Category Archives: Tryon

Sharn Wordley and Casper Win Equis Best Presented Horse Award at Tryon

Sharn Wordley and Casper are presented with the Equis Boutique Best Presented Horse Award by Alex West of Equis Boutique. Photo by Meg Banks/TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Casper were honored with the Equis Boutique Best Presented Horse Award during CSI 3* week held May 4-8 at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, NC. Equis Boutique is sponsoring the “Best Presented Horse” Award at the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Horse Inspection during all weeks of FEI-sanctioned competition at TIEC throughout the 2016 season.

Wordley and Casper, a ten-year-old bay Oldenburg gelding (Contender x Baloubet du Rouet) owned by Sky Group, were selected as Best Presented by the ground jury at TIEC, led by President Michael DeTemple of Brazil. Prepared for the horse inspection by Wordley’s barn manager, Charlie Miller, Casper was impeccably turned out and went on to finish second in the $35,000 FEI 1.50m Suncast® Welcome before ribboning in the $130,000 Asheville Regional Airport Grand Prix CSI 3* on Saturday.

“I was really surprised to win the award, but it’s a great idea,” said Wordley in reaction to the Equis Boutique Best Presented Horse Award. “I’ll be in Tryon for nine weeks this year, so all my horses will be braided, and I may even throw on a tuxedo if it means I can keep winning it.”

Wordley was presented with a commemorative plaque by Alex West of Equis Boutique, in recognition of the Best Presented Horse Award, as well as a set of boots from Equis Boutique partner brand Kentucky Horsewear. Already a fan Kentucky Horsewear products, Wordley was very pleased with the prize.

“I was planning to purchase a pair of [Kentucky] boots for this season anyway, so [Equis] saved me some money!” he said.

Casper has been the mount of Wordley for only one year, but he has big plans for the gelding that include the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018. The pair is well on their way after a banner winter that included many top ribbons, highlighted by second place in the $380,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI 5* during week nine of the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

“I brought him along slowly, but he has jumped some very good classes,” said Wordley. “Now I will start to use him more. He’s smart, careful, and has figured out how to jump the big, wide, five-star oxers, so he really believes in himself. He’s the best horse I have ever sat on.”

Equis Boutique will offer the Best Presented Horse Award again at TIEC during Tryon Spring 7 and 8, taking place June 1-5 and 8-12.

Equis Boutique is a shopping experience for the discerning equestrian and offers the most convenient and luxurious choice for top equine brands to dress the horse and rider. Featured brands include Parlanti, Manfredi Equestrian, KASK Helmets, Anna Scarpati, Kingsland Equestrian, Kentucky Horsewear, and Dy’on, as well as a variety of imported specialty bits and Official FEI and Just World International merchandise.

For more information on Equis, LLC boutiques, please visit EquisBoutique.com.  Email info@equisboutique.com for questions on the stores and their products.

Contact: Lindsay Brock
Lindsay@jumpmediallc.com

Farrington and Gazelle Take Back to Back FEI Wins at $130k Asheville Regional Airport Grand Prix CSI 3*

Kent Farrington and Gazelle. Photo Credit: ©SharonPackerPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – May 7, 2016 – Kent Farrington (USA) piloted the talented Gazelle to another FEI victory at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), as the pair finished atop the leaderboard in the $130,000 Asheville Regional Airport Grand Prix CSI 3* in front of a large crowd of spectators. Farrington and Gazelle demonstrated their efficiency, finishing the short course in 37.367 seconds. Fernando Cardenas (COL) and Quincy Car rode to second place with a time of 39.801 seconds, while Frances Land (USA) and For Edition earned third, crossing through the timers in 39.801 seconds.

The class saw 27 entries test the first round of the class, which was set by Manuel Esparza of Mexico. Seven combinations moved forward to the jump-off round, with only four earning double clear efforts on evening under the lights.

Farrington and Gazelle, who also took top honors in the $35,000 FEI 1.50m Suncast® Welcome on Thursday, found their rhythm early in the first round, tackling the track seamlessly. Farrington stated earlier in the week that the 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Diva ‘Ter Elsen’), who he owns with Robin Parsky, is quickly learning the ropes of the larger classes.

“She’s jumped under the lights a few times and I try to take a lot of my horses and get them experience early on so that they’re used to crowds and larger atmospheres,” said Farrington. “I’m fortunate to have a great team of supporters behind me so that I can go to some of the best shows in the world.”

Saturday’s course found both seasoned competitors and talented amateurs tackling the track, and was designed particularly with that in mind, according to Farrington. He explained, “When you have a field like this, it’s kind of a mixed bag of horses and riders. He had to be clever with how he designed the course so that he has a good competition without giving it away. You also can’t make it too challenging that it over faces the younger horses and riders.”

“I thought that he had a good balance tonight. There’s always the element of a night class and a crowd for both young horses and riders that is a factor, other than just the course alone. I think that was a fair course for the field,” he continued.

While components of the track proved difficult for several pairs, including the Rolex triple combination and a spooky liverpool vertical, Gazelle handled each question on the course with ease. Slicing several fences on the jump-off track, the notoriously speedy Farrington sealed the win with nearly two seconds to spare.

