Category Archives: Tryon

Two More Exceptional Weeks at Tryon for Team Minikus

Todd Minikus’ Exceptional “being exceptional” (Photo courtesy of Team Minikus)

Tryon, NC (July 11, 2018) – Todd Minikus and his team wrapped up two more successful weeks at Tryon, NC with more than a dozen wins in the jumper, hunter, and yes, cross rails divisions!

During the Tryon Summer 3 CSI2*, Todd Minikus once again showed his exceptional versatility for winning on numerous fronts by winning the Green Hunter 3’6 and the Green Hunter 3’6 Handy Hunter Class on Exceptional, owned by Todd Minikus, LTD.  The pair then raised the bar to the 4’ Hunter Performance Division winning first and second over fences and first in the under saddle class and a Division Championship. “Exceptional just keeps doing the job,” said Minikus after winning the $15,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby the week prior. “Exceptional is, well, exceptional!”

Also during Summer 3, Minikus enjoyed some top finishes in the jumper ring culminating with double wins on Maidenway’s Chaco 34 in the 1.35m Open Jumper and the 1.40m Open Jumper.  Team Minikus super star Victoria Zelch rounded out the week three winnings taking top honors in the NAL Low Junior Classic aboard Sniper.

It should have been a tough act to follow, but not so for Team Minikus.  At the Tryon Summer 4 CSI3*, Exceptional delivered a repeat performance winning the 3’6 Green Hunter and the 3’6 Green Handy Hunter.  Then Todd rode three horses to wins in their respective 1.40m Open Jumper classes. The triple threat included Minikus’ own Juju VDM, Erin Rorabaugh’s Julesraimus De Barisy, and Melissa Bilodeau’s handsome stallion, Lord Calador.

But the biggest celebration of the show was for Team Minikus’ littlest rider, Todd and Amanda Minikus’ 7-year-old daughter Langley. Despite a rain out on day one, Langley Minikus took to arena on day two riding Reagan Thoennes’ pony Love Bug and showed her jumper linage by winning both Cross Rail classes.

It made the winning weekend just a little bit more special. “We love showing at Tryon,” said Amanda Minikus. “It’s beautiful here, the facility is awesome, the horses love it, we love it, and my kids love it.”

Next stops for Team Minikus after the Tryon Summer circuit is Balmoral Park, Chicago for the end of their HITS summer series, then Saugerties Hits-on-the-Hudson VIII for the FEI CSI5*. To catch up with FEI Nations Cup veteran and U.S. Pan American Games Team Bronze Medalist Minikus and his team, follow on Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus, visit Team Minikus on Instagram, or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.

Vanderveen Brings a Fresh Face to Derby Field Podium to Conclude Tryon Summer IV

Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Prince of Peace. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – July 8, 2018 – Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Prince of Peace (Cardenio x Contender) pulled off a win in the $35,000 1.45m Sunday Classic CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) to conclude Tryon Summer IV competition, stopping the short-track timers in 41.68 seconds. Brian Moggre (USA) and MTM Vivre Le Reve, a 2009 Westphalian gelding (Ustinov x Chello II) owned by Major Wager LLC, cleared the jump-off course in 42.156 seconds to claim second place ahead of Brittni Raflowitz (USA) in third, guiding Garland Stables’ Dustin 254, a 2007 Westphalian gelding (Dollar Du Murier x Lancer III), to a 45.583 second clear jump-off round.

The field saw 26 first-round trips on the Alan Wade (IRL)-designed course with eight horse-and-rider pairs earning the opportunity to try the jump-off track. Vanderveen revealed that her win was only the 2009 Holsteiner gelding’s second competition on grass footing and said, “The course was great today. This is a younger horse for me and it’s only his second time ever competing on grass – the first time being this week in the $5,000 1.40m Speed Stake CSI 3* on Friday, so it was good.”

Vanderveen has been paired with “Prince” for a year and has been taking her time bringing him along. “I think he has a lot of quality, so I want to make sure I don’t rush him. He’s just nine years old this year, so last year I kind of took my time and did 1.40m classes and haven’t dabbled with too much FEI stuff, but now it feels like he’s ready to step up and be part of the team,” she explained. “He’s a bit of a character in the barn – he is like a puppy dog and wants all the attention.”

