Category Archives: Events

Nutrena Young Horse Show Finals Sees Record Entries

Photo: ©TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – December 1, 2020 – The 2020 edition of the Nutrena® Young Horse Show Finals presented by Spy Coast Farm welcomed a record 130 entries to Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC) November 5-8, 2020, showcasing the future of American-bred sport horses, ranging from yearlings to five years old. From in-hand and liberty classes to jump-chute, under saddle and over fences competition, the young equine athletes were evaluated over four days in a safe and educational environment intended to support and promote American sport horse breeders across many breeds and disciplines.

Jean Yves Tola, the organizer of the Young Horse Show (YHS) Series, was thrilled with the “largest turn out so far” of the series’ tenth year of competition since inception. Despite a no-spectators mandate due to COVID-19 and strong safety measure in place, the enthusiasm for young sport horses remained unaffected, he reported.

“It was a great way to end our 10-year anniversary season,” he recapped. “The overall quality [of entries] keeps climbing every year, making this competition noteworthy. The live stream addition this year was fantastic too, as it allowed us to reach an audience beyond the United States. We had buyers, breeders, and owners tuning in from around the world. We’re very much looking forward to 2021!”

Sara McCormick of Orchid Hill Farm was a first-time competitor in the YHS Finals, adding the Finals to her competition calendar after a friend’s recommendation. McCormick brought her stallion, “Jimmy” [Orchard Hill’s Finer by Far], who is a third-generation foal for her. She was excited to experience the YHS Series as she’d “never actually done anything like the Young Horse Show.”

“I wanted to bring him out into a different venue than he’s been in before. He actually showed on the line last year for the Young Pony Hunter Breeding in the USEF stuff. Last year, he won Best Young Pony at Devon, and was first at Upperville. I had plans to get him out this year, but because of COVID, Devon and Upperville were cancelled. I decided to bring him home and then bred him to five mares. One of my friends was coming to this, so I said, ‘Okay, let’s take him!’ It’s been a lot of fun. I hope to bring a few more next year and see how it goes. It’s something for the young horses to do, and a new venue for them.”

McCormick noted that being able to connect with her friends and fellow breeders she knows online, but has never met in person, was a highlight for her:

“I loved meeting and seeing so many people who I know on social media, but haven’t put two eyes on. We met a lot of different people who were interested in the stallion and interested in what we’re doing, too. Everyone was really nice. Breeders benefit [from the Young Horse Show] because people get to see horses bred in the U.S. and the quality of the horses bred here in a more European setting. They can really view the animals and their different styles.”

View all Finals results here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Matthias Hollberg and D.A. Duras Earn Double Victory at Tryon Fall Festival 2

Matthias Hollberg and D.A. Duras ©TIEC/Bailey Beck Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – November 20, 2020 – Matthias Hollberg (Ocala, FL) and D.A. Duras sped to double victory at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) last week, topping the podium in both the $15,000 Tryon Resort Jumper Classic on Sunday and the $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake on Friday. In the Jumper Classic, Hollberg piloted D.A. Duras to a winning time of 37.438. Second place was awarded to Lynsey Whitacre (Saint Joseph, MO) aboard her own Barillo W, the 2003 Canadian Warmblood gelding (Unknown x Unknown), with a time of 37.817. John Michael Durr (Shelby, NC) and Marissa Nielsen’s Vinetta M, the 2009 Hanoverian mare (Valentino x Parodie M), rounded out the podium with a third-place time of 38.251.

Hollberg and D.A. Duras, 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Numero Uno x Quattro) owned by Debbie J. Adams & Jacqueline Badger Mars, challenged 14 entries on the course designed by Joe Carnicom (Toledo, OH). An ex-Event horse, Hollberg has been training his new mount to be a top-level show jumper and is consistently pleased with his performance.

“Duras [D.A. Duras] is a 12-year-old ex-Event horse that I just got the ride on three months ago. I’m planning to make him into a high-level jumper and then sell him. I’m lucky to have him. He wins pretty much every class he goes in! For the first month or two, we were just getting to know each other. Now, he’s on the job every time he goes in the ring,” shared Hollberg.

Merideth Bryans and Jaguar Win $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

November 14, 2020 – Merideth Bryans (Newborn, GA) and Jaguar topped the podium at the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby earning 79 points in round one and 89 in the handy round to end with a score of 168. Second place went to Alexandra Dow (Matthews, NC) and Sally Watkins’ Maxumus, the 2012 Rheinlander gelding (Magnum x Octavia), with 158 points. Genevieve Edwards (Guyton, GA) guided JoJo Howland’s Star Jewel, the 2010 Oldenburg mare (Amazing x Quinta) to a third-place score of 155.

