Mill Spring, NC – July 8, 2017 – Andrew Kocher (USA) piloted Navalo De Poheton to an impressive FEI win, topping the $130,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). The duo sped to a jump-off time of 38.89 seconds to finish ahead of Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Casper who collected second place with a jump-off time of 39.194 seconds. Richie Moloney (IRL) and Button Sitte rounded out the top three placings after stopping the timers in 40.379 seconds.
Kocher and Navalo De Poheton bested a large class of 53 entries, as each horse and rider combination tried to capitalize on the difficult track set by Oscar Soberon (MEX). Only seven pairs advanced to the jump-off round, with three of the qualified riders incurring four jumping faults. The time was tight to beat in the first round, nearly adding five more combinations to the jump-off, but a single time fault kept them from taking their turn around the short course.
“I think course building is hard. It’s hard to get it right, but I thought that Oscar [Soberon] did a great job tonight,” said Kocher. “He used a lot of old fashioned elements around the track. There was that hedge and some filling in the jumps that I think made some horses look or even get a bit more careful.
“The smaller ‘S’ curve in the middle of the track caught people off guard and A to B of the triple combination started to back people off a bit, but he got seven in the jump-off, which was the number you were really looking for,” he added.
Knowing that a strong contingent of fast riders was slated to enter the George H. Morris Arena behind him in the jump-off, Kocher was prepared to produce a fast round, but wanted to try and avoid making risky errors, which he admitted are typically is downfall.
“The mistakes that I usually make are going way too fast and having rails down. I knew I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to go fast, but be comfortable and try to leave two out in the last line. I got lucky with Kristen [Vanderveen]. I think she could have left three out and would have beaten me by a mile,” he laughed.
Navalo De Poheton, a 2001 Selle Francais gelding (Cumano x Double Espoir) owned by MKO Equestrian LLC, spent most of his upper level international career with U.S. rider Schuyler Riley before changing hands to Kocher and team earlier this season. Originally purchased as a potential sale horse for an amateur rider, Kocher quickly realized the gelding had not yet had enough of the grand prix atmosphere.
“He was Schuyler Riley’s top horse for many years. He injured himself shipping back from Spruce Meadows and had been laid up and rehabbing for some time. I anticipated selling him as a Low Child/Adult jumper, but he can get a bit strong and has an attitude, so I decided to try and jump him myself and the rest has been history,” he explained. “He’s probably my top horse at the moment. When we first started together, he won two grand prix classes in Tulsa, OK and then we went to Devon and won there too.”
Kocher has been extremely pleased with how the pair’s partnership has started since his purchase, as they took top honors in the Welcome Stake CSI 4* at Devon Horse Show earlier this spring and also placed well during the Upperville Horse Show CSI 4*. The gelding has seen some of the biggest tracks in the world, adding an additional and versatile threat to Kocher’s ever-growing string.
“He is older so I’m trying to be conservative with him too. He hasn’t jumped a single fence since Upperville, which was at the beginning of June. He did well in the Welcome Stake here on Thursday too,” elaborated Kocher. “His next class won’t be until the FEI World Cup Qualifier in Bromont, Quebec later this summer.”
With Kocher’s father, Kelly Kocher, based locally in the Tryon area, it’s always a pleasure and highlight for Kocher’s team to return to the venue and hopes to, at some point, use the area as a summer base for his operation. He explained, “I bought some property here and love to see this venue keep growing. In the future I’d like to base here for the summer and use that property to be able to be here more often.”
Attesting to and recognizing the crowd size and enthusiasm of the night, Kocher commented on the engaging and electrifying atmosphere surrounding the George H. Morris Arena, which always gets him excited to compete under the lights.
“This is one of the best rings in North America. I’ve been everywhere and go to a lot of smaller shows that most professionals wouldn’t go to, just in some of the more obscure areas,” he said. “This is one of the best venues that I’ve ever been to. Of course, it’s a beautiful facility, but they do an amazing job getting a great crowd here week in and week out. We love it here.”
Kristen Vanderveen captured the FEI Leading Lady Jumper Rider Award presented by Meg Atkinson of Town & Country Realtors once again this circuit, based on her winning performance in the $35,000 Suncast® Commercial Welcome Stake CSI 3* on Thursday aboard Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili and her fifth place finish in this grand prix. Andrew Kocher’s groom, Chance Williams, was presented with the Absorbine® FEI Groom’s Award, which honors the groom of the winning grand prix combination, shining well-deserved light on their hard work and commitment to the care and well-being of the winning mount.
Mill Spring, NC – July 7, 2017 – Hunt Tosh of Milton, GA and Flamingo-K, owned by Ceil Wheeler, finished as the winning pair in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). The duo were tied for second place after the first round with a combined score of 177 and turned in another strong performance in the handy round, earning a score of 200, for a total score of 377. Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, NC and Celtic Gold, owned by Meg Valnoski, secured the second place honors with a two round total of 368, while Jennifer Hannan of Wakefield, RI and Olympic Fire, owned by Roger Smith, rounded out the top three with a score of 363.