“For me, it’s about measuring the class and feeling confident with what my horse can do and what that is going to mean on course. Samuel Parot is a very competitive rider and that horse is exceptionally fast,” he noted. “They went at the end of the class, so I had to do a faster plan that I would have liked. He’s won a bunch of World Cup Grand Prix classes on that horse and he’s never one not to count as a major competitor.”

“I tried to put enough pressure on him that he may have one down, which he did, so it worked out for us today,” he added.

Big plans lie ahead for Farrington, who was named to the Short List to represent Team USA on their quest for a medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, later this summer. Farrington has grown into the one of the strongest riders for the United States and is looking forward to a competitive summer season.

“I’m going to Europe after this and we’ll be jumping in Rome, which will be our next big show. We have a few more that we will use as preparation as well. Hopefully the horses and riders stay healthy and I think we have a great chance in Rio.”

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

Kent Farrington and Gazelle Race to Victory in $35k FEI 1.50m Suncast Welcome at Tryon

Kent Farrington and Gazelle. Photo Credit: ©SharonPackerPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – May 5, 2016 – In his first appearance at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), Kent Farrington (USA) piloted Gazelle to a win in the $35,000 FEI 1.50m Suncast® Welcome, finishing the class in 43.76 seconds. Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Casper crossed through the timers in 47.387 seconds for second place, while Alise Oken (USA) and Hitchcock VD Broekkant collected third place with a time of 47.387 seconds. Major FEI competition continues at the venue with the $130,000 Asheville Regional Airport CSI 3* Grand Prix on Saturday, May 7, at 7:00 p.m.

Farrington, who currently sits in sixth on the FEI World Ranking list, took an efficient and educational approach to the track with Gazelle, capitalizing on opportunities to further the training of the 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Diva ‘Ter Elsen’) as well as improve their communication throughout the course. Manuel Esparza (MEX) designed Thursday’s course in the George Morris Arena, which saw ten combinations move forward to the jump-off round, while six pairs secured a double clear effort on the afternoon.

“Manuel Esparza is an experienced designer and I’ve jumped his courses before in Calgary. They’re always designed very well. I think it was a great class measuring this for the welcome today,” commented Farrington.

Gazelle’s scope and carefulness helped the pair around the short course, in which they finished nearly four seconds faster than second place finisher Wordley. Farrington has carefully built up the mare’s confidence and focused on sharpening her turning ability in the ring.

“This is actually a horse that I showed in a few grand prix classes throughout this season and in the jump-off her turning is a little bit of her weakness,” he explained. “I think we’ve given up some good classes, so we’re focusing on making her training better through those turns. My goal for the jump-off was to really work on her weaknesses and work on my short turns to the jumps.”

As one of the younger horses in Farrington’s internationally renowned string, Gazelle has gained valuable experience this past season, contesting several of the major grand prix classes at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), including a win in the $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Jumper Classic in late March.

“She had a good circuit this past winter and we’re still fine tuning some of her training,” he noted. “When we finish here, she’ll go to Calgary to do some of the larger classes there.”

Thursday’s win marked Farrington’s first competition experience at TIEC and he was pleasantly surprised with the vastness of the facility, as well as the major investment the Tryon Equestrian Partners have made to expand the reach of equestrian sport.

“I’ve never been here before and you can see that they’ve put a lot of money into the facility, which caught me by surprise, just that everything is new. It’s very clear that there was a major effort here and a lot of funds have been put behind this facility to support it. It’s very impressive,” said Farrington.

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

Kristen Vanderveen Wins $35k FEI 1.45m Horseware Ireland Speed Stake at Tryon

Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili. Photo Credit: ©SharonPackerPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – May 4, 2016 – Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili were unbeatable in the first FEI class of the season at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), as the duo picked up their first major win at the venue since last year, finishing the $35,000 FEI 1.45m Horseware Ireland Speed Stake with a time of 66.25 seconds. Samuel Parot (CHI) piloted both of his mounts to a top three finish, earning second place aboard Couscous van Orti, crossing through the timers in 67.34 seconds, while collecting third on Atlantis, who finished just off the pace in 67.42 seconds. Tryon Spring 3 continues tomorrow with the $35,000 FEI 1.50m Suncast® Open Welcome.

Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili, owned by Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC, rode a strong and tidy round, which suited the 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Berlin x Bijou van de Vijfheide), as there were several long stretches of gallop track and two key left hand turns. The course, designed by Hector Loyola (PRI), saw 13 clear trips, while just over a second separated first place from third.

“I was super excited when I walked this course because there was so much open galloping space. There was only one related line and this stallion just has a massive step,” she said. “He’s deceptively fast and those hard turns, which you think he wouldn’t be agile with, he is. To that left side, he just flies off the turn and the two places on course today with tight turns were to the left.”