Seven entries tested TIEC’s final hunter derby course of 2020 designed by Dean Rheinheimer (Sheridan, IN) and Bryans praised her and Jaguar’s experience.

“The course was great. I loved the first round. [Jaguar] always lands on his right lead, so I knew landing left on the two bending lines was going to be challenging for us, but we worked it out. The first round was nice. In the handy round, I knew going from one to two was going to be a gamble with the right turn, but again, he lands better [on the right lead], so I opted to take the chance. It paid off!” explained Bryans.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Vote for Your Favorite US Groom and Athletes in the 2020 FEI Awards

Photo: Nina Lamsam Ligon.

This year, the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) Awards will be fully online and virtual. 55 winners from previous FEI Awards are open for your nominations in each of the five categories. Throughout the voting period until November 22, nominees have the opportunity to promote themselves in order to obtain a maximum number of votes. The results of the public vote count for 100% of the votes. The winners will be announced during a virtual ceremony on December 11.

Cast your votes for your favorite U.S. groom and athletes by November 22!

Cavalor FEI Best Groom

Since 2009, the FEI Awards have celebrated great grooms and their dedication to their horses and their athletes. From famous partnerships to successful and long-term careers, who should be crowned best of the decade?

  • Lee McKeever
    Jumping (Groom to McLain Ward)
  • Jose Eduardo (Eddie) Garcia Luna
    Dressage (Groom to Steffen Peters)

FEI Against All Odds

Resilience and determination barely scratch the surface when you look back at our FEI Against All Odds winners since 2009. They all deserve our respect and admiration, but who should be adding a second FEI Awards trophy to their collection?

  • Sydney Collier
    Para Dressage
  • Courtney King-Dye
    Dressage

Longines FEI Rising Star

This category has celebrated outstanding performances and dedication by the next generation of athletes – all aged 14-21 at the time of their Awards win – with many going on to become household names. Who is your ultimate rising star?

  • Reed Kessler
    Jumping
  • Caroline Roffman
    Dressage
  • Nina Lamsam Ligon
    Eventing

© 2020 United States Equestrian Federation

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg Win USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – November 15, 2020 – The MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event concluded at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC) after four days of international and national Eventing competition and showcasing the largest competition hosted on the East Coast in 2020. An incredibly close Show Jumping phase was undecided until the very end, resulting in a win for Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg in the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship, laying down a clear round to hold the top spot and ending on a score of 28.10. In reserve, Phillip Dutton (USA) piloted Z, the 2008 Zangersheide gelding (Asca x Babouche VH Gehucht Z), to a clear round and a final score of 28.80 for T. Tierney, S. Roosevelt, S. Lacy, A. Jones, and C. Moran. Rounding out the podium and finishing on their Dressage score of 29.10, Woods Baughman (USA) and C’est La Vie 135, the 2008 Hanoverian gelding (Contendro I x Aarking XX) owned by Woods, Kim, and James Baughman, Jr., produced a clear round in Tryon Stadium to achieve the podium.

Just 0.10 points behind Baughman, Doug Payne (USA) earned fourth place with Vandiver, the 2004 Trakehner gelding (Windfall 2 x Mystic Replica XX) owned by Debi Crowley in partnership with Doug and Jessica Payne, while Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (USA), the leader after Cross-Country, had a heartbreaking rail at the last fence aboard Deniro Z, the 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zapatero x French Buffet XX) owned by Ocala Horse Properties and the Deniro Syndicate, to drop to fifth place and a final score of 30.10.

Martin piloted three mounts through the course set by Chris Barnard (Millbrook, NY), and each went better than the next, he recalled. “I had a little bit of a rough start today. It got better and better. Luckily, I had three horses in it: Blackfoot Mystery was a little bit tired and had big gaps. For On Cue, I had two poles knocked over, and she’s usually jumping clear. Finally, the old campaigner ‘Thomas’ went into the jumps like a champion, so I’m thrilled because show jumping is the weak phase of his, and we’ve worked pretty hard at it. It was just very satisfying to get a good round out of him under pressure.”

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS Cruise to CCI 3*-L Win

Will Coleman (USA) and Chin Tonic HS sailed to a win in the CCI 3*-L Division, holding the lead all the way for a final score of 25.70 with the 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Chin Champ x Quinar) owned by Hyperion Stud LLC. In second, Boyd Martin (USA) piloted Contessa, the 2009 Holsteiner mare (Contender x Esteban) owned by Club Contessa, to a score of 25.90, adding nothing to their score all weekend, while Leslie Law (USA) improved from fourth place third with Lady Chatterley, the 2011 Holsteiner mare (Connor 48 x Mytens XX) owned by Lesley Grant-Law and Jackie and Steve Brown, walking away with a score of 27.80. Ending on fourth after a tiebreaker with Law, Ariel Grald and Caballe, the 2012 Holsteiner mare (Cliostro x Lansing) owned by Anna Elridge, also ended on a score of 27.80.