“I was a little bit torn,” Vanderveen admitted about her jump-off plan, “just because I haven’t really done so much with him, but then I saw Brian go and he had such a slick, smooth jump-off. I was like, ‘There’s only one way for this horse to learn. Let’s give it a try!’ I figured I’d try and be as slick and smooth as I could and he’s naturally fast, so it was enough.”

Vanderveen, who is headed next to Michigan and then Chicago, said she would like to start trying some of the smaller CSI 2* Grand Prix classes with Prince moving forward, continuing his gradual education.

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

Little Leaps to Another Victory in $132k Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3* at Tryon

Marilyn Little and Clearwater. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – July 7, 2018 – Marilyn Little (USA) and Clearwater maintained their winning streak for the week, this time in the $132,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3* to highlight Tryon Summer IV competition, blazing through the short-course timers in 45.818 seconds. Fernando Cardenas Jr. (COL) and Quincy Car, the 2004 Oldenburg stallion (Galiani Car x Amour Parfait), claimed second after clearing the timers in 49.463 seconds, while Sydney Shulman (USA) and Villamoura, a 2009 Warmblood mare (Diamant de Semilly x Kasina) owned by Jill Shulman, finished third on a fast 43.939 second jump-off round with just the last rail down.

“He was really on fire in the first round,” Little said of the 2007 Holsteiner gelding (Clearway x Come On) owned by Karen O’Connor. “He was very aggressive. He had a very fast class on Thursday, and as I said, I’ve just got him really strong and really fit coming in here and he was on fire tonight. He loves showing at night and he is a great night horse. He felt the energy and was totally amped when he walked in there, so I had a lot of horse on my hands.”

Little continued, “It made it a little hard going into the jump-off, but I knew that I could just have a nice easy clear and still slip ahead because he’s such a fast horse, but if I had done that, Clearwater would’ve known something was up, so I just came to the first jump like I always do, let him find it and turn him loose, and he was like ‘Okay I got this.’ He was easier to ride through the jump-off.”

Thirty entries toured the course designed by Alan Wade (IRL), with four horse-and-rider pairs returning to fly around the short track. Little complimented Wade’s building, emphasizing his attention to detail and evaluation of the field.

“This week is a huge victory for me because I haven’t seemed to have so much luck with and I’ve really had to learn how to ride Alan Wade’s courses. They’ve always been a real learning experience and this week the courses were definitely challenging, but I loved them,” she said. “I don’t have anything bad to say about them. I think they were very technical. In this ring, the footing is fantastic, the lighting is excellent and the jumps are beautifully presented, but being square, it can become difficult if they build into the corners.

“Alan is such a ring craftsman. He knows exactly how he’s using the ring in addition to how he’s using his course,” Little continued. “His courses are always a little deceptively tricky. We watched the first few and everybody thought he under built, but you always just have to sit there and wait because the more you study them, the more it’s like ‘Oh my gosh. There’s a lot to this.’ It’s wonderful when there isn’t just one difficult spot; the rails really came for people all over the course.”

Following her win in the $35,000 1.50m Welcome Stake on Thursday, Little credited Clearwater’s technical skill for their success and said that the same talent helped them prevail. “As I said the other day, my horse is really great at the technical aspect of things and he was just on this week and fresh and ready to go. What a fun week it was with him!”

After a busy winter circuit in Florida, Little is keeping things light with Clearwater and choosing shows that suit him best. “We did a lot during Florida and I just had an unlucky winter circuit. I won a couple in the beginning and then I just decided that I needed to go home, re-group, train a little bit, let him get fresh and start over again. I think we’re just going to keep going and I’m going to show him when he feels like he’s really peaking, not just show because there’s a show I want to go to and we’ll play it by ear.”

Little, a multi-discipline athlete who is also preparing for September’s FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 as a member of the Land Rover US Eventing Team, revealed that continuing Clearwater’s jumping career is critical to her preparation. “I only have one eventing horse, so this is really how I stay sharp and all of my horses are my support team for the Eventing as well. I have to keep going with him and I need him, but I’m starting to find the balance for what’s right for him and it’s really paying off.”