Tosh and family made a special trip to TIEC for the weekend, bringing only Flamingo-K to contest the duo’s abilities in this very class. Navigating the handy round with precision and beauty, the duo ended the day with a blue ribbon, proving the journey to be well worth their travels. Tosh and Flamingo-K have only been partnered for a short time and this was Tosh’s second class with the 12-year-old chestnut gelding.
“He is very new to us,” Tosh explained. “The Wheelers bought him for me at Devon this year because they have been looking for that special derby horse. I showed him in one other derby before this, so I am really just getting to know him.”
Flamingo-K only started competing in the hunter discipline this year, originally coming from the jumpers, and his transition to the hunter derby ring has been flawless. Tosh detailed how Flamingo-K is very well suited for derbies, saying, “He finds the jumps really well. I hate trot jumps. I think I’ve lost more classes because of trot jumps, but he is a good trot jumper and that helps out! With his scope, you just have so much range. You can be where it’s not optimal and he makes up for it. He has a great rhythm and is just really fun to ride.”
Although the mount is rather new, he spoke very highly of the horse’s ability to perform in the big George H. Morris Arena.
“He is a blast to ride. He is super scopey, brave, very careful, and really just a sweet horse. I think he is going to be an amazing derby horse.”
Tosh’s daughter, Maddie Tosh, competed multiple mounts in last weekend’s $10,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby. Tosh had never showed in this arena and therefore relied on his daughter’s insight for the class.
“The best part about Maddie is that she is so hands on in the barn and she knows all of the horses just as well as I do and everything about them. I told her tonight she would have to give me pointers on how to show in this ring because I have never shown in it before! So I asked her how it rode and for her advice,” laughed Tosh.
Tosh and his team have loved their experience at TIEC, especially after his impressive win. Tosh commented on the layout details of the TIEC, saying, “We love it here. The footing and the facility overall is just so nice. You are standing under shaded covers with fans in-between rounds. I mean you can’t ask for more accommodations at a horse show. What they have done here is phenomenal.”
Tosh was very appreciative of the opportunity to compete in such a large ring, while also expressing his gratitude to the Wheeler family, saying, “I can’t thank them enough for buying him for me to ride. They have been after me for a derby horse for quite some time, and we finally got one!”
Todd Minikus and Exceptional Take $15,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, FL and Exceptional were just that in the $15,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at TIEC. Minikus and Exceptional bested twenty-six other pairings with phenomenal scores of 92 and 96, capturing the win by more than ten points with a final score of 188. Taylor Ann Adams of Ocala, FL and Lucretia finished in second place with a two round score of 177.5, while Kianna Luscher of Hawthorne, NJ and Carissima W took third place with 175 points after two rounds.
Minikus explained that he wasn’t sure how to approach the inside turns for the handy round in particular with this horse, and needed to improvise a bit on course, which Exceptional, owned by Todd Minikus LTD, handled with ease.
He commented, “I thought it was a very nice course. The inside turns in the handy were really inside, which I do have some practice with, but he’s a very green horse and I didn’t know how he would take it. He handled it exceptionally well and evidently the judges thought he did it as well as I did!”
The pair has been together since midway through the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) circuit in Wellington, FL when a friend of Minikus found Exceptional in Belgium and connected the two. A six-year-old bay gelding, Exceptional has only done six or seven shows in his career.
“He was champion both this week and last week, so he’s turned himself into a real winner,” said Minikus. “We make our living selling horses, so hopefully somebody wants to have a winner and buys him from me, but until that time, I’ll continue to show him in his prospective division and these derbies. Hopefully we’ll keep winning,” he added with a smile.
Sharn Wordley and Famoso D Ive Z Take $6,000 Nutrena® 1.40m Classic CSI 3*
Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Famoso D Ive Z topped the $6,000 Nutrena® 1.40m Classic CSI 3* on the Grass Complex at TIEC, stopping the jump-off timers at 37.09 seconds. Kyle Timm (CAN) and Georgie B sped to second with a 38.179 second dash, while Erynn Ballard (CAN) took third place aboard Thalys Z, stopping the timers in 39.845 seconds.
Famoso D Ive Z, a 2007 Zangersheide gelding (For Pleasure x Chin Chin) owned by Sky Group & Sharn Wordley, has been with Wordley for two years now and the pair have amassed an impressive record together.
“The horse came from Europe, so he jumped on grass quite a bit, but I’ve had him for two years and this was my fifth class on grass,” he explained. “We don’t have much grass around. He loved it today and he was fantastic.”
In the last year, Wordley and Famoso D Ive Z have won seven ranking classes together at TIEC alone and Wordley emphasized that he is an important horse in his successful string.
