to eight clean. It’s a nice number. I think he did a great job because he had a bit of a mixed bag of horses. There were some young horses, some older horses, some young riders and I think he did well to get the eight clean that he did.”

Second place honors went to Ireland’s Paul O’Shea aboard Tequestrian Farms, LLC’s 2005 Belgian Warmblood gelding, Imerald Van’t Voorhof (Emerald Van’t Ruytershof x Bacardi-Orange de Muze), after racing around the jump-off track in 42.374 seconds. Third place was captured by Catherine Tyree (USA) and Mary Tyree’s Catungee, a 2006 Holsteiner gelding (Contact Me x Liatos), completing their round in 42.534 seconds.

Howard and the mare, owned by Laure Sudreau-Rippe and Peter Howard, rode to the top of the leaderboard just two-tenths of a second ahead of O’Shea, who was then knocked into second place. Despite the speed, Howard noted that she didn’t necessarily have one particular spot in the jump-off that shaved off time and credited the mare for her overall quickness.

“She is a very fast horse across the ground,” Howard said. “If you counted strides everywhere, I probably did more strides than the ones that were second and third, but she is such a quick horse that I knew I could have the luxury of not feeling like I had to leave out a stride in every line.”

The duo just returned from a light yet successful winter show season in Wellington, Florida, where they were the victors during the eleventh week of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival. Howard, who still considers the mare a less experienced competitor, intends to ask for more from the talented young mount as the summer progresses.

“I showed her very sparingly in Florida because I’m breaking her into the 1.60m level. I didn’t do a lot with her because I consider her to still be young. She’s ultra-careful, ultra-fast. We have a lot coming up in the summer, so I went for an easy Florida with good results before coming here. We will go to Lexington next week, then a month off, then off to Calgary.”

Howard concluded by complimenting the facility at TIEC and the atmosphere as a whole. She commented, “They’re doing an amazing job with the facility. I have to say tonight the footing was lovely. They’ve done a great job. It’s a great atmosphere here and they’re turning this into a world-class venue very quickly, probably faster than they thought they would be!”

To learn more about TIEC, please visit www.Tryon.com.

Lambre Stamps His Name on First Week of 2018 FEI Jumping CSI 2* Competition at TIEC

Santiago Lambre and Doloris. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – May 3, 2018 – The Tryon Spring I CSI 2* kicked off this week at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) with an FEI victory for Mexico’s Santiago Lambre and Doloris, continuing a competitive first week of international jumping at the venue. Lambre started the week with a blue ribbon in the FEI $6,000 Power & Speed 1.40m CSI 2* aboard D’Artagnan, and came out strong once again in the $35,000 1.45m Welcome Stake CSI 2* to secure top honors.

Lambre and his Dutch Warmblood mare (Harley VDL x Colinda D) blasted through the Richard Jeffery (GBR) designed track with a quick round, stopping the clock in 38.11 seconds and besting the class of 64 original horse-and-rider combinations.

Lambre has had the ride on the mare since she was a six-year-old and began competing her about a year and a half ago. With both consistent and impressive performances, the pair has continued their success this season, having notched five top five CSI finishes last fall at the venue, while tossing two champion placings into the mix as well.

A total of 13 entries contested the jump-off, while Lambre rode three different horses in the class. At the conclusion, it was Doloris who ultimately returned to prove her place at the top of the class. The final ride of the day went to Carlos Ramirez (COL) aboard his own 2007 Belgian Warmblood stallion Happy Wandor Van’t Roosakker (Wandor van de Mispelaere x V Cento).

The duo nearly took the lead, finishing just tenths of a second behind Lambre to receive second place honors with a jump-off time of 38.76 seconds. Third place was captured by Ireland’s Richie Maloney, who piloted Equinimity LLC’s Belgian Warmblood gelding Merqusio (Cicero Z x Flamenco de Semilly) to a jump-off time of 39.04 seconds.

For more information on TIEC, please visit www.Tryon.com.

Sean McDermott and Gibralfaro Finish Strong at 72nd Annual Tryon Block House Races

Sean McDermott and Gibralfaro (right). Photo credit: Madison Ibach/Tryon Resort.

Columbus, NC – April 15, 2018 – In stunning back-to-back wins at the 72nd Annual Tryon Block House Races on Saturday, April 14, jockey Sean McDermott was awarded the Top Jockey award and honored for his efforts in the coveted Block House Race, as well as in the Dr. John Bradshaw Memorial Race. The iconic event featured five thrilling races in front of a packed crowd at the Green Creek Race Track for the second consecutive year.