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

Curtin Claims First $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Win during Tryon Summer IV

Julie Curtin and Cassico. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – July 6, 2018 – Julie Curtin of Woodstock, GA and Cassico, owned by Rebekah Warren, jumped to victory in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on the Derby Field at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) during the fourth week of Tryon Summer Series competition. The duo rose to the occasion after a first round score of 184 and kept an ironclad grip on the blue rosette. Curtin piloted the gelding through the handy round earning a 196 to land on a final score of 380. Second place honors were awarded to Dorothy Douglas of West Bridgwater, M, riding MTM Farm’s MTM One Time to a collective score of 373.5. Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, TX and MTM Outbid rounded out the top three, placing a second MTM Farm entry into the top three with a final score of 370.

The win was a memorable one for Curtin, as it was her first time atop the leaderboard in an USHJA International Hunter Derby, as well as her mount’s first year competing in major derbies of this size. “It feels awesome,” Curtin commented. “He handled everything great. He’s by nature a very good-brained horse and he handles everything really well.”

Despite only being seven years old this year, Curtin has big plans for the Holsteiner gelding, whose even temperament has landed him the reputation of being a ham back at the barn. “He’s going to Derby Finals this year,” she explained. “He’s young, but it doesn’t make me nervous because I’m so confident with him. He just gives you the best feeling in the world. I did the high performance with him this week and he was champion, so I’m starting to prep him for all of that.”

The pair navigated the Andy Christiansen designed course with ease, besting the field of 23 other horse-and-rider combinations in the process. “We were all worried that with the grass and the rain it was going to be too slick,” stated Curtin, “but the footing is so nice and they’ve done such a good job with the field that it was great out there.”

The gelding, sired by fellow competitor Callie Seaman’s veteran Derby horse, Carrico, was originally purchased to be an adult amateur ride for his owner. After a quick assessment of his talents, it was clear to Curtin that he also deserved a chance to prove himself on the Derby field. She noted, “His owner does him in the amateurs, so he was bought to be an amateur horse, but he’s just so great at the derbies. That’s just his calling.”

Curtin continued, “Last year it was hard because we did the Pre-Greens with him because he was a baby, but the jumps were just so easy for him. It was hard keeping his attention because the jumps were so little and we were thinking about how we couldn’t wait to step him up. Last year we did a National Derby out on the grass and it was like he was made for this. He loves it.”

Earlier in the afternoon, the $5,000 Tryon Resort 1.40m Power & Speed CSI 3* welcomed another first-place finish for Jack Hardin Towell (USA) and Vlock Show Stables LLC’s 2008 Oldenburg Sandetto (Sandro Boy x Chellano Z), after piloting the stallion around the Alan Wade (IRL) designed course in 62.9 seconds. Second place went to Daniel Bedoya (BOL) and the 2008 Holsteiner mare (Casall x Romino) Abracadabra WKT, owned by Monica Hanks, after the two rode to a time of 65.76 seconds. Sydney Shulman (USA) claimed third in 67.42 seconds aboard Jill Shulman’s 2007 Belgian Warmblood mare Hilgarie (Calvaro x Kashmir van Schuttershof).

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

Little and Clearwater Conquer $35,000 1.50m Welcome Stake CSI 3* at TIEC

Marilyn Little and Clearwater. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – July 5, 2018 – Marilyn Little (USA) and Clearwater scooped up a win in the $35,000 1.50m Welcome Stake CSI 3* to officially open FEI Tryon Summer IV competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), sweeping through the short-course timers in 31.617 seconds. Aaron Vale (USA) and Major, a 2007 Danish Warmblood gelding (Carmargue x A’khan Z), claimed second place after clearing the jump-off in 32.701 seconds, while Samuel Parot (CHI) and Thriller P, a 2004 Swedish Warmblood stallion (Cardento x Lucky Light) finished third on a fast, four-fault round of 31.416 seconds.

