Tag Archives: David Blake

David Blake and Goldbreaker Win $25k #1 Education Place Grand Prix at ESP Year End Awards

David Blake and Goldbreaker. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography.

Wellington, FL – December 12, 2017 – The ESP Holiday Series returned to Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Friday, December 8, with the ESP Year End Awards. The $25,000 #1 Education Place Grand Prix was the highlight class of the weekend and saw a win for David Blake (IRL) and Goldbreaker, owned by Gochman Sport Horses, LLC.

Blake and the 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Heartbreaker x Jus de Pomme) captured the blue ribbon after challenging the course, designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio of Wellington, FL, and completing the jump-off in 41.998 seconds. Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL had another successful weekend, riding to both a second and third place finish after faultless jump-off rounds. Andrade piloted his own Ricore Courcelle, a 2005 Selle Francais stallion (Quaprice Bois Margot x Alme), to finish the jump-off track in 43.572 seconds, alongside Jenni’s Chance, a 2009 Belgian Warmblood mare (Clinton I x Heartbreaker), contesting the short course in just 44.343 seconds.

Jumper Highlights:

The $10,000 #1 Education Place Open Welcome Stake was won by Alvaro Tejada of Guatemala and Dolly Palo Blanco, owned by Agroprosa, after crossing through jump-off timers in 36.253 seconds. Alejandro Karolyi of Wellington, FL and VDL Elliot, owned by Bo Hopson, collected second place with a time of 38.553 seconds. Alex Granato of Wellington, FL and Beorn, owned by Moyer Farm, LLC, finished in third place after finishing in 36.876 seconds with four added faults.

The $4,000 Marshall & Sterling/NAL Child/Adult Jumper Classic saw Kristen Franz of Wellington