“He wins a lot of classes. He’s fast. He does the ranking classes to save the grand prix horses or if there’s a grand prix that’s appropriate to him. He’s a good horse and very fast.
“I love TIEC. It’s one of my favorite horse shows. I think now, too, they’ve got the grass fantastic to ride on and it’s really good,” he said. “Oscar [Soberon] did a great job and always builds good courses. He’s a great course designer.”
For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), please visit www.tryon.com.
Mill Spring, NC – July 6, 2017 – Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili won yet again at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), this time victorious in the $35,000 1.45m Suncast® Commercial Welcome Stake CSI 3*. Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili stopped the timers in 36.296 seconds to take the win ahead of Abigail McArdle (USA) and Cade, who earned second place with a time of 36.514 seconds. Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Terceira collected third place, finishing the short course in 37.722 seconds.
Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili went towards the end of the class order, which saw 75 entries test the track set by Oscar Soberon (MEX). Seventeen combinations qualified for the short course, in which seven pairs finished the morning with a double clear effort on the day.
“I thought the course looked really challenging when I walked it, so I was surprised that there were so many clean. I didn’t think it would be such a big jump off,” said Vanderveen. “The strides worked out a little bit nicer than I thought. There were a few half strides that I was debating, but everything came up nice when riding.
“I thought [Oscar] used some spookier elements today to keep it interesting, so that was fun for both the horses and riders I think,” she added.
Vanderveen added four jumping faults at the last fence with her first ride Bull Run’s Testify, but was able to return to the jump-off aboard her impressive mount Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili, more commonly known as “Frosty” in the stable. She commented, “It was really nice that Frosty pulled through and gave me another try for win.”
Vanderveen will now wait see how many horses she will be able to enter in the $130,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 3* on Saturday, July 8, but noted that she’ll choose Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili for Saturday if she has to pick between the two. Vanderveen will be one of more than forty entries expected to contest Saturday night’s competition.
This win follows a string of impressive accomplishments for Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili, a 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Berlin x Darco) owned by Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC, as their consistency has outmatched other combinations at TIEC all season. When asked what makes them so good together, Vanderveen emphasized how rare her situation actually is.
“I’m just enjoying it while it lasts. Every rider knows this doesn’t happen so often, so I’m just trying to soak up every minute of it. He’s in top form right now and it’s working out for us. I’m just thankful.”
Vanderveen elaborated on why she enjoys showing at TIEC, as the venue has brought her some of her fondest career victories and her appetite to win has been exercised to its fullest extent. She laughed and said, “It’s working out great for us. The horses love showing here and I love winning!”
Todd Minikus at award ceremony for finish on Incitatus in the $86,000 Adequan® Grand Prix FEI CSI2* (Photo courtesy of Todd Minikus)
Tryon, NC (July 6, 2017) – Todd Minikus and Incitatus opened up the Week V competition at Tryon CSI 2* in a big way, handily winning the $6000 1.40m Nutrena Power CSI 2* and Speed Open, by besting a field of 56 entries. After going clean in the first round, the duo prevailed in the jump off, finishing out the round with a sizzling 31.45. Lawaetz’s flashy Oldenberg gelding Incitatus then forged onward with Minikus at the helm, seizing an impressive 3rd place amongst 45 entries in the $86,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI2*.
Minikus noted, “This was a nice win for Incitatus. His owner, Alice Lawaetz, and I are so pleased with his progress. He continues to show his great potential and I am excited to see how he develops. I think he is going to be a top-notch jumper.”
As usual Minikus’ feet barely hit the ground between rounds – jumping from one mount to another to notch additional wins and top placings on a bevy of mounts throughout the competition. VDL Excel continued to shine in the 1.40m Open Jumper division, seizing another first place win and several additional top placings. Minikus and Chablis S owned by Los Establos SportHorses, dominated 55 other horse and rider teams to win first place and bragging rights in the Adequan 1.30m Open Jumper class. Chablis S and Minikus then stayed the course, picking up another reserve ribbon in the same division to boot.
Minikus continued on with this winning ways with his own horses — Exceptional outperformed in the Green Hunter 3’ 3” classes again, winning a championship ribbon and taking three reserves. Minikus’ mare Spring Girl took a second place in the 1.10m Open Jumper class with Minikus at the reins.
“Most of these horses are young and gaining experience. This summer at Tryon is all about bringing them up the levels. It is so rewarding to see them come into their own and fulfill their potential,” explained Minikus.
Minikus is scheduled to compete at Tryon throughout July 17th. To keep up with FEI Nations Cup veteran and U.S. Pan American Games Team Bronze Medalist Minikus and his crew, follow on Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus, or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.
Mill Spring, NC – July 5, 2017 – Santiago Lambre (MEX) guided Casino N to a win in the $6,000 1.40m Nutrena® Power & Speed CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Lambre and Casino N topped the class with a time of 30.805 seconds. Abigail McArdle (USA) also enjoyed another top three placing aboard Chuck Berry 8, after finishing with a time of 31.091 seconds. Erynn Ballard (CAN) and Thalys Z rounded out the top three after stopping the timers in 31.49 seconds.