“He stepped in there and felt comfortable with what I was asking of him. He has that big rangey stride and this course was made for him. We changed his bridle this past winter and he’s going in a very plain snaffle. We’ve built a great partnership and I understand him more. We think of each other a little bit differently now and we’re finally working as a team,” noted Vanderveen, elaborating on the progress the duo made this past winter at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

The pair made their career debut together last season at TIEC and captured several top place finishes at the venue before focusing on their consistency and accuracy during the winter circuit, in which they also amassed solid finishes.

“This was his first class out since WEF 10. He’s had a bit of time off and a good vacation because he showed all the way through the circuit. I wasn’t sure if starting right away in the 1.45m was going to be a little bit too much, but apparently not,” she smiled.

In an effort to strengthen their growing partnership, Vanderveen felt the class gave her an opportunity to test Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili, as the pair has not contested many speed classes together. She explained, “Actually, it was great I got to do a speed. I haven’t had a real chance to practice a lot of speed classes or jump-off rounds, so I would love to see that keep developing. He’s a very fast horse; I just need to figure out how to push all of the right buttons.”

Competition at TIEC continues with Tryon Spring 3, hosting the $35,000 FEI 1.50m Suncast® Welcome Stake Thursday, May 5, and the first “Saturday Night Lights” event of the season, on Saturday, May 7, with the $130,000 FEI Asheville Regional Airport Grand Prix CSI 3* beginning at 7:00 p.m.

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

May 5th Celebration to Usher in First “Saturday Night Lights” Event of the Season at TIEC

Mill Spring, NC – April 29, 2016 – Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) will begin the first week of international competition of the 2016 season on Wednesday, May 4, and host a week of activities and entertainment for competitors and spectators. Visitors to the facility can enjoy a fun-filled week as the venue welcomes the start of another exciting season of “Saturday Night Lights” events featuring the $127,000 Asheville Regional Airport Grand Prix CSI 3* on Saturday, May 7.

A day of celebration will commence on Thursday, May 5, with the official Grand Opening of new Mexican-themed restaurant, The Siesta Cantina, and The General Store, both recently opened on-site at TIEC. The day will also welcome the first Farmers Market presented in partnership with Growing Rural Opportunities (GRO).

The Grand Opening for The General Store will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 5, and continue through 12:00 p.m. featuring local product sampling and a formal ribbon cutting ceremony. The Grand Opening of The General Store will run in conjunction with the inaugural Farmers Market. Through a newly introduced partnership with GRO, all produce available is sourced within a 25-mile radius of TIEC, with only farmer grown food products offered for purchase. If interested in participating in future Farmers Market events at TIEC, please visit http://growrural.org.

Later in the afternoon, TIEC will welcome its seventh on-site restaurant, as The Siesta Cantina will now offer authentic Mexican cuisine throughout the season. The Grand Opening will begin at 6:00 p.m. and continue through 9:00 p.m., presenting special dish tastings soon to become the dining hot spot for visitors and competitors alike. Accompanying the opening of The Siesta Cantina, “Buck Off for Charity” will also begin at 6:00 p.m., as contestants will have the opportunity to ride a mechanical horse to raise money for the Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas, to be hosted at TIEC on Friday, July 1. The event and all activities throughout the day are open and free to the general public.

The 70th Annual Block House Steeplechase at Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE) hosted by Tryon Riding and Hunt Club (TRHC) will bring enthusiasm and excitement to the foothills region before the start of the $127,000 Asheville Regional Airport Grand Prix CSI 3* at TIEC following later in the evening. TIEC is the proud Premier Race Sponsor for the event. For more information on the Block House Steeple Chase, please visit http://www.blockhouseraces.com.

The tremendously popular “Saturday Night Lights” series offers visitors and spectators an evening of heart pounding action and entertainment, as grand prix show jumping highlights a week of equestrian competition in the George Morris Arena, with accompanying family activities and live performances free to the general public. The $127,000 Asheville Regional Airport Grand Prix CSI 3* will be the first event to take center stage on a Saturday evening under the lights at the venue in 2016, beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 7. Gates will open at 5:00 p.m. while a special screening of the derby will be aired on the jumbotron at race post time.

Project X will play a live selection of music throughout the evening on the first “Saturday Night Lights” of the season, while a Derby Hat contest and parade will begin at 6:00 p.m., with cash prizes being awarded to the Most Unique, Most Outrageous, and Most Exquisite hats. Other family activities will include pony rides, face painting, carousel rides, and live performers.

For more information on TIEC and the May 5th Celebration, please visit www.tryon.com.

Holzer and Dressed in Black Earn Second Win in FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3*

Ashley Holzer and Dressed in Black. Photos: ©SharonPackerPhotography.

Chris Von Martels and Divertimento Win FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3*

Mill Spring, NC – April 23, 2016 – The second day of the FEI CDI 3* presented by Adequan® at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) concluded with Ashley Holzer (CAN) and Dressed in Black securing another victory, this time in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3* presented by Adequan® with a score of 71.502%. James Koford (USA) and Don Principe finished in second place with a 66.100%, while Nora Batchelder (USA) and Bahai earned a 66.050% in their second FEI competition together for third place. Competition at TIEC concludes Sunday with the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDI 3* presented by Adequan®, beginning at 2:45 p.m.