A total of 39 entries contested the first-round track set by Alan Wade (IRL), with seven pairs welcomed back for the short test. After watching both Parot and Vale’s performances, Little and the 2007 Holsteiner gelding (Clearway x Come On) put in a quick and clean round that could not be beat.

“It’s always exciting to ride one of Alan’s courses,” said Little of the competitive class. “He does an incredible job and they’re always extremely technical and challenging. I think he usually evaluates the field that he has very well. Today’s was a well-planned course and there were not too many clear. It’s a step up for the 3* week, which was nice and it was a lot of fun.”

Little further elaborated about the course’s technical nature, which plays to Clearwater’s strengths. “There was a center line that was quite difficult – [Wade] included three doubles today and he does that somewhat regularly. It really allows the course to be even more technical. The doubles really caught a lot of people out, but my horse is very technically able. He’s really easy to ride and when I see those kinds of lines in a course, it’s definitely to his advantage,” she explained. “He’s a very quick horse in the jump-off.”

“I knew that with that group of people, whether some had rails or not, I’d have to put in a personal best to win,” Little described, noting the day’s stiff competition. “Clearwater is very fast, and he was really excited to be here, too, since it’s his first week here this summer. He’s had a lot of good rounds in this ring, so we’re looking forward to Saturday’s [Grand Prix].”

Little has been keeping things light with Clearwater in the Jumping discipline while she focuses on preparing her FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) mount, RF Scandalous, after the duo was recently being named to the Land Rover USA Eventing Team Short List for the event.

“I was last here for The Fork. But recently, I took Clearwater to Upperville in June and then to a small national show to give him an easy round. He won that and so we haven’t been doing a ton, but I’m just trying to choose well-planned, well-timed shows and not push it leading up to September.”

In addition to preparing and maintaining her horses, Little is also still mindful of an older, but serious foot injury and has recently completed a six-month stint in a boot, she added. “It’s pretty good. I expected by now to have had surgery. I did spend six months in the boot, which had I known I was going to be in it for that long I would have tried something different, but in the end, it really let it heal. I won’t say it feels normal now, but it’s certainly manageable and I don’t notice it when I’m riding.”

Earlier in the week, the $5,000 1.40m Power & Speed Stake CSI 3* congratulated Javier Fernandez (MEX) and End Good All Good, a 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Mr. Blue x Caretino) for their victory, stopping the short-course timers in 29.316 seconds to best the field of 32.

Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Almighty, a 2008 Hanoverian gelding (Caspar x Quidam De Revel) slid into second place after their 29.569-second jump-off performance, while third place honors went to Mattias Tromp (USA) and the 2009 Dutch Warmblood mare (Harley VDL x Orthos), Eyecatcher, after they completed the short-course in 30.964 seconds.

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

Nicole Bellissimo & Casino Top $35k 1.45m Sunday Classic CSI 2* at Tryon Summer III

Nicole Bellissimo and Casino. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – July 1, 2018 – Competition concluded on Sunday, July 1, at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), with a swift victory for Nicole Bellissimo (USA) and Casino. The duo rounded out a successful week by finishing first in the $35,000 1.45m Sunday Classic CSI 2*, crossing through the jump-off timers in 42.762 seconds. Second place honors went to Tracy Magness (USA) and John Bartko’s 2008 Belgian Warmblood mare, Intenz Van HD (Elvis Ter Putte x Nabab de Reve), completing their fast-track round in 46.075 seconds, while third place was awarded to Samuel Parot (CHI) and his own Atlantis, a 2003 Zangersheide gelding (Andiamo x Royal Bravour L), after achieving a time of 78.95 seconds in the first round.

The win was the second podium placing of the week for Bellissimo and the Bellissimo LLC’s 2007 Holsteiner (Cassini II x Carano), as the 24-year-old also guided the stallion to a second-place award in Friday’s Tryon Resort $5,000 1.40m Speed Stake CSI 2* class. Of her mount, she explained: “I got him at the end of his nine-year-old year, and he was doing the high-jumper classes out in California. We slowly moved up; I’ve ridden him in several CSI 2*s at this point, and he’s just been a really excellent horse for me. He’s exceptionally careful, and I always have to think a little bit more when it comes to time allowed with him, but he’s gotten quicker about that.”