Coleman was piloting Chin Tonic HS through his first 3*-L and noted that he was still quite fresh after Cross-Country: “The Show Jumping went well, and my horse jumped great. He was looking around a bit when the wind started blowing and things like the flowers and fillers were moving. He still felt pretty fresh after yesterday!”

Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Cooley HHS Calmaria Climb to Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Win

Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp prevailed in the Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Division with Cooley HHS Calmaria, ending on their Dressage score of 28.30. Elizabeth Bortuzzo (USA) and Belongs to Teufer, the 2009 Thoroughbred gelding (Teuflesberg x Belong To Me) owned by John. A Witte, held steady to their Dressage score to end up in second on a score of 28.60, while the weeklong leader, Sara Kozumplik Murphy (USA) and Otta B Quality, Edith Rameika’s 2013 Dutch Warmblood gelding, dropped just one rail on course to land in third with a score of 29.20.

Halliday-Sharp and the 2013 Irish Sport Horse mare (Cyrano 145 x Chester Lass) owned in partnership with Cooley Farm have only been partnered since June of this year, she revealed, and found the win to be “a nice surprise” but one that only confirms the quality of the up-and-coming mount.

Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill Top CCI 4*-S Division

Jenny Caras (USA) and Trendy Fernhill carried their lead through to the finish in the CCI 4*-S division, adding 20.80 penalties for time to their Cross-Country run and still keeping the lead score of 47.80. In second, Joe Meyer and Clip Clop, the 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Crosstown Dancer x Wolverlife) owned by Madison Foote, Theresa Foote, and John Meyer, cleared the White Oak Course with 12.40 time penalties for a total score of 48.50. Rounding out the top three, Nobie Cannon (USA) and Bust A Groove, her own 2004 Thoroughbred gelding (Busterwaggley x Groovy), were by far the closest to making the time on a muddy course, adding only eight time penalties for a total score of 52.20.

Caras mentioned that it was only the third advanced competition for the 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ars Vivendi x Cruising) owned by Elyse Eisenberg, and that the atmosphere only added some nice spark to an already nice Dressage test. “I was going for consistency and no mistakes, and I was happy with him overall,” she recalled. “He couldn’t have been better in the Show Jumping. I know that it can be hard to make the time in that ring, and he has a long stride and can be a bit slow, so I went in and rode forward. He’s such a great jumper and it’s nice to be able to just focus on the riding and the plan.”

To view full results from the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event, click here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z Rise to USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship Lead

Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – November 14, 2020 – Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (USA) and Deniro Z cleared the White Oak Cross-Country Course with just 1.60 penalties for time to rise to the lead position in the highlight division of the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event. Heading into the final phase of the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship, Halliday-Sharp sits on a score of 26.10, just two points ahead of Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg, holding a score of 28.10 with the 2007 Trakehner gelding (Windfall *PG* x Buddenbrock) owned by Christine, Thomas and Tommie Turner. Phillip Dutton (USA) and Z, the 2008 Zangersheide gelding (Asca x Babouche VH Gehucht Z) owned by T. Tierney, S. Roosevelt, S. Lacy, A. Jones, and C. Moran, rounded out the top three carrying a score of 28.80 after their double-clear Cross-Country performance.

Halliday-Sharp and the 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zapatero x French Buffet XX) owned by Ocala Horse Properties and the Deniro Syndicate haven’t challenged a long-format competition since Burghley last year, she revealed, so she was thrilled with the day’s results, taking over the lead from Marilyn Little after she and RF Scandalous retired. “Deniro is amazing and I have a great partnership with him, which makes a big difference,” she emphasized. “We haven’t run for eight weeks because Chatahoochee got canceled, which is a little bit longer than I’d like before an important four-star event, but he’s such a professional. I am a little mad at myself that I didn’t make the time, but that’s not his fault!”

In fact, Halliday-Sharp continued, Deniro Z has proven himself to be stronger and more responsive in the tack than ever before, she detailed. “He’s actually just been so incredibly polite this year. I nearly pulled him up a little bit too much in front of two combinations, and he just came back so fast. Honestly, I think every fence and combination rode how I planned it, and the horse was phenomenal and he didn’t make it feel hard. He finished very fresh. I feel like it was a great day because he finished with the attitude of ‘Oh, that was easy!’”