Holzer and Dressed in Black performed their first FEI Grand Prix Freestyle of the season, riding with poise and confidence in the George H. Morris Arena. The test was a good experience for both horse and rider, while Holzer admitted she made a few rider errors, which impacted their score.

“I would say that I have not ridden this freestyle routine many times and I was just really trying to navigate my way through and he doesn’t know the pattern that well yet,” said Holzer. “He hasn’t ever been out into anything like this and I was just trying to keep him calm and steady through it.”

Dressed in Black has come into his own over the course of the past few months and Holzer is pleased not only with the progression in technique and understanding, but also with his willingness in the ring. The impressive 2005 Westphalian stallion (Dresemann x Sweetheart) owned by Holzer and Dr. Diane Fellows has made a triumphant return to competition and Holzer will look to continue their progress over the next few months.

“There were some mistakes in the twos that were not his fault. What’s amazing to me though is that he goes into that ring, which has all of that feeling and electricity, and he really tries hard. He’s doing the very best he can for where he is right now in his fitness level. I’m just very proud of him.”

James Koford and Don Principe have a longstanding partnership, as the two have been working together for more than seven years. Koford noted that gaining experience, no matter the tenure of the relationship, is still very important to the pair.

“He’s been my buddy for a long time. This is his eighth year at Grand Prix so we’ve had this freestyle since he was nine or ten and now he’s seventeen. We pretty much have it down pat,” laughed Koford. “It’s always fun to ride a freestyle in this atmosphere though. The setting is beautiful and the crowd was very enthusiastic. I’m very pleased with how it went.”

In just their second FEI CDI competition together, Nora Batchelder and Bahai finished their Grand Prix Freestyle choreography with a score of 66.050%. Batchelder of Williston, FL and the 2004 Hanoverian mare (Baroncelli x SPS Rose) rose to the occasion and handled the mare’s anxiety in the large arena well during their test.

“This is our second CDI together and it’s been great to ride in this venue. It’s just unbelievable and the footing is incredible. The first test yesterday, she was a little bit worried with the atmosphere and the flags, but she was more confident today,” commented Batchelder.

“This is our third time riding the freestyle and the music gives her a bit of confidence. I was proud of her because she definitely stepped up to overcome some of what she was nervous about yesterday. It was a great way to finish the weekend,” she continued.

Adequan® has been a longstanding supporter of dressage for a number of years and served as title sponsor for this week’s inaugural FEI CDI 3*. Allyn Mann of Adequan® was on hand throughout the week and discussed the presence and importance of their sponsorship at the facility, as it generates interest and ultimately expands the sport.

“This goes all the way back to the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival and the relationship between Mark [Bellissimo] and me. Both of us really believed that venue would be something special. Coming to Tryon and seeing this beautiful facility, knowing that we’re dealing with the same footprint for the sport, is very special,” said Mann. “This will be a wonderful place for the dressage world to come and it will be a game changer for the community.”

Renowned judge Linda Zang (USA) also commented on the competition at TIEC this week and expressed her excitement with the possibilities and opportunities the facility offers competitors of all levels.

“I think that we had a great group of riders here this week and I was very glad to see a lot of Canadian combinations in this group. This will become a great stop for people traveling from the south back up north after the winter season,” elaborated Zang. “I think we’ll see more and more riders here. I’m hopeful that there will be a lot more American riders who can swing through as well. This venue will encourage more CDI competitions outside of Florida and California, which I think is fantastic.”

Chris Von Martels and Divertimento Win FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3*

Chris Von Martels (CAN) piloted Divertimento, owned by Lövsta Stuteri, to their first FEI CDI win together in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3* presented by Adequan®, receiving a 70.490%. Karen Pavicic (CAN) and Don Daiquiri finished in second place with a 69.745%, while Megan Lane (CAN) and Caravella rounded out the top three with a 69.218%.

Chris Von Martels and Divertimento
Chris Von Martels and Divertimento

Von Martels and Divertimento have continued to solidify their partnership and displayed a continued sense of growth and understanding in the ring. Von Martels expressed his excitement with the progress and noted that he felt like this was the best the two have performed together.

“I was very delighted with him today. He was very with me and I think today was even more electric in the stadium than yesterday, because there were more spectators here this afternoon,” said Von Martels. “He was really in tune with me and waiting on my aids.

“I really believe that this was the best test I’ve ridden on him in the way our relationship has gone so far. I’m very happy. I think this is my fifth show with him and each show you learn something new and take something else away from it. Now, I really would like to keep these nice, clean and accurate tests, but add a bit more power and brilliance where I can,” he continued.

Karen Pavicic and Don Daiquiri picked up second place with a strong showing, receiving a 69.218% from the judging panel. Pleased with their performance, Pavicic felt as though she entered the ring with more horse behind her leg than Friday in the FEI Grand Prix.

“He was much better today than yesterday. I was happier with my ride overall and I still would like to have a little bit more energy and brilliance within the movements. I was going for a clean test and he felt more energetic and in front of my leg,” she elaborated.