The first-place result also happened to be the pair’s second blue ribbon of the Tryon Summer Series, with both victories taking place on the Derby Field at TIEC. “The grass is really fantastic,” said Bellissimo. “I think that the most important thing that you can say about a grass field is that you can’t feel that you’re riding on grass. Not once, during either of the weeks, did I feel him slip out there. He jumped really solid rounds. Sometimes when they’re on grass, as they leave the ground they may slip, but with the security of this field, it’s like you’re riding in a sand ring.”

The partnership between the two has grown over the past few years, and getting to know the stallion has given Bellissimo an appreciation for his minimal antics. “He is a stallion,” she elaborated, “so he can be a bit fresh on the ground. But he has an amazing groom, Alex Mullen, and she does an incredible job with him. However, for the most part he’s pretty sweet, and really isn’t too bad. He’s just a really special horse.”

Bellissimo plans to give Casino some time off over the next week, and then will return to the show ring ready to tackle the Tryon Summer V CSI 2* competition. She concluded, “He’ll get his break, and then we will come back for week five and hope for the same result then!”

Elizabeth Smith and Double Gold Come Up with Blue in $10,000 Pony Hunter Classic

Tryon Summer III competition boasted the Pony Spectacular, with pony classes featured throughout the week and many hosted in the George H. Morris Arena to help competitors prep for USEF Pony Finals later in the summer. Friday’s highlight class, the $10,000 Pony Hunter Classic, saw a win for Elizabeth Smith of Spartanburg, SC piloting her own Double Gold after their two-round score of 164. Just behind in reserve was Maddie Tosh aboard Smallwood Mystic for Peacock Ridge LLC out of Milton, GA, scoring 163, while Lauren Lomel (Ocala, FL) and Woodlands Lightning Thief, owned by Megan Galloway, achieved a score of 158 to finish third.

Smith has been riding “Nugget” for three years, but was a first-time competitor at Tryon’s Pony Spectacular. One of 12 called back for a second round, Smith knew she had a lead and said that she knew she had to take advantage of the arena’s space with her trustworthy mount:

“I just wanted to have fun and do what my trainer told me. I didn’t want to panic – I wanted to make sure I was relaxed,” said Smith. “I knew that going into the second round I had to carry a forward pace because the lines were riding a little forward. My trainer always tells me to take a deep breath and have fun no matter what, so I knew I had to give my pony leg, and then stay out of his way and he would take care of me.”

Smith didn’t seek out a palomino pony, she revealed, but fell in love with him and his steadfast nature. “My favorite thing about Nugget is his personality. He’s the same pony every day and he loves me so much, and he’ll get me out of anything I put him in,” said Smith. “But he hates having his tail braided.”

Despite the big atmosphere, Smith commented on Double Gold’s tolerance for the arena’s size and energy, as well as his talent contributing to the win, saying, “In this big arena, I can open up his stride more and he doesn’t get too antsy, so he’s good for this ring. Yes, I’m excited for the win, but it’s all my pony,” she concluded.

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

Shulman Glides to First in $70,000 Adequan Grand Prix CSI 2* at Tryon

Sydney Shulman and Ardente Printaniere. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – June 30, 2018 – The $70,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 2* congratulated Sydney Shulman (USA) and Ardente Printaniere for their victory Saturday night after completing the jump-off test in 37.765 seconds at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), highlighting Tryon Summer III CSI 2* competition at the venue. Jack Hardin Towell (USA) and Ann Thompson’s 2006 Holsteiner gelding (Casall x Landlord), Carlo, claimed second place honors, stopping the jump-off timers in 38.602 seconds, while Luis Pedro Biraben (ARG) and his own 2009 Westfalen gelding (Coronas 2 x Lenardo), Colorado 210, received the yellow rosette for their efforts, finishing on a time of 39.513 seconds.

Thirty-eight horse-and-rider pairs tested the Ken Krome (USA)-designed track, with seven pairs returning to prove themselves over the short course. Shulman and the 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare (Joyeux Ardent x Ramiro) owned by Jill Shulman have been partnered for a year and a day.