Humbly, McDermott gave credit to his horses and support team for the victories: “Two wins today – though I wish it was three! You can’t do it without the horses, and [trainer] Jack Fisher traditionally starts his a little late [in the season] and we use their first few races as a prep, and it sets them up nicely for their second runs of the season. They have a bit of longevity through the season. If you’re not on the horses you can’t win the races, and we’re grateful to have all the good horses we do that make our job easy.”

Founded by the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club 72 years ago, the Tryon Block House Races is now produced and managed by the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). The event drew 39 entries across five races throughout the afternoon chasing $130,000 in prize money. Each race included two laps around the course, and six hurdles adorned the rolling 2 1/8 miles of track.

The highlight race for the day, The Block House, saw six entries fly around the track in three minutes and 55 and two-fifth seconds. McDermott and Gibralfaro took top honors and were awarded The Roger Smith Cup, presented by Roger and Jennifer Smith, after a tight battle with Lord Justice, another Irish-bred and Jack Fisher-trained horse.

“That’s a beautiful horse,” McDermott said of Gibralfaro. “Riverdee Stables have just imported him from England, and it’s very difficult for a horse to win his first time off the boat over here, given the ground conditions and the different types of hurdles, so it’s just a credit to his honesty and his engine that he got it done, and I’m sure he’ll only improve.”

Of his second winning mount, Overwhelming, McDermott revealed that the horse’s previous wins over hurdles made him a strong contender coming into the flat race, as the horse is in top form after being rehabbed throughout all of last season for a minor injury.

“Overwhelming is a class horse – I think he’s won three stakes over hurdles. We had a little prep run in Camden and a training flat race, so today we thought he’d win,” McDermott admitted. He goes well on this ground, but he’s had a small tendon injury in the past and so this was the best fit for him in his schedule, and we’re very happy. It was a lovely stepping stone for him, and I presume he’ll go for a hurdle race now. He’s a tough horse over two miles over hurdles – he’s a good cruising speed and we’re very happy with him.”

National Steeplechase Association Director of Racing, William Gallo, Jr., raved about the event’s success. “This is my favorite race,” he emphasized. “It’s my second year here. I was very impressed by this venue last year, obviously for its inaugural event, but it’s a marvelous race course. The horsemen really like it. You can tell by the entries – it’s well-supported and it’s got so much potential for the future as well. I could see it being a permanent site, and being a premier racetrack in America for Steeplechase racing.”

McDermott was not the only jockey to pull off a double on the day – Shane Crimin also took home two first place finishes: first in The Carter P. Brown Memorial maiden claiming race at the beginning of the event aboard Magalen O. Bryant’s Bob’n for Silver, and again in the Tryon Riding & Hunt Cup Ratings Handicap Hurtle, guiding Life Said for trainer and owner Richard L. Valentine.

“He’s not the fastest,” Crimin said of the grey gelding. “I just let him roll along and he comes away, so it was pretty straightforward with him. The track rode beautiful today – it’s nice. I was here last year and had three seconds, so hopefully it ends up better today.”

Sure enough, Crimin delivered a winning ride aboard Life Said just two races later in the Handicap Hurtle, beating out ten other pairs: “This one was different [than the last] – he [has] more of a gear and I can just sit and ride me race and just creep away into it like he did. While the other fella [Bob’n for Silver] is a bit slow in the gallops, this one has a turn of foot, so two very different rides.”

The Cannon Harmon Memorial Race was won by Last Shani with Jack Doyle in the irons, beating out five other entries to bring home the trophy on his very first run over hurdles. Doyle commented on the nature of the track, to which he’s been twice: “I was here last year, and the track is in great condition. You want a quick horse around here – it’s a pretty thick track, but it rides fair. It’s nice,” he said. “It was this horse’s first run over hurdles, so he was a bit green early on, and it took him a while to get going, but then going into the second to last [hurdle] he jumped out well and got a nice run out and won nicely.”

The day included various spectator contests, including a hat contest, tailgate awards, and “Go to Heck” pants contest, in addition to stick horse races following the mounted races, all of which combined for exciting and entertaining spectator experiences.

“The Tryon Block House Races have become a very important part of what we offer at the Tryon International Equestrian Center,” commented TIEC Chief Operating Officer Sharon Decker. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to do this event and to bring it to this magnificent location.”

For full results, visit www.nationalsteeplechase.com.

Visit www.tryon.com or call (828)-863-1000 for more information.