“I’m overall really happy with this week. A big thank you to Mark Bellissimo and his team for this; also a huge thank you to Adequan® for their support. Without their sponsorship, shows like this wouldn’t be possible,” she noted. “It’s so impressive and I will come back here with every opportunity for sure.”

Lane, who also placed third in Friday’s Grand Prix, felt that improvements made in the day prior carried over to Saturday’s class with her own Caravella. The duo produced a harmonious and balanced test, only hindered by a small mistake in the one tempis.

“Honestly, I feel a lot of the same sentiments as Chris. I went for a little bit more energy today and had an unfortunate mistake in the one tempis, but she gave me everything I asked of her in terms of the cadence,” explained Lane. “There are improvements in the piaffe for sure, which I was really pleased with throughout the show.

“She reacted really well to this stadium and this atmosphere. This was a great show for us and we were able to execute a lot of the concepts we’ve been focusing on in our training,” she continued.

Lindsay Kellock (CAN) and Royal Prinz, owned by Teresa Simmons, won the FEI Intermediaire I CDI 3* presented by Adequan® with a score of 67.684%. Jessica Jo Tate (USA) and Kynynmont Gunsmoke’s Gideon, owned by Pamela Liddell, finished in second place, receiving a 66.368%, while Emily Miles (USA) and Sir Sherlock, owned by Leslie Waterman, earned third place with a score of 59.263%.

Competition at TIEC will conclude Sunday with the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle presented by Adequan® beginning at 2:45 p.m. For more information on TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com.

Ashley Holzer and Dressed in Black Win First Ever FEI Grand Prix CDI 3* at TIEC

Ashley Holzer and Dressed in Black.

Mill Spring, NC – April 22, 2016 – Ashley Holzer (CAN) and Dressed in Black took home a historic win in the first ever FEI Grand Prix CDI 3* presented by Adequan® at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Holzer and Dressed in Black earned a 70.320% for the win, while Chris Von Martels (CAN) and Divertimento received a 69.880% for second place. Megan Lane (CAN) and Caravella rounded out the top three with a 68.580% to complete a Canadian sweep. Competition at TIEC continues Sunday featuring the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3* presented by Adequan® beginning at 5:00 p.m. and the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3* presented by Adequan® starting at 6:30 p.m.

Holzer and Dressed in Black, a 2005 Westphalian stallion (Dresemann x Sweetheart) owned by Holzer along with Dr. Diane Fellows, made a strong return to FEI CDI competition. The pair only contested a few national shows at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) this past season and Holzer was pleased with their performance. The talented stallion has been brought along carefully under Holzer’s watchful eye and she is beginning to see the hard work pay off, as the pair continues to display confidence in the ring.

“This is the first CDI for us in a long time. I have to thank AGDF because those shows gave me the opportunity to compete a few times nationally and get him settled in the ring a bit,” said Holzer. “It’s different when you haven’t done a CDI in a while because you’re a bit rusty.”

Holzer and many of her students traveled to TIEC on their way up from Wellington, FL after concluding the winter circuit. Arriving early on Monday of this past week, she explained that the extra time spent at the facility was well utilized, as it helped Dressed in Black become accustomed to the ambiance of the venue.

“It was great that I had a few days here to get him in the ring. He’s never seen a big ring like this before and there is a lot of atmosphere. I’m thrilled with the way he handled himself in there. The fact that he went in and felt like a teammate and a player was incredible,” noted Holzer, as she described her test, which earned the pair a score above 70%. “I was not pushing for a big test on him this time out. I wanted to go in and not over face him with the ring and I think that to me, as a rider, that is the nicest feeling. Instead of them feeling scared and nervous, they’re confident and trying their best for you.”

While in Florida for the winter circuit, Holzer focused on fitness and increasing strength with Dressed in Black. She explained, “We really worked on fitness. When you go in and do a Grand Prix it is one thing, when you go in and do a Grand Prix where they need to put more effort in, that’s a lot. We’ve been focusing on mostly getting him to a place where he’s comfortable and fit.”

Chris Von Martels and Divertimento
Chris Von Martels and Divertimento

Holzer’s student, Chris Von Martels, followed her in the standings, placing second aboard Divertimento, owned by Lövsta Stuteri. Von Martels took over the ride on Divertimento this past winter and the pair has continued to grow their relationship with each other as they gain more competition experience.

“I was pleased with the entire test today. Again, like Ashley said, it’s a very electric atmosphere in there and it’s just a huge stadium,” commented Von Martels. “I was mostly happy that, even though it is still a relatively new relationship, it seems that with each show we’re becoming more comfortable with each other and are starting to know what to expect.”

“Our goal today was to ride a clean and accurate test and we were able to do so. That brings us both to a new level of confidence. Looking forward, we’ll look to maintain that accuracy within the test and add a little bit more of a dynamic element,” he continued.

Divertimento is typically hot horse who can be reactive to sound in the arena, but his trust in Von Martels is evident and the pair handled the atmosphere of the George Morris Arena with ease.