“I got her from McLain Ward exactly a year ago yesterday, actually,” Shulman said of the mare, whose barn name is “Prima” for her talent. “She’s a fantastic horse. She knows her job. She’s extremely unconventional, but she tries every way to do her job and do it right. And it doesn’t bother me at all,” she continued. “She’s a bit long and low, and of course the other horse I have is really short and high, but again, she uses herself to the best of her ability, and she’s super quick. I love her.”

The course was predicted to be more ideal for her second mount of the night, Jill Shulman’s 2009 Warmblood mare (Diamant de Semilly x Kasina) Villamoura, Shulman admitted, due to the mare’s smaller build and quick stride. “The course was really good – it was actually better suited for my smaller horse [Villamoura] rather than her [Prima], because the lines were a bit short, but she jumped beautifully. The jump-off was made for her, really, to leave out the strides and kind of take a chance at the in of the double and the steady line, so she performed perfectly.

“The more you dare her, the better she jumps,” Shulman said of her jump-off strategy with the brave mare. “I had added one more stride to the wall, which was the second jump, and then also one more stride to the Spy Coast vertical than I had planned, so then I thought, ‘Okay, gallop over, and take a shot at the Horseware line, she’ll come back,’ and she did it beautifully. And then the last jump I also took a shot – she’s super brave, and I knew she wouldn’t back off the liverpool.”

Shulman plans to return to Grand Prix competition with Ardente Printaniere in next week’s $132,000 Horseware® Grand Prix CSI 3* following this week’s momentum, and complimented her mount’s effort. “It was as hard as I expected, to be honest, for her. It’s a lot of work to jump a first round clear with her, since she’s really a good speed horse. So it was quite a lot of work, but she responded well,” Shulman concluded.

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

Bedoya Races to Blue in FEI $35,000 Welcome Stake CSI 2* at Tryon Summer III

Daniel Bedoya and Abracadabra WKT. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – June 28, 2018 – It was a blue ribbon for Bolivia as Daniel Bedoya and Abracadabra WKT conjured up a victory in the FEI $35,000 Welcome Stake CSI 2* during the first days of Tryon Summer III competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Bedoya and the 2008 Holsteiner mare (Casall x Romino) owned by Monica Hanks sped through the jump-off track in 41.215 seconds to best the day’s competition. Sydney Shulman (USA) and Jill Shulman’s 2009 Warmblood mare (Diamant De Semilly x Kasina) Villamoura claimed second-place awards after a quick jump-off round that resulted in an accumulation of 42.466 seconds, while Javier Fernandez (MEX) rounded out the top three riding Miguel Madero’s 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Mr. Blue x Caretino), End Good All Good, stopping the timers in 42.648 seconds.

The morning welcomed forty-two horse-and-rider combinations into the George H. Morris Arena to contest the course designed by Ken Krome (USA). With 16 entries returning for the jump-off, Bedoya claimed the top spot after maneuvering two mounts around the short course. “Obviously, I liked the course today,” he commented. “I had two horses in the jump-off. It was fun and suited them. I thought we made up time with the liverpool. I was running full speed and I tried to do the same with my second horse, but that didn’t work out so well. I was going for the win and a second place, but I’ll take the win!”

The Texas-based rider has been through the levels with Abracadabra WKT, who had a successful stint in the hunter rings before switching her training to become a show jumper. “She’s a mare that we bought as a four-year-old to be a hunter,” Bedoya noted. “She’s Texas bred and born and has really good breeding, but we bought her as a hunter for her owner. The highest scores I’ve ever earned riding a hunter were actually on her.

“When she turned six she became quite impossible in that ring,” Bedoya continued. “She started jumping too big. She was kicking and acting up, so we decided to turn her into a jumper. Her first class as a jumper was here, a year ago. She’s come a long way.”

The pair has had an abundance of success at the venue this season and Bedoya has hopes of a promising future for the mare. He explained, “Hopefully by next year she can start doing the big Grand Prix classes. She’s going to jump this Saturday night and that’s going to be her first FEI Grand Prix under the lights. She’s done a couple of National standard classes and a few of the FEI Sunday Classics, but hopefully we can start to push for the bigger ones now.”