Lambre and Casino N, in their first outing in the past few weeks at TIEC, put forth a carefully executed power round before capitalizing on efficiency and skill in the speed phase of the course. Forty-four entries opened up the first day of international competition, while 31 pairs advanced to the speed portion of the class. Oscar Soberon (MEX) will handle course design for FEI classes in both the George H. Morris Arena, as well as on the Grass Complex.
“He’s fast and we’ll jump again tomorrow in the ranking class,” said Lambre. “I thought the course was nice and it was two phases, so there were some short turns in the second portion of the course. You could do fewer strides in your line and we had a very nice round.”
Lambre is a notoriously quick rider and was sure to bring that quality to the ring. He commented, “I left out a stride in the speed portion of the class. The line walked as a seven and we did six instead and we turned very quickly to the vertical.”
While Lambre now pilots the 2007 Swedish Warmblood gelding (Careful x Ahorn) owned by Stephex Stables, the horse was initially meant to be a ride for Lambre’s wife, before realizing that the horse’s scope and talent were quality at the FEI levels.
“I’m going to keep the horse fit and competing before she starts riding again in November. She’ll take over the ride again at the beginning of the next winter season,” he explained. “Once you win on the first day you have some good motivation to do as well the next, so I am hoping that we will have another top result tomorrow when the class gets a bit bigger.”
Santiago Lambre and Ibabco Take $35,000 Tryon 1.45m Challenge CSI 2*
Mill Spring, NC – July 2, 2017 – Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili topped another grand prix at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), this time laying claim to the $86,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 2*. Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili stopped the jump-off timers in 38.341 seconds to take the win ahead of Darragh Kerins (IRL) and Silteplait De Circee, who earned second place with a time of 41.389 seconds. Todd Minikus (USA) and Incitatus collected third place, finishing just behind Kerins in 41.945 seconds.
Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili went towards the end of the class order, which saw 45 entries test the first track set by Ken Krome (USA). Ten combinations ultimately moved forward to the short track in which six pairs finished the morning with a double clear effort on the day.
“He felt ready to go last night and I knew that he would do well, so I was a little disappointed in the way the weather rolled in, but he gave me that same feeling today and we just went for it,” said Vanderveen. “He stays about the same for classes during the day and at night because he just loves to compete.”
The pair’s partnership has reached new heights, as their consistency and tenacity together have outmatched other combinations at TIEC all season. After walking the course, Vanderveen thought that it was tricky enough to catch some riders off guard, which ended up being the case.
“I thought that it walked a little tough to be honest, which it should though. It was tricky and it needed to be. I think that Ken knew he needed to build a bit technical since there are so many top horses here for the 2*,” she explained. “The lines came up quite fast and there were a lot of turns and half steps where you could make your own decisions, making it a bit more challenging.”
Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili, a 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Berlin x Darco) owned by Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC, also proved their handiness in the jump-off round, which saw nine other competitive entries vie for the win. Vanderveen commented, “He felt super. That was just one of those jump-offs where everything shows up out of the turn like you plan on and there was just enough running and turning to make it tight. It was really smooth for him.”
With top performances coming in international competition at TIEC throughout the duration of their partnership, Vanderveen has sights set on expanding her growing business, as well as potentially representing the United States in FEI Nations’ Cup™ competition if the opportunity arises.
“I have a really strong client base right now and we just imported some talented young horses that arrived here last week,” she elaborated. “If we get the chance to do a Nation’s Cup competition, it would be a dream come true.”
Speaking to her growing confidence, Vanderveen explained that her success with Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili has in turn helped her riding on each of her other mounts, as she now feels consistently competitive on a major international stage.
“He’s really helped me with the other horses too. I go into the ring now with the mindset and idea that I can do this and I can win,” she said. “He’s given me that extra confidence that we belong here and have every reason to believe that we can win against the best in the world.”
Abigail McArdle (USA) received the FEI Leading Lady Jumper Rider Award presented by Meg Atkinson of Town and Country Realtors, while Vanderveen’s groom, Luis Salvaras, was awarded with the Absorbine® FEI Groom’s Award, honoring his care and commitment to Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili.
Emma Jolly of Keswick, VA and Mischief Managed, the winning combination of the $10,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby, were welcomed to the George H. Morris Arena for a special recognition ceremony before the highlight class of the week to honor their achievements during the first annual USHJA Foundation Pony Hunter Spectacular. Roger and Jennifer Smith of Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP) also presented William Dobbs of the USHJA Foundation with a check of support from TEP for the organization and their mission.