“I really believe the horses who tend to be hotter in the ring, when you earn their trust and confidence, they’re the ones who try the hardest for you,” he said. “Maybe it takes a little bit longer and it can be a bit challenging, but I really love this horse and I think he’s fantastic. I’m thrilled that we were able to work this out with his owners and I know that when you really win over his heart he’ll give you everything he has.”

Megan Lane (CAN) was also very pleased with her own Caravella, as she felt the pair executed the fluidity and workmanship they had been working towards throughout the winter circuit. Lane explained that the test was a major stepping stone regarding the inclusion of improvements she would like to see consistently in the ring.

“She felt relaxed and I was really happy with the test. She did everything that I’ve asked of her. We’ve been working a lot on the animation and cadence within the test. I wanted to hit that next level of brilliance, but also keep the relaxation too,” said Lane.

“That’s why I was so happy with her today, because that was what exactly happened in the ring. It felt like a breakthrough ride, and no matter the score, it just felt different. It was one of those performances for me where I rode out of the ring and knew we had accomplished something great,” she continued.

All three riders made the journey from Wellington, FL to TIEC to contest the inaugural FEI CDI 3* presented by Adequan® and each individually voiced their opinions on the expanding venue and what the facility means for equestrian sport, as a whole.

“Honestly, wow. I was dumbfounded when I first came here and drove up to this facility. This is an amazing thing. We are so lucky to have the support of individuals who back and sponsor such a great horse show. It takes a vision and it’s very easy to say you want to act on that vision. I’ve had a lot of visions, but none of them have ever been executed,” laughed Holzer. “I have to say, just wow. This is unbelievable. I will be here with a lot of horses, for sure for many years to come. This is going to grow the sport in unbelievable ways.”

Von Martels echoed Holzer’s sentiments, stating that another world-class venue in the United States only benefits the riders and their horses, helping combinations to prepare for major championship events around the globe.

“I have to thank Mark Bellissimo and all of his partners. It’s just incredible what they do and I think this is truly an amazing group of individuals who actually get things done,” said Von Martels. “The whole sport and the whole industry grow because of this environment. It’s good for the equestrian economy, and honestly, it’s good for everyone’s economy.”

Lane, who like Holzer and Von Martels, is headed back north to begin training for the remainder of the spring and summer seasons, felt that the stop at TIEC was well worth it on their travels. Lane noted that she sees an array of opportunities available at the venue for both experienced Grand Prix horses and younger prospects needing practice in the competition arena.

“This is my first time here and honestly I had no words. I was absolutely blown away. I’m going to make sure that we are here, year after year, with all of my horses. This is an incredible venue and it’s just amazing. You can bring your top level FEI horses here and also school some of the greener horses as the same time. It really fits everything you could ever want in a competition facility,” she said.

Emily Miles (USA) and Floretienne, owned by Leslie Waterman, topped the FEI Prix St. Georges presented by Adequan® with a score of 69.316%, while Lindsay Kellock (CAN) and Royal Prinz, owned by Teresa Simmons earned second place with a 67.789%. Miles also finished in third place aboard Sir Sherlock, also owned by Leslie Waterman, receiving a 66.316%.

Competition at TIEC continues Sunday with the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3* presented by Adequan® beginning at 5:00 p.m. and the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3* presented by Adequan® beginning at 6:30 p.m. For more information on TIEC and to see a full list of results, please visit www.tryon.com.

Major Competition Upgrades Announced for 2016 Tryon Summer Series

Photo Credit ©MegBanks/TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – April 22, 2016 – Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) has announced a series of major upgrades for the 2016 Tryon Summer Series, which will increase competition opportunities for hunter and jumper competitors planning to attend the four week series. The Tryon Summer Series will begin Wednesday, June 29, and continue through Sunday, July 24, highlighting four consecutive weeks of FEI classes alongside nationally rated hunter and jumper competition.

Tryon Summer I (June 29 – July 3) will host upgraded hunter competition to start the series, as a week of Premier AA hunters will be highlighted by a $10,000 Pre-Green Hunter Classic. For jumper riders, USEF Level 6 jumpers will run in conjunction with an FEI CSI 3*, which will offer a $34,000 1.45m class, a $34,000 1.50m Suncast® Open Welcome, and the $127,000 Adequan® Grand Prix on Saturday, July 2, commencing four weeks of the tremendously popular “Saturday Night Lights” series for spectators and visitors to the facility. Tryon Summer I will also host the inaugural Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas on Friday, July 1, an event designed to assist and support local charities in the surrounding community through a competitive and themed equestrian relay race.

Tryon Summer II (July 6-10) will offer a second consecutive week of Premier AA rated hunters competition and host a second $10,000 Pre-Green Hunter Classic, as well as a $5,000 Pony Classic in the George H. Morris Arena. The second FEI CSI 3* will offer a $34,000 1.45m class, a $34,000 1.50m Suncast® Open Welcome, and the $127,000 Horseware Grand Prix on Saturday, July 9.