With a string of horses competing here at TIEC this week, Bedoya concluded, “I love the venue. We come here every year; this is my fifth year and definitely my favorite horse show. It’s the best facility by far. This year we are also going to come back in October for FEI competition. I’m also trying to qualify for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 with my other horse.”

Competition at Tryon Summer III commenced on Wednesday, June 28, with a steadfast win for Jack Hardin Towell (USA) in the FEI $5,000 1.40m Power & Speed CSI 2*. Towell piloted Vlock Show Stables LLC’s 2008 Oldenburg stallion, Sandetto (Sandro Boy x Chellano Z) to the first place position after crossing through jump-off timers in 29.39 seconds. Second place went to Chile’s Samuel Parot, who rode his own 2003 Zangersheide gelding (Andiamo x Royal Bravour L), Atlantis, across the fast track in 30.277 seconds. Third place was captured by David O’Brien (IRL) aboard Spy Coast Farm’s Kir Royal SCF, a 2010 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Amaretto D’Arco x Nabab de Reve), ending with a jump-off time of 30.461 seconds.

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

Second Annual Pony Spectacular Features Expanded Lineup of Classes and Special Events

Mill Spring, NC – June 21, 2018 – The Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) Summer Series is excited to present the return of the second annual Pony Spectacular as part of Tryon Summer III competition hosted June 27 through July 1 at the venue, which will include fun entertainment and events for competitors and their families, as well as spectators and fans. The week is a fantastic way for riders to prepare for competition at the USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm in a big arena atmosphere.

The second annual Pony Spectacular will be highlighted by the $10,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Classic in the George H. Morris Arena at Tryon Stadium beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, June 29. The winning combination from the $10,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Classic will be honored during the $70,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 2* on Saturday evening in front of an enthusiastic “Saturday Night Lights” crowd. The concept of the Pony Spectacular was created to help give competitive pony riders additional experience in a major competition atmosphere.

Pony Divisions will be hosted in the George H. Morris Arena throughout the day on Saturday, featuring twelve classes and several pony jumper classes will be highlighted as well, giving youth the chance to showcase their talents in TIEC’s biggest arena.

Pony Spectacular Events & Activities

Friday, June 29 at 12:00 p.m. – Stall Decorating Contest

Another new addition to the Pony Spectacular is a stall-decorating contest that will be held throughout the week, with a winner will be crowned through votes on Instagram. The TIEC team will host a special Instagram live session on Friday, June 29, and the contest is a great way for barns to show their spirit and excitement for the Pony Spectacular. The theme of the stall decorating contest is “Welcome to Summer” with one contest winner being selected by a group of judges to win VIP seating for six in the Legends Club for the movie showing of Moana and six pool passes to Cleghorn Golf & Sports Club.

Friday, June 29 at 7:00 p.m. – Bow Decorating, Movie Night Featuring “Moana” & Ice Cream Social Pajama Party

New to this year’s Pony Spectacular lineup is a “Make Your Own Bow” station at the Movie Night and Ice Cream Social Pajama Party in Legends Club on Friday, June 29, at 7:00 p.m. following the $10,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Classic. Competitors can craft personalized show bows from provided materials or bring their own, while Moana plays on the Jumbotron in the George H. Morris Arena. Popcorn, ice cream and toppings will be provided for competitors on a first come, first serve basis.

Free admission and seating for the general public will be open in the George H. Morris Arena at Tryon Stadium and concessions will be offered throughout the evening including movie theater favorites like popcorn, cotton candy, and lemonade.

Saturday, June 30 at 6:30 p.m. – Hobby Horse Competition

American Hobby Horse competition will return to TIEC during the second annual Pony Spectacular, offering competitors a chance to hone their skills before registered competition begins on Saturday, July 7. The American Hobby Horse Finals will take place on Saturday, July 28, during the USPC Charles Owen Championship East, presented by Flair, LLC and Airowear. American Hobby Horse competition will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 30, before the $70,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 2*. Check-in will begin at 6:00 p.m. Maximum participant age is 14.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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