Santiago Lambre and Ibabco Take $35,000 Tryon 1.45m Challenge CSI 2*
Santiago Lambre (MEX) and Ibabco, the winning duo of the past Thursday’s $35,000 1.45m Suncast® Commercial Welcome Stake CSI 2*, also earned top honors in the final FEI class of the week, racing to victory in the $35,000 Tryon 1.45m Challenge CSI 2*, which followed the conclusion of the $86,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 2* in George H. Morris Arena.
The duo completed the jump-off track in 38.442 seconds to secure the win ahead of Jonathan McCrea (USA) and Aristoteles V, who crossed through the timers in 39.813 seconds. Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Caiman Des Sequoias finished in third place with a jump-off time of 39.813 seconds.
Forty entries tested the track, also set by the week’s FEI course designer Ken Krome (USA). Only four pairs advanced to the jump-off round, while the top three finishers completed the class with the only recorded double clear efforts.
Ibabco, a 2008 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Nabab De Reve x Darco), flew through the jump-off track with Lambre piloting from the irons, earning their third FEI win at TIEC since the end of May.
Kady Abrahamson and Charline 28 Win $20,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Jumper Classic
Kady Abrahamson of Loveland, OH and Charline 28, owned by Abrahamson Equestrian, finished atop the $20,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Jumper Classic after blazing through the jump-off track to best the competition by nearly three seconds.
Abrahamson and Charline 28 finished the track in 35.487 seconds ahead of Abigail Evans of Spicewood, TX and her own Cyrus, who took second place with a time of 38.058 seconds. Simon Salame, who competes internationally for the country of Mexico, took third place aboard Elmo 19, owned by Christian Glaneman.
The class saw sixteen entries, while only four combinations produced a clear round inside the time, moving them forward to the short course. Abrahamson and Evans were the only two riders to finish with a double clear effort in the jump-off.
Isabella Durnell of Suwannee, GA and her own Carlton Diva were victorious in the $1,000 Pony Jumper Classic in the George H. Morris Arena after finishing with a jump-off time of 26.615 seconds. Ansgar Holtgers Jr. of Wellington, FL and Fort Lauderdale, owned by Daisy Talbert, captured second place with a jump-off time of 27.572 seconds. Isabella Cheers of Shallotte, NC and her own Park Avenue rounded out the top three with a jump-off time of 30.689 seconds, while adding four faults to their score.
Hunt Tosh of Milton, GA and Uptown, owned by Douglas Wheeler, took first place in the $1,000 USHJA Green Hunter Incentive with a total score of 88. Daniel Geitner of Aiken, SC and Eleventh Hour, owned by Brenda Mackay, collected second place with a score of 87, ahead of Natalie Geller of Canton, GA and Homepage, owned by Fit to Print Farm, who finished in third place with a score of 86.
The $1,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic 3’3″ & 3’6″ saw Alexandra Desiderio of Chester, NJ and Joker De Fallogne, owned by Tranquility Farm, ride to a score of 163 for first place. Kimberley Quinn of Charlotte, NC and her own Sail On take second place with a 161, while Kaitlin Porath of Charlotte, NC and her own Breaux collected third place on a score of 158.
Siena Vasan of Boca Raton, FL and Namesake, owned by Palm Ponies LLC, took top honors in the $1,000 Junior Hunter 3’6″ Classic with a score of 164. Vasan also secured second place aboard Skolar, owned by Carriage Hill Farm, after receiving a 163. Tanner Korotkin of Wellington, FL and Aribo, owned by Sandalwood Farms, rounded out the top three with a score of 156.
Beverly Davis of Harrisburg, NC and her own Alchemist secured victory in the $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic 3’3″ with a total score of 150. Raegan Landrum of Winter Park, FL and her own Contano took second place with a score of 139. Emmanuelle Greenberg of Boca Raton, FL and Czech Mate, owned by Pumpkin’s Patch Farm, LLC, finished in third with a score of 138.
Maddie Tosh of Milton, GA and Love Me Tender, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, rode to victory in the $2,500 Pony Hunter Classic after receiving a final score of 167. Libbie Gordon of Statesville, NC and Childs Play Hot Topic, owned by Mia Abelo, finished in second on a score of 166.5, while Abigail Gordon of Statesville, NC and her own Farmore State of the Art, rounded out the top three with a score of 165.5.
The $500 Green Pony Hunter Classic saw Emma Jolly of Keswick, VA and Sunset’s Sparkle, owned by Sunset Farm, finish with a final score of 151 to top the class. Marissa Santaniello of Waxhaw, NC and her own Bed Head Ned took second place with a score of 142, ahead of Libbie Gordon of Statesville, NC and All Yours, owned by Jessie Marie Spade, who placed third with a 139.
Stephanie Zimmerman of Atlanta, GA and her own Crusader finished as divisional champions in the Marshall & Sterling Adult-Amateur Hunter Division, ahead of Ashley Waters Whitman of St. Augustine, FL and Heart Breaker, owned by Meredith King, who collected reserve champion.