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS Coast to Continued CCI 3*-L Lead

Will Coleman (USA) and Chin Tonic HS cleared the White Oak Course to hold their CCI 3*-L lead, and he called Chin Tonic’s run “the best of the day for me” despite challenging his first 3*-L with the 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Chin Champ x Quinar) owned by Hyperion Stud LLC. The duo sits on a score of 25.70 heading into the final phase. The remainder of the podium also remains unchanged: with a score of 25.90, Boyd Martin (USA) and Contessa, the 2009 Holsteiner mare (Contender x Esteban) owned by Club Contessa, hold second, while third place currently rests with Jonathan Holling (USA) and Prophet, the 2012 Trakehner gelding (Tatendrang x Pennant) owned in partnership with Chuck McGrath, on a score of 26.90.

“This was his first 3*-L. He’s just an eight-year-old, but he’s a really magic horse. You know, the light was a bit funny [by the afternoon] – he came out of the box a little looky and he felt almost green, but he’s just so honest and got better and better as he went. I was thrilled with him; his conditioning felt great, and he really jumped the jumps all very easily.

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Otta B Quality Hold Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Division Lead

Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Otta B Quality, the 2013 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Edith Rameika, maintained their hold on the Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Division after their double-clear Cross-Country round, carrying forward their score of 25.20. Dani Sussman (USA) and Jos Bravio, the self-owned 2011 Argentinian Warmblood gelding (Jos Fapillon x Remonta Guinea), improved from fourth to second and sit on a score of 27.30 after a clear Cross-Country round, with third belonging to Tik Maynard and Galileo, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Richard Maynard, who added 2.00 penalties for time to hold a score of 28.10.

“The course rode super well,” Murphy shared. “The footing was really good, and they worked so hard on it. Otter went out at 8:20am, so I went out and walked [the course] as soon as it was light out, and I was really happy with the ground. I was curious as to how it was going to ride going down the hill and things like that, but it was all lovely,” she reported. “There was a good balance going down there. As I said yesterday, the course was really appropriate for the level. It was all exceptionally well built with good designing. You had all of the questions that you needed, but it was appropriate for the level, so it encouraged the young horses or younger riders with older horses.”

For Murphy, she knew in advance that her young jumper tends to have more hang time in the air, and chose to be cognizant of her time as much as possible on course. “I knew I was going to have to go a little bit more on these courses that are a bit winding. He’s a good jumper so he has quite a bit of airtime, so I just wanted to make sure that we weren’t going to give points away because all of our Dressage scores were so close. He cruised across the ground, and still had plenty of play left at the end. He’s very proud of himself!”

Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill Keep Their CCI 4*-S Lead After Two Phases

Jenny Caras (USA) and Trendy Fernhill, the 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ars Vivendi x Cruising) owned by Elyse Eisenberg, jumped clear to maintain their lead on a score of 27.00. Lillian Heard (USA) and CharmKing, the 2011 Holsteiner gelding (Cassito x Heraldik XX) owned by CharmKing LLC, still hold a score of 27.40 to keep second place, with Will Faudree (USA) and Caeleste, the 2007 Holsteiner mare (Contender x Lucky Lionell) owned by Jennifer Mosing and Sterling Silver Stables, sitting on a score of 30.60 for third.

To view full results thus far from the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event, click here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Day One Dressage Leads Unchanged in CCI 4*-L and CCI 2*-L

Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – November 13, 2020 – Day two of Dressage wrapped up the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition CCI 4*-L Division with a continued lead for Marilyn Little (USA) and RF Scandalous, besting the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship thus far on a score of 21.50. Gaining second after earning a 24.50, Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp piloted Deniro Z, the 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zapatero x French Buffet XX) owned by Ocala Horse Properties and the Deniro Syndicate, while Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg, the 2007 Trakehner gelding (Windfall *PG* x Buddenbrock) owned by Christine, Thomas, and Tommie Turner, grabbed third heading into Cross-Country on a score of 26.50. Doug Payne (USA) and Starr Witness, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood mare (Chello III VDL x Veneur) owned in partnership with Laurie McRee and Catherine Winter, keep their top placing to sit in fourth, also tied with Tamra Smith (USA) and Danito, the 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Dancier x Wolkenstein II) owned by Ruth Bley.

“There’s always pressure,” Little admitted about the atmosphere surrounding the CCI4*-L National Championship, “but truly the only pressure I feel is pressure I’ve put on myself. I believe Kitty and I both tend to produce our best performances in the most pressurized moments, so I really look forward to the butterflies! We know how to do weeks like this, and I believe we have come into this weekend prepared and ready to take on all three phases the way we would like – but of course the stars have to align!”