The third week of summer competition at TIEC, Tryon Summer III (July 13-17), will bring hunter riders to center stage as the first $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby of the season is scheduled to take place, drawing top hunter talent, alongside B rated competition. A $2,500 NAL/WIHS Children’s Hunter Classic and $2,500 NAL/WIHS Adult Hunter Classic will also be offered to hunter competitors. International jumper riders will contest the first FEI CSI 4* of the Tryon Summer Series, which will include two $34,000 1.45m classes, a $34,000 1.50m Suncast® Open Welcome, and the $210,000 Hollow Creek Grand Prix on Saturday, July 16, while the next generation of young talent will be offered a $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix.

Tryon Summer IV (July 20-24) has also received upgrades and will now host an FEI CSI 4*, highlighting two $34,000 1.45m classes, a $34,000 1.50 Suncast® Open Welcome, and the $210,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix on Saturday, July 23. Tryon Summer IV will host USEF Level 6 jumpers, as well as the second $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby to accompany B rated competition. A $2,500 NAL/WIHS Children’s Hunter Classic and $2,500 NAL/WIHS Adult Hunter Classic will conclude the final week of the series.

For more information about Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), please visit www.tryon.com.

Four Weeks of FEI Competition and Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas at Tryon Summer Series

Photo: ©MegBanks/TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – March 25, 2016 – In a continued effort to increase competition opportunities for equestrian enthusiasts around the world, Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) is eager to bring international competition to the facility for the 2016 Tryon Summer Series, hosting four consecutive weeks of FEI competition, including three CSI 3* weeks and a CSI 4* competition. The Tryon Summer Series will begin on Wednesday, June 29, and conclude Sunday, July 24.

Following the inaugural campaign of FEI competition at TIEC in 2015, the facility will showcase the finest of equestrian sport in the foothills region of western North Carolina with the Tryon Summer Series, featuring four successive “Saturday Night Lights” FEI Grand Prix events for both riders and spectators.

The 2016 Tryon Summer Series will begin with Tryon Summer 1 on Wednesday, June 29, following the conclusion of the eight week Tryon Spring Series, which will host three weeks of FEI competition, including FEI CSI 3* and FEI CSI 5* competition. Tryon Summer 1 will commence with a FEI CSI 3* competition to kick off the four week summer series, offering a $34,000 1.45m class, $34,000 1.50m class, and a $127,000 Grand Prix CSI 3*. The inaugural Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas will take place on Friday, July 1, under the lights in the George Morris Arena.

The Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas will highlight more than 20 equestrian relay teams, composed of amateur and professional riders, supported by corporate sponsors, competing to raise funds and awareness for approved local charities in the western Carolina community and region.

The general public is encouraged to join the festivities and cheer on their favorite equestrian relay teams, who will be dressed in accordance with this year’s overarching theme of superheroes. For more information and inquiries regarding participation and sponsorship for the Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas, please contact GCC@tryon.com or fill out an inquiry form here.

Tryon Summer 2 is set to offer a second FEI CSI 3* week, hosting three classes for international competitors including a $34,000 1.45 class, $34,000 1.50m class, and $127,000 Grand Prix. The FEI CSI 4* week of the Tryon Summer Series will begin on Wednesday, July 13, during Tryon Summer 3, offering two $34,000 1.45m classes, a $34,000 1.50m class, and a $210,000 Grand Prix.

Tryon Summer 4, featuring a FEI CSI 3*, will conclude the 2016 Tryon Summer Series, beginning Wednesday, July 20, and continuing through Sunday, July 24, hosting a $34,000 1.45m class, $34,000 1.50m class, and a $127,000 Grand Prix.

International competition will resume at the venue in early August with the return of the Tryon August Series, spanning four weeks and featuring a FEI CSI 3* beginning Wednesday, August 10, and concluding Sunday, August 14, during Tryon August 1. The FEI CSI 3* week will offer a $34,000 1.45m, $34,000 1.50m, and $127,000 Grand Prix class.

About Tryon International Equestrian Center

The Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) is destined to become one of the premier equestrian destinations in the world. The facility opened in June 2014 with initial supporting amenities including 10 riding arenas, 850 permanent stalls, a covered riding arena and fitness center. Future expansion includes a sports complex, condominiums, two hotels, sporting clay course, vendor and retail village, as well as an 18-hole golf course plus a full calendar of national and internationally recognized competitions, featuring numerous disciplines of equestrian sport. It is a spring, summer and fall haven for equestrian competitors and enthusiasts. For more information, call 828-863-1000 or visit www.tryon.com.

Andres Rodriguez and S.F. Ariantha Win $127,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix CSI 3*

Andres Rodriguez and S.F. Ariantha. Photos ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 24, 2015 – Andres Rodriguez (VEN) and the talented grey mare S.F. Ariantha proved too quick to beat in the $127,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix CSI 3*, the final Grand Prix of the 2015 season at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Rodriguez and S.F. Ariantha flew through the timers, securing the fastest double clear effort of the night, finishing with a time of 43.26 seconds. Andrew Kocher (USA), winner of the $34,000 Suncast® FEI 1.50m Welcome Stake this week, narrowly missed the mark set by Rodriguez, finishing only a tenth of a second off the pace with a time of 43.36 seconds. Christine McCrea (USA) and Wannick WH rounded out the top three with a time of 44.50 seconds while Denise Wilson (USA) and Galous recorded the fourth double clear effort of the night. After six consecutive weeks of elite hunter and jumper competition, the Tryon Fall Series will conclude tomorrow, Sunday, October 25.