Jennifer Smith of Wellington, FL took both champion and reserve champion in the Marshall & Sterling Adult Amateur 50 & Over Division aboard her own Ocean Mist for champion and Olympic Fire, owned by Roger Smith, for reserve.
The Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Combined Division saw Kaitlin Porath of Charlotte, NC and her own Breaux finish with champion honors. Emily Jones of Jacksonville, FL and her own Game Boy collected reserve champion accolades.
Grayson Shelton of Charlotte, NC and Accomac, owned by Ashlen Rowe, captured top honors in the Children’s Hunter Horse 14 & Under Division. Sophia Mitchell of Wrightsville Beach, NC and her own Keepsake finished with reserve champion.
The Green Hunter 3’3″ Division saw Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, FL and Exceptional, owned by Todd Minikus, Ltd., ride to collect champion honors. Hunt Tosh of Milton, GA and Lights Out, owned by Ceil Wheeler, were presented with reserve champion.
The Green Hunter 3’6″ Division saw Hunt Tosh guide Patriot, owned by The Wheeler Family, to solid performances throughout the week, ultimately placing them atop the division. Jodi Vazquez of Mettawa, IL and Hula Hoop, Elizabeth Corey, take reserve champion.
The High Performance Hunter 4′ Division was championed by Hunt Tosh of Milton, GA and CasanoVA, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, while Blythe Karolyi of Franklin, TN and Fondant, owned by Virginia Ingram, finished with reserve champion honors.
Maddie Tosh of Miton, GA and her own Cozy Up, rode to the top of the Medium Pony Hunter Division, while Libbie Gordon of Statesville, NC and C.E. Remarkable, owned by Fielding Stichman, collected reserve champion.
The Small Pony Hunter Division saw Abigail Gordon of Statesville, NC and her own Farmore State of the Art ride to collect champion honors. Jessie Marie Spade of Terrell, NC and her own With Applause were presented with reserve champion.
Marissa Santaniello of Waxhaw, NC and her own Bed Head Ned rode to the top of the Small/Medium Green Pony Hunter Division. Libbie Gordon of Statesville, NC and All Yours, owned by Jessie Marie Spade, finish in reserve.
Andrew Bourns and Ninparo Top $6,000 1.40m Nutrena® Classic CSI 2*
Mill Spring, NC – June 30, 2017 – Emma Jolly of Keswick, VA and Mischief Managed rode to victory in the $10,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby, the highlight of the first annual USHJA Foundation Pony Spectacular at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Jolly and Mischief Managed secured a two round score of 335 to capture the win. Leigh Ashby of Lincolnton, NC and Onyxford’s Blue Magic finished in second place with a two round score of 326, while Erica Felder of Lenoir, NC and Elegance secured third place with a final score of 320.
Jolly and Mischief Managed, owned by Rhiana Hughes, performed brilliantly together throughout the two rounds, earning a 167 in the first round, before taking the win with a 168 in the handy.
“This was such a fun experience. I think it really got the ponies and the riders ready for the finals later this summer. The big ring let you get them out in front of you, but then bring them back in,” said Jolly. “It was a great atmosphere to relax and just have a blast.”
Speaking to both courses, in which Jolly collected an impressive two round score from the judges, she commented that Mischief Managed handled each of the questions presented with a sense of ease and consistency.
“I thought the first course was really nice and there was a difficult broken line, but I think it made the ponies think a bit more in the ring,” she added. “The first jump in the handy round always rides a bit interesting, but I thought my pony handled it really well and jumped up nicely. Overall, I thought it was a very fun course.”
Jolly, who is fifteen years old and trains with Brooke Kemper of Culpepper, VA, noted that their barn tailored their entire show schedule around coming to TIEC to compete this week, specifically to participate in the USHJA Foundation Pony Spectacular. Jolly commented, “We came to Tryon this week for the derby. All of the other horses joined as well, but that is what really brought us here.
“I’ll be riding Mischief Managed, who is owned by Rhiana Hughes, and I can’t thank her enough for allowing me to ride him and then I’ll also be riding a Medium Green Pony Hunter named Sunset Sparkle too,” explained Jolly, when speaking about her plans to attend USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, which will be hosted in Lexington, KY later this summer.
“I just wanted to have a fun time in Lexington with Mischief Managed because he knows what he’s doing. With my Medium Green pony, I want to give her a positive experience and let her get used to the big atmosphere,” concluded Jolly.
Andrew Bourns and Ninparo Top $6,000 1.40m Nutrena® Classic CSI 2*
Andrew Bourns (IRL) and Ninparo took a well-earned victory in the $6,000 1.40m Nutrena® Classic CSI 2* at TIEC, kicking off competition in the George H. Morris Arena for the day. The duo added four faults to their jump-off time of 46.765 seconds for the win ahead of Deborah Stephens (USA) and Everest, who also added four faults to their jump-off time of 53.317 seconds. Michael Morrissey (USA) and La Lopez 3 rounded out the top three, adding eighteen faults and finishing with a time of 63.093 seconds around the short course.