Erin Sylvester-Kanara and Paddy the Caddy Easily Dominate CCI 4*-S Dressage Phase

Erin Sylvester-Kanara (USA) and Paddy the Caddy produced a score of 24.60 to handily dominate the sandbox in the CCI 4*-S Division, followed in second by Jenny Caras (USA) and Trendy Fernhill, the 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ars Vivendi x Cruising) owned by Elyse Eisenberg, receiving a score of 27.00. Third currently belongs to Lillian Heard (USA) and CharmKing, the 2011 Holsteiner gelding (Cassito x Heraldik XX) owned by CharmKing LLC, after their performance earned a score of 27.40.

Sylvester-Kanara and the 2007 Irish Thoroughbred gelding (Azamore x Unknown) owned by Frank McEntee are only contesting the Dressage phase this weekend and will not continue on in the CCI 4*-S, she revealed, after improving upon a previous score with the same test a few weeks ago at Plantation Field International.

“I was really, really happy with his test. I did that same test at Plantation and we just had some trouble getting into a rhythm with that test. It has a different flow in the trot work, and it’s a little bit more technical right at the start,” she explained. “You don’t have any mediums to kind of get out in a forward rhythm, so I set it as my goal to get that test a lot better, because I really didn’t have a good enough performance or score at Plantation. I actually intended to finish his season that weekend, and he was super in the Jumping phases, but I felt like I just needed to finish off with one more improved Dressage test.”

Sara Kozumplik Murphy Holds Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Lead after Dressage

Sara Kozumplik Murphy (USA), Otta B Quality and their day one lead were untouched after the conclusion of the Dressage phase in the Guardian Horse Bedding CCI2*-L Division, sitting on a score of 25.20. The remainder of the podium also remains unchanged after day two: Tik Maynard (CAN) and Richard Maynard’s Galileo, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding, hold a score of 26.10, while third stays with Kelly Prather (USA) and Catch Me Cooley, the 2012 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Clover Brigade x Loughnavatta Sabrina) owned in partnership with Cooley Farm, on a score of 26.90.

Murphy admitted that while she believes the next two phases of competition will be extremely influential for the division, she’s hopeful that her spot remains intact going forward if she’s able to navigate the White Oak Cross-Country Course according to plan: “With the scores being as tight as they are, I think tomorrow and Sunday will be hugely influential. I believe that we’ll see it shuffle around a bit here and there, just hopefully not with me!”

To view full Dressage results from the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event, click here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Coleman, Murphy, and Little Lead in MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event Dressage Day One

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – November 12, 2020 – The CCI 3*-L Division of the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event was the only FEI division to see all competitors down centerline at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC), with Will Coleman (USA) and Chin Tonic HS scoring a 25.70 to lead the division heading into Saturday’s Cross-Country phase. Just behind with a score of 25.90, Boyd Martin (USA) and Contessa, the 2009 Holsteiner mare (Contender x Esteban) owned by Club Contessa, hold second, while third place currently rests with Jonathan Holling (USA) and Prophet, the 2012 Trakehner gelding (Tatendrang x Pennant) owned in partnership with Chuck McGrath, on a score of 26.90.

Coleman and the 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Chin Champ x Quinar) owned by Hyperion Stud LLC recently topped the Open Intermediate Division at TIEC’s Blue Ridge Mountain Horse Trials presented by EquiSafe Global, and are looking to repeat their win in the CCI 3*-L Division. Due to schedule changes after significant rain saturated the White Oak Cross Country-Course, Coleman and the CCI 3*-L competitors will have an off day before challenging the Captain Mark Phillips course design on Saturday.

Coleman reported that their flatwork was hindered by a few bobbles, but not enough to knock them from the top position. “My horse is very talented, especially on the flat, and I think he carried me a bit today. We had some really, really good work in the test, and then we had a few moments where we had trouble. I forgot my test at one spot, which is sort of inexcusable, but does happen,” Coleman admitted, “and we had a little spook in another place. Other than that, I thought he performed well. He’s a lovely horse, and I’m just lucky to have him.”

Sara Kozumplik Murphy Leads Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Division after Day One of Dressage

Sara Kozumplik Murphy (USA) and Otta B Quality, the 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Edith Rameika, currently lead the Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Division on a score of 25.20 with 15 pairs still to show in Dressage on Friday. In second, Tik Maynard (CAN) and Richard Maynard’s Galileo, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding, hold a score of 26.10, while third currently belongs to Kelly Prather (USA) and Catch Me Cooley, the 2012 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Clover Brigade x Loughnavatta Sabrina) owned in partnership with Cooley Farm, on a score of 26.90.