The competitive class of 34 entries tested a difficult and expansive track designed by Oscar Soberon of Mexico, with only six entries advancing to the jump-off round. Rodriguez has been a figure of consistency throughout the past two weeks of FEI competition hosted at TIEC, earning multiple wins aboard his two top mounts Caballito and S.F. Ariantha.

“I brought my best horses here because I knew that the competition was going to be tough. I am just very happy with how this class went and I was very glad to find someone as challenging as Andy Kocher to ride against for the past two weeks. I had never met him before coming here and he really gave it a go in every single class. I was waiting for him to go tonight in the Grand Prix and put him in a place where he had to work really hard to get the win. That is what makes it so fun,” said Rodriguez. “This was my first time at Tryon and everybody said great things about this place but as I’ve said before, I was even surprised because it is really a magnificent place. I think that this will become the heart of show jumping in the United States over the next few years.”

Rodriguez and Kocher finished an incredible week of competition at TIEC, as both riders battled for supremacy in each of the major FEI classes hosted throughout the competition week at Tryon Fall 6. Rodriguez and S.F. Ariantha finished second behind Kocher in this week’s $34,000 Suncast® FEI 1.50m Welcome Stake, while Kocher and Uppie de Lis have continued to add top finishes to their flourishing partnership. Abigail McArdle (USA) and Cade were the first combination on course in the jump-off, finishing a fast round but a single rail dropped in the double combination would ultimately keep them out of the top three spots. Lauren Tisbo (USA) and Rosiere Vesquerie attempted to catch Rodriguez in the jump-off, but rails dropped at the large Animo oxer would prevent the duo from securing a double clear effort for the night.

Andrew Kocher and Uppie de Lis
Andrew Kocher and Uppie de Lis

S.F. Ariantha is truly captivating to watch in the ring as the scopey 2005 Dutch Warmblood mare (Corland x Uriantha) tackles the largest Grand Prix courses with incredible ease while Rodriguez expertly guides from the irons. The gifted mare will serve as Rodriguez’s Olympic hopeful mount as the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil rapidly approach.

“She’s only ten years old and she doesn’t have all of the experience yet. Quality wise I think she is hard to match with any other horse in the world. She just needs more experience to get to the next level and that is what we’re hoping to get before the Olympics next year,” commented Rodriguez.

Soberon was praised by riders for his course design in the FEI classes throughout the week, as tracks continually challenged riders with technical questions while maximizing the majority of the space in the George Morris Arena. Rodriguez, who finished well in each of the three FEI classes offered this past week, commented on the night’s course, saying, “I think the course was set just right tonight. The crowd enjoyed the six rider combinations in the jump-off and I think that Oscar [Soberon] did a great job. There were some very tricky parts that were very challenging,” he noted. “Coming into the combination was difficult and there were a lot of people whose dreams ended there. I really think he did a great job.”

With international rider presence at a record high for the venue over the past two FEI weeks, Rodriguez believes those numbers will only continue to increase over time. Nine nationalities were represented in the $127,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix CSI 3* including entries from Ireland, Russia, Canada, Colombia, Venezuela, New Zealand, France, Puerto Rico, as well as the United States.

“The sport is growing so fast and there are circuits popping up all over the world,” remarked Rodriguez. “It’s really an incredible thing and I think people will start to discover that this facility is here and there are not many other facilities like it in the world. This is a place that was built thinking about the horses, the riders, the grooms, staff, and spectators. When people start coming here more and more it is going to be very big for the sport.”

Danielle Burns, Rodriguez’s groom, was honored with the Groom’s Initiative Award, which is presented to the groom of the winning horse and rider combination for each Grand Prix class hosted at TIEC. Burns, who has worked with Rodriguez for a number of years, rejoined the team before the 2015 Pan American Games hosted in Toronto, Canada, where Rodriguez and Darlon van Groenhove earned an individual silver medal.

“I have a lot of great people working for me and right before the Pan Am Games we knew that we needed to find a special person for that job because it was going to be hard, especially at the top levels. I reached out to Danielle to see if she would be interested in coming back and we managed to make everything work. We’ve had a great go. You need someone like Danielle behind your horses because I’m on the horse for an hour a day and she’s with them for the other 23 hours, so at the end of the day, she spends the most time with them and that is why she is so important on our team.”

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About Tryon International Equestrian Center

The Tryon International Equestrian Center is destined to become one of the premier centers in the equestrian world. This new facility opened in June 2014 with sanctioned horse shows and initial supporting amenities including 10 riding arenas, 850 permanent stalls, a covered riding facility and fitness center. Future expansion includes a sports complex, two hotels, sporting clay course, and an 18-hole golf course plus a full calendar of equestrian competitions and activities. It is a spring, summer and fall haven for eastern and northeastern American equestrian competitors and enthusiasts. For more information, call 828-863-1000 or visit www.tryon.com.