Twenty-three entries opened the day of competition in George H. Morris Arena, while only the top three finishers advanced to the jump-off round. Both tracks, designed by Ken Krome (USA), tested riders against the clock as seven combinations finished with one or two time faults on the morning.
Ninparo, a 2008 Oldenburg Springpferd gelding (Nintender x Caspar) owned by Richard Bourns, is stepping into the international spotlight with Bourns piloting from the irons and the duo looked sharp around the tough track.
Mill Spring, NC – June 29, 2017 – Santiago Lambre (MEX) and Ibabco rose to the top of a massive class to take top honors in the $35,000 1.45m Suncast® Commercial Welcome Stake CSI 2* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). The pair finished the jump-off track in 37.194 seconds ahead of Abigail McArdle (USA) and Chuck Berry 8, who finished just behind the winning duo with a time of 37.223 seconds. Andrew Ramsay (USA) and Cocq A Doodle rounded out the top three, stopping the timers in 37.753 seconds.
The class saw 82 entries contest the first round track set by Ken Krome (USA), with 29 pairs advancing to the jump-off round. Only 12 combinations secured a double clear effort on the afternoon. Lambre and Ibabco went 22nd in the original order and held their lead through the remainder of the jump-off round.
“I thought it was a difficult course. There were a lot of clears for the first day of the week, but that’s okay,” said Lambre. “From the second vertical to fence fourteen in the jump-off was where I felt like I made up the time. Also, to the last fence I left out a stride. We were at a full gallop and he was great.”
Ibabco, a 2008 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Nabab de Reve x Darco) owned by Lambre, has started to shine in international competition with Lambre over the past year. The duo connected last spring after Lambre purchased the gelding and the duo have finished with top placings since their partnership began.
I bought him at the end of last year and when I was in Wellington this season, I was jumping a few classes with him at the 1.45m and 1.50m height. The idea is that this is a horse for the future and to maybe jump the FEI World Equestrian Games™ here next year,” explained Lambre. “I also think maybe at the end of the second part of this year, I’d like to jump some of the CSI 5* shows with him to see where he is before heading into the winter season.”
The duo will forgo the $86,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 2* on Saturday night, instead to contest the $35,000 1.45m Tryon Challenge CSI 2* class on Sunday. Lambre explained, “He’ll jump again on Sunday. The other horse that I rode in the class today, I didn’t want to go to the jump-off today, but he’ll try to go into the big class on Saturday.”
Speaking of the talents of Ibabco, Lambre touched on the athleticism and carefulness of the gelding, which are qualities he believes will make him a star in the coming months.
He added, “He’s a very brave horse and he has super technique with his front end. He’s very fast in front and quite athletic. He’s just careful and very nice all around.”
Todd Minikus and Incitatus Victorious in $6,000 1.40m Nutrena® Power & Speed Opener CSI 2*
Todd Minikus (USA) and Incitatus, a 2009 Oldenburg Springpferd gelding (Stakkatol x Con Air) owned by Alice Lawaetz, captured the win in the $6,000 1.40m Nutrena® Power & Speed Opener to kick off FEI competition at Tryon Summer V. The pair took the class with a jump-off time of 31.45 seconds, ahead of Abigail McArdle (USA) and Chuck Berry 8, who stopped the timers in 31.964 seconds. Andrew Ramsay (USA) and Cocq A Doodle collected third place with a jump-off time of 32.13 seconds.
“It seemed like a nice opening class for the FEI horses. It left some room to make horses confident and get them going on the course. This is one horse I haven’t shown much before. He was the first horse in the class and did very nicely. Most of these horses are either young or inexperienced, so it was a good way to start the week for them,” commented Minikus.
Incitatus is a young horse who Minikus is priming for a move up the levels and noted his excitement with the pair’s performance to start the week. He explained, “He’s eight and has just started to move up in the ranks here this summer. That’s my first win with him, so I’m excited that he’s starting to catch onto my system.”
As for the pair’s goals, Minikus is planning on taking it slow through the summer months to help Incitatus find confidence in the larger FEI classes before a jump to some of the more competitive classes later on in the year and looking toward the beginning of 2018.
“I think he’s going to have a big future. We’ll just see how much he can learn this summer and hopefully do the bigger classes this winter,” he concluded.
To learn more about Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), please visit www.tryon.com.
Tori Welch (right) and Sniper pictured with Trainer Todd Minikus (far left) and his son Colt Minikus (middle) after winning two Low Jumper 1.2 classes and reserve in the $3000 Low Junior Jumper Classic at Tryon International Equestrian Center.