Murphy has been partnered with Otta B Quality since he was three years old, and called him a “really lovely horse” who “did everything he knows how to do” in Dressage to claim the tentative lead. “He was very well behaved, and did his best job, so I was thrilled with him today. He did the best test he could do for where he is, and he’s well-prepared to be here.”

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous Hold BUCKEYE™ Nutrition CCI 4*-L Division Lead Following Dressage Day One

Marilyn Little (USA) and RF Scandalous, the 2005 Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Lario) owned by Michael and Phoebe Manders along with Jacqueline Mars, produced a comfortable lead after the first half of Dressage to kick off the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship, scoring 21.50. Doug Payne (USA) and Starr Witness, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood mare (Chello III VDL x Veneur) owned in partnership with Laurie McRee and Catherine Winter, sit in second with a 26.60, while Boyd Martin (USA) holds third with On Cue, the 2006 Anglo-European mare (Cabri D’elle x Primitive Rising) owned in partnership with Christine, Thomas, and Tommie Turner. The remaining 39 entries in the BUCKEYE Nutrition CCI 4*-L Division will ride down centerline starting at 8:00am EST on Friday, November 13.

For full results after day one, click here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

FEI Awards 2020 Celebrate a Decade of Equestrian Excellence

If you had the chance to choose, who would be your favourites from the winners over the past decade of FEI Awards?

Well now you have that opportunity! In a year when our sport has been brought to a standstill by the pandemic, we are looking back through the years and giving YOU the chance to pick the best of the best from the five FEI Awards categories.

And the public vote for the special edition FEI Awards 2020 is now open!

This year the winners in each of the five categories will be chosen entirely by the public and votes can be cast on FEI.org from today until 22 November. Winners will be announced the second week of December.

There are 55 nominees representing 19 nations across the five Awards categories: Longines FEI Rising Star; Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete; Cavalor FEI Best Groom; FEI Against All Odds; and FEI Solidarity. The complete list of nominees can be found here.

“These Awards are a way to honour the heroes of our sport through their amazing stories of resilience, horsemanship, determination, and passion,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said.

“Equestrian is not just a sport, but a way of life for many people, and this has been a desperately difficult year for the equestrian community, just as it has been for everyone, in every sector. Now, more than ever, we need to focus on the positives that our sport has to offer and celebrate the fantastic ambassadors that we have, both on the field of play and behind the scenes making a difference.”

Since their launch in 2009, the FEI Awards have become a key addition to the annual equestrian calendar and have grown in size and stature over the last decade. The FEI Best Athlete and FEI Rising Star Award categories have featured a high calibre of nominees from around the world with numerous Olympic, Paralympic, and FEI World Equestrian Games™ honours among them.

With nine awards in total, Germany has the greatest number of winners and also tops the leader board in the FEI Best Athlete category, with five wins in 11 years.

German athletes in different Olympic disciplines have won the FEI Best Athlete category three years in a row. 2019 winner Ingrid Klimke, one of the world’s most successful Eventing riders, was the third German female to win the FEI Best Athlete award, following in the footsteps of FEI World Equestrian Games™ Jumping champion Simone Blum in 2018 and six-time Dressage Olympic gold medallist Isabell Werth in 2017.

Germany has also been to the fore in the FEI Rising Star Award, with the Rothenberger family claiming it twice, with Sönke winning in 2016 and his sister Semmieke taking home the honours last year.

Alongside the recognition of individual sporting accomplishments, the FEI Best Groom award highlights the important work of grooms, often the unsung heroes of equestrian sport, and the British have dominated this category. There was a double celebration in 2016 when Olympic champion Nick Skelton and his long-time groom Mark Beever were crowned Best Athlete and Best Groom. Career groom Jackie Potts won in 2014 for her long collaboration with Eventing legend William Fox-Pitt while Alan Davies, head groom to Dressage superstars Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin, won the title in 2017.

The FEI Solidarity Award has raised the profile of a number of equestrian development projects, individuals, and organisations that have benefitted the sport and communities in countries such as Haiti, South Africa, Singapore, Uruguay, Zambia, and Great Britain.

At the 2018 FEI Awards Gala in Manama (BRN), the FEI Solidarity Award was given to The Horsemanship Movement, founded by Chinese Eventing star Alex Hua Tian and his friend Philip Wong. The programme aims to improve the lives of migrant children through building a positive partnership with horses, as well as to reposition equestrian sports as a value-led activity, rich with character education for children.

Following his win in 2018, Alex Hua Tian became the only individual to have secured two accolades at the FEI Awards having also won FEI Rising Star at the inaugural FEI Awards Gala in 2009 in Copenhagen (DEN). The FEI Rising Star recognition came on the back of his Olympic debut at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing at the age of 18, where he became China’s first equestrian Olympian and the youngest ever Eventer in Olympic history.

Perhaps the most inspiring of all the categories is the FEI Against All Odds Award, which has brought equestrian stories of courage, hope, and faith to the forefront. The Award, given to a person who has pursued his or her equestrian ambitions despite a physical handicap or extremely difficult personal circumstances, has been won by athletes from Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Haiti, Palestine, Uruguay, and the USA.

“This year, more than ever, I invite you all to show your support for the multiple nominees in the different categories,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “The equestrian community has been pushed to the limit this year but has come out stronger and this is our chance to unite and celebrate our community’s resilience in the face of adversity.”

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director, Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Vanessa Martin Randin
Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications
vanessa.randin@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 73

Domination by Darragh Kerins in $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix

Darragh Kerins and Skara Glen’s Para Bellum ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – November 1, 2020 – Darragh Kerins (Wellington, FL) took the top call and the yellow rosette in Saturday’s $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC), clearing the short course timers with Skara Glen’s Para Bellum in 38.607 seconds and also piloting Carlos JD Z, the 2009 Zangersheide gelding (Canturo x Baloubet) owned by NRG Farm LLC, to third on a time of 42.011 seconds. Brian Murphy (Berryville, VA) and Denison Park Combat, the 2008 Warmblood gelding (Clinton H x Weinzuber) owned by Allyson & Andrew Lamb, scored second place with their 39.409 second jump-off performance.

Concluding the Tryon Fall Series with a strong showing in the week’s highlight class, Kerins qualified both his rides in the jump-off after successfully navigating the Skip Bailey (Loxahatchee, FL) course design, which tested 15 pairs. Five pairs returned for the jump-off round, where Kerins utilized his position as last in the order of go to pull the lead from Murphy and Denison Park Combat, who had conquered the $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake earlier in the week.

Kerins and the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Singulord Joter x Labor’s VDL Indorado) owned by Hampton Farms LLC, Patricia Hurter and Skara Glen Stables, have been paired together for just over a year, he relayed, and “he’s really come into his own this summer. This is actually the second Grand Prix that he’s won here this season. He’s been off for the last couple of weeks, so this was a great class to do before he shows next week.”

Brian Murphy Makes Easy Work of $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake with Denison Park Combat

October 29, 2020 – Brain Murphy (Berryville, VA) and Denison Park Combat clicked in just their second show together to top the $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC), stopping the jump-off timers in 38.216 seconds with one rail. Also pulling a rail and claiming second, Taylor Granat (Bolingbrook, IL) and Escada 289, the 2012 Holsteiner mare (Clearway x Coriano) owned by Windridge Farm LLC, halted the clock at 43.064 seconds. Rounding out the podium on their first-round, four-fault score, Grace Long (The Plains, VA) rode Happiness VD Hazel Hof, the 2012 Belgian Warmblood mare (Falaise de Muze x Ursina) owned by G&T Equestrian to a time of 73.75 seconds and the final podium spot.

One of 12 trips to tour the Skip Bailey (Loxahatchee, FL) course design, Murphy and Granat were the only two horse-and-rider combos to go clear in the first round, both pulling rails in the speed test. While his main goal was to go double-clear, Murphy admitted that the win was a nice alternative result:

“Honestly, I was just trying to go double clear. I didn’t get to see anyone go before me, but I had a plan. I didn’t want to do anything too silly. I’m very proud of him, and hopefully we’ll jump clear later in the week. I’ve had him for two months and this is my second horse show with him; Scott Keach found him for me in Australia, and so far, he’s been a pleasure.”

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Dominic Gibbs Hoists Winning Title at 2020 ASPCA Maclay National Championship

Dominic Gibbs and Cent 15.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 1, 2020 – Capping off the 137th anniversary of the historic Heritage competition, the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, presented by Chansonette Farm, highlighted the efforts of hopeful equitation riders from around the country Sunday at the National Horse Show. The last major equitation final for the year, the prestigious class featured record numbers, with 255 horse-and-rider partnerships taking their turns around the technical course designed by Bobby Murphy set within the Alltech Arena. As one of the United States’ most storied competitions thanks to its rich history, the National Horse Show has been the longtime host of the Maclay National Championship, which since 1933 has crowned a junior rider as the champion, a distinction regarded as one of the highest in the equitation discipline, especially considering how many advance to successful professional careers. In the irons aboard Mountain King Ranch LLC’s Cent 15, Dominic Gibbs reigned supreme to earn the tricolor honors as the most consistent junior rider throughout four arduous rounds of competition that tested exhibitors’ precision and efficiency to add a fourth top finish to his repertoire of growing equitation accolades.

