Lacey Gilbertson and Baloppi. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.
Mill Spring, NC – October 19, 2018 – Lacey Gilbertson (USA) and Baloppi rode to victory in the $35,000 1.45m Tryon Resort Speed Stake CSI 5* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), blazing through the course in 62.31 seconds. Paige Johnson (USA) achieved second place with a time of 74.26 seconds aboard Innovation, a 2008 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Skippy II x Lauriston) owned by Salamander Farm, while Kent Farrington completed the all-American podium guiding Baltic Star 2, a 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Bacardi x Chalan) owned by himself and Tanma Corporation, to a 74.47 second finish.
Twenty-seven pairs stepped up to try their talents on the course set by USA’s Anthony D’Ambrosio, flying around the U.S. Trust Arena. Gilbertson and the 2007 Danish Warmblood mare owned by Seabrook LLC put in a tight round early in the class that couldn’t be bested. Just late enough in the line-up to watch some options ride, GIlbertson explained that the course was suited to her mount’s strengths.
“I thought the course was a lot of fun. There were several areas where you could leave out strides and make tight turns, plus really gallop across the ground and Baloppi is really good at that. It definitely worked to my advantage because she is so nice to ride and always right there with you,” said Gilbertson. “I didn’t go too early, so I did get to see all the numbers ride, and I chose to stick to my original plan once I saw those numbers were there in the options for the leave-outs.”
Gilbertson has been in the irons with Baloppi, whom she describes as “a magical unicorn,” for more than a year and a half, and has piloted her to much success thus far. “I’ve definitely won the most on her than I have on anyone else. She’s brave, consistent, and no matter what ring she goes into she’s always the same, which makes my life really easy. She’s also a lot of fun.”
While Gilbertson will trade mounts for Saturday’s $384,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*, Baloppi has a bright future in the Grand Prix ring and in speed classes, she concluded. “I think she’ll jump some two and three-start Grand Prixs in the future, but definitely also more speed classes because she’s so good at them. She can kind of do anything, which is nice.”
Liza Boyd Earns First Place in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
Liza Boyd of Camden, SC and Tradition gave two stunning performances to earn a total score of 371 in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby in Tryon Stadium to take the win, piloting the 2010 Westphalian gelding for owner Maggie Hill. Reserve honors were earned by Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, NC and Barbara Scott’s Catchphrase, a 2010 Zangersheide gelding, combining their first-round and handy scores for a total of 370, while Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, AL claimed third in the irons for Helen Brown aboard Tybee, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding, finishing on a two-round total of 369.25.
Eighteen entries toured the course set by designers Dean Rheinheimer and J. P. Godard, with the top twelve invited back to showcase their talents in the handy round. Boyd noted that the second round was tricky but gave credit to Tradition for pulling through. “That was a pretty hard handy,” she explained. “In 1-2 when I was cantering to it, I didn’t realize how tight I had turned. I think that’s what got me such high points; I think I sliced to it a little bit more, a bit on accident, actually. When I was cantering to it, I thought for a second, ‘Oh my, he could run out here,’ but he just stepped up for me.”
Planning for a well-executed handy round, Boyd elaborated on her plan moving through the trot jump. “I definitely did have to fudge (the trot jump) a little,” she commented. “I started trotting later than I had planned, which gave me some extra points. You take a little risk when you take that long to come back to the trot. I did a sitting trot to get him engaged from behind a little bit better and then the hand gallop I tried to do super early and get it done early. I was able to measure the distance and make sure he was back on his hind legs for the last jump.”
Boyd and the gelding have had a productive year and the pair will continue to compete through the indoor season and head to Florida for the winter. “The horse stepped up and was third at Derby Finals and then he went on and helped me win the World Champion Hunter Rider class at Capital Challenge,” noted Boyd. “He helped me gain a place in the top six. He’s done a lot for me this year and he’s really quickly stepped up to the plate to become a really top professional horse. He’s young, and super, super scopey. In Europe, I think he really jumped some really great tracks; he’s got a lot of ability. He’s done a lot.”
For full results from the $35,000 1.45m Tryon Resort Speed Stake CSI 5*, click here.
For full results from the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, click here.
For more information, please visit www.Tryon.com.