Marilyn Little and Clearwater Win $130k Suncast Commercial Grand Prix CSI 3*

Marilyn Little and Clearwater. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 14, 2017 – Tryon Fall IV competition was highlighted at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) with a win for Marilyn Little (USA) and Clearwater, as the pair took top honors ahead of 43 other pairs in the $130,000 Suncast® Commercial Grand Prix CSI 3*. Little and the 2007 Holsteiner gelding (Clearway x Tricolore-W), owned by Karen O’Connor, stopped the short course timers in a brisk 35.32 seconds, while Eve Jobs (USA) took second place aboard her own Charleville, a 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Quasimodo Z x Wickeyville), after completing the jump-off in 35.638 seconds. Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) and H&M Harley VD Bisschop, a 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Dulf Van Den Bisschop x Charisma I), owned by Ludo Philippaerts and Ben Beevers, claimed third place honors, finishing in 36.119 seconds.

The course, designed by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN), saw 44 pairs test the first-round track. Eleven pairs returned for the jump-off round, where Little and Clearwater flew to the top of the leaderboard to claim first place.

Little said she is happy to break her recent streak of “one-fence-itis” with a win. “I haven’t had great luck lately, so I’m happy to break that tonight. This is a great venue for him, and he’s really developed a lot here this summer and in the past year. These have been great classes for him to really step up to being a real horse and a top horse. I can really count on him.

“The footing is fast in here, so you can really take a shot at it, and so he’s a really fun horse to ride in the jump-off,” she continued.

The pair was last to go after jump-off rounds that kept getting faster throughout the short course, and Little admitted there was some pressure to perform against the other top riders. She was followed closely by young U.S. talent Eve Jobs and European standout Nicola Philippaerts.

“There were so many in the jump-off. I thought Beezie was quite fast, and that I’d be trying to beat her, and then they just kept getting faster and faster,” she said. “That’s a little how the class went tonight overall. I knew I was going to have to go in and put in a personal best, and if we did that, he would win because he’s so fast.”

Little and Clearwater will contest the $380,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* next week for the first time together, and Little reported that this win is a real confidence boost. The duo then plans to head to Wellington, FL for their winter circuit, where Little will look to compete in the top classes during the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

“From here, he will go to Wellington and will hopefully be a real contender there. He was an eventer initially, tried some jumpers and we decided to see how far he could go. It’s been a wonderful ride for us both and he’s a really special horse,” she concluded.

Amber Harte (USA) was presented with the FEI Leading Lady Jumper Rider Award presented by Meg Atkinson of Town & Country Realtors after accumulating the most points throughout the week of FEI competition. Marilyn Little’s groom, Daniel Aranda, received the $500 Absorbine Grooms’ Award as groom for the evening’s winning mount.

Karen Polle and Little Lord 90 Cruise to $35,000 Horseware® Ireland 1.45m Speed Stake CSI 3* Win

The $35,000 1.45m Horseware® Ireland Speed Stake CSI 3* saw Karen Polle (JPN) and her own Little Lord 90 streak to the top of the honor roll as they completed the course in a blazing 64.82 seconds. Just behind her in second place was Daniel Bluman (ISR) aboard his own Bacara D’Archonfosse, a 2007 Belgian Warmblood mare (ASCA Z x Queen D’Archonfosse), finishing in 64.92 seconds, while Brianne Goutal (USA) took third place honors aboard Fineman, a 2003 Swedish Warmblood gelding (Feliciano x Kotiljong II) owned by Rose Hill Farm, stopping the timers at 65.47 seconds.

“Today went really well,” said Polle. “I was lucky. The lines just came up really nice for me and it was perfect. My horse is really quick and has a lot of foot speed, so I just had to guide him around,” she said of the 2005 Holsteiner gelding (Lasino x Remini).

Polle mentioned that her trainer, Rodrigo Pessoa, encouraged her to push herself in some spots throughout the course. “The first line I walked a forward eight and it ended up being really steady for me, and then on the second line I was going to do nine [strides] but my trainer, Rodrigo, told me to do eight. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, but I did, even though it was a little long.”

The pair has been together since April so the gelding is still relatively new to her. “He’s such a trier; he has such a good heart. He’s so fast, so he’s really fun. I just kind of zip around on him,” she said.

“He’s sort of a 1.45m or 1.50m horse, so this class is his specialty. I hope we’ll keep getting better and better at these,” she concluded. “This was my best placing this week, so it’s been the highlight so far!”

For more information on TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com.

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