Tryon, NC (June 15, 2017) – Once again, Team Minikus has showed what it’s made of with wins and top finishes at the Tryon Summer II CSI4* at the Tyron International Equestrian Center in Tryon, North Carolina. Minikus and two of his students, Victoria (Tori) Zelch and Catherine Wachtell, all pocketed blue ribbons along with top placings on several mounts.
Minikus’ promising eight-year-old bay mare, Juju VDM, showed her mettle once again, winning the Nutrena 1.4 Open Jumper class. Juju VDM is coming into her own after having two foals. Even though she has only shown half a dozen times, her natural talent in the ring indicates a bright future ahead of her. Her illustrious bloodlines include her dam Derly Chin De Muze, who was the Bronze Medalist at the 2009 FEI World Championship at Lanaken and also Eric Lamaze’s mount at the 2012 London Olympics.
Along with his win on Juju VDM, Minikus finished second in a field of 19 horses on VDL Excel in Wednesday’s Nutrena 1.40m Open Jumper class. The following day, Minikus and Los Establos SportHorses’ Chablis S picked up a reserve in the Adequan 1.3m Open Jumper class.
Minikus also made it to the jump off with Alice Lawaetz’s gelding Incitatus, and finished a respectable seventh out of a roster of 40 entries in the Suncast Commercial FEI $35,000 Welcome Stake. “This horse just continues to improve and show his unlimited potential,” said Todd Minikus about Incitatus.
Team Minikus’ youngest competitor, 16-year-old Tori Zelch from Ohio, tallied two first place finishes in the Low Jumper 1.2m on her handsome liver chestnut gelding, Sniper, who she purchased from Todd and Amanda Minikus. She and Sniper also claimed the reserve placing in the $3,000 Low Junior Jumper Classic. Additionally, Zelch won second and third place aboard Musical Wood’s talented mare, Mary Jane, in the Low Jumper Junior Division.
“Tori joined us during the winter season at WEF competing in the Children’s Division, and wanted to move up to the Juniors. Now, not only has she moved up to the Junior Division, but she is winning in the Juniors,” said Minikus proudly.
Not to be outdone, 21-year-old Adult Amateur Catherine Wachtell and her mount Elarina won The Equis Boutique Low Amateur Owner Jumper 1.2m, toping a class of 20 horses as well as scoring two third place finishes in the Low Amateur-Owner Jumper 1.2m and the Low Amateur Owner-Jumper Classic 1.2m.
“I am proud of these young up-and-coming horses and riders. It’s so rewarding to see their progress,” added Minikus, who celebrated his own birthday during the successful show.
In between traveling and competing, FEI Nations Cup veteran and U.S. Pan American Games Team Bronze Medalist Todd Minikus is based in Wellington, Florida, where he offers sales and training services. Keep up with Team Minikus by following Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus, or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.
Mill Spring, NC – June 15, 2017 – Before this week’s “Saturday Night Lights” free family entertainment and Freestyle Dressage competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), be sure to catch the wild mustang demonstration presented by the Mustang Leadership Partners at 6:00 p.m. in the George H. Morris Arena. For added value, watch the show from the comfort of the Legends Club patio overlooking the George Morris Arena as you dine on a gourmet buffet or visit one of Tryon Resort’s many other dining options.
The mustang, long an American icon, faces a serious overpopulation problem. As of 2015, more than 47,000 wild horses and burros were living in off-range corrals due to a population that was more than twice what Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Herd Management Areas could sustain. The BLM can no longer afford to gather as many wild horses and burros from public lands, since there are still so many waiting to be adopted in off-range facilities.
Currently, only the amount of horses that will be adopted are removed each year and kept in captivity, but research and implementation of birth control methods and herd management systems are still in progress, and there are still many wild horses and burros that need homes so that wild populations can remain healthy at the landscape’s carrying capacity.
Mustang Leadership Partners (MLP), founded 2010 in Chattanooga, TN, is an after-school program for students at Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy. It is a mentorship, leadership and STEM program created to bring hands-on experiences that lead to life-long lessons inspired by the wild American mustang. The mission of MLP is to sustain, preserve, and protect the wild American mustang. Students and mustangs will perform in the George H. Morris Arena.
Through the MLP program, students have the opportunity to develop, practice, and improve relationship skills, responsibility, social accountability, self-awareness and self-confidence-all of which are mirrored in the mustang’s behavior. Students of Mustang Leadership build lasting bonds with a mustang; the mustang becomes their mentor and their teacher. As a result, students are more confident because they have met and conquered something new and seemingly insurmountable. Don’t miss this chance to witness the magic of connection with an American mustang.
Watch the Mustang Leadership Partners demonstration and Dressage Freestyle ringside at Legends Club. Tickets are $29.95 for adults and $12.95 for children. Dinner and Dressage is open to the public, but reservations are recommended. For reservations, please contact Legends Club at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (828) 863-1130.
Parking and general admission is free and open to the public. For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center and Tryon Resort, visit www.tryon.com.