Beginning early in the morning and throughout the first portion of the afternoon, exhibitors performed one-by-one over Murphy’s smartly-designed pattern, which was composed of 15 obstacles reminiscent of those riders would have seen in decades past. The hunt-inspired fences appeared in forms such as gaits, hedges, stacked logs and rolltops, plus a one-stride combination created out of racetrack fencing that proved to be one of the bogey tests of the day and plenty of wingless jumps. Murphy’s track was an apt test for the distinguished class as it called attention to the performances of those riders who mastered the course, separating that elite group from the pack as they successfully completed forward and tight lines, a precarious vertical and an obstacle jumped both directions, among other questions.

Faced with the tough job of ranking the multitude of riders seen throughout the day, judges Mark Jungherr and Emil Spadone ultimately settled on a final standby list of 24 juniors ahead of the second phase of the competition, the flat round. Thanks to her exemplary performance over fences that demonstrated correct, precise riding, Gigi Moynihan sat superior to her peers as the frontrunner following the challenging first fences round, leading ever since she tackled the pattern as the 36th in the start list. Behind Moynihan, the remainder of the top of the callback list included Dominic Gibbs, Taylor Griffiths-Madden, Mimi Gochman, Alexia Rule, Sophee Steckbeck, Ellie Ferrigno, Skylar Wireman, Chase Finizio, Hannah Dodd, Hannah Hoch, and Zayna Rizvi. Headed into the hack, those top 12 high-scoring riders were sectioned off to compete against each other under saddle, while the latter half of the standby list rode in another segment.

Excited to have made the top of the standings but with more tests to master, both sets of riders took to the Alltech Arena to compete in the flat phase of competition, during which they were challenged to show off their balance and strength via a series of directions from the judges that included all three gaits; working, extended, and collected sitting trot; simple change of lead to the counter-canter in front of the judges and walking to the line on a long rein. The leaderboard did not remain unchanged, as Gibbs leapfrogged up to the first spot, followed by Gochman, Griffiths-Madden, Steckbeck, Moynihan, and Ferrigno, in that order. Kierstin Antoniadis and Natalie Jayne moved their way up the list the most, advancing to 10th and 11th, respectively, after previously holding the 13th and 16th spots.

Returning in reverse order of the judges’ preference, the top 25 contenders each displayed their skills over Murphy’s second course, which asked for a long approach to fence one at a hand gallop, two counter-canter fences, a triple combination, and a forward 6-stride bending line. Not cutting any breaks for the qualified horse-and-rider challengers, the second jumping portion of the event served to further trim down Jungherr and Spadone’s ticket of premier performers. Wanting one last look at four entries, the judges requested that Steckbeck, Moynihan, Griffiths-Madden, and Gibbs, in that order, complete a final work-off. The test consisted of cantering fences 4 and 5, trotting fence 6, cantering the original fence 8C and 9, trotting fence 10, and hand galloping fence 12 before leaving the ring.

All four final contestants turned in valiant showings over the work-off track, leaving the judges the final job of separating the top contenders. The top ten returned to the ring for the awards presentation and as the reserve champion was announced as Griffiths-Madden, who just weeks previously won the 2020 Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final, it became clear that Gibbs had clinched the coveted title following four rounds of textbook riding. The champion rider piloted Cent 15, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding he worked with Beacon Hill trainer Stacia Klein-Madden, a former Maclay National Championship winner herself, to transition from a jumper to a successful equitation horse.

Based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado, the 17-year-old Gibbs has had an astounding year with top-five finishes in all four equitation finals, now culminating in his victory in the 2020 ASPCA Maclay National Championship, presented by Chansonette Farm. Gibbs kicked off his equitation reign with fourth place in the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final, followed by fifth position overall in the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals – East just one week later and another fourth-place result in the WIHS Equitation Finals. With his victory Sunday in Kentucky, Gibbs has added his name to an esteemed list of Maclay National Championship victors that include sport legends such as Bill Steinkraus, Frank Chapot, and Bernie Traurig, as well as new age stars like Jessica Springsteen, Lillie Keenan, and Victoria Colvin.

Though she hoped for the blue ribbon, Griffiths-Madden put in a superb performance that captured the runner-up honors following her efforts on her own Mac One III, and Moynihan was awarded the final podium spot with Christy Johnson’s Quantico. Stechbecl rounded out the top four riding Itteville, owned by Donald Stewart.

Sunday’s competition concluded the 137th National Horse Show, which featured nine days of equestrian action in the equitation, hunter, and jumper disciplines in 2020.

To learn more about the 2020 National Horse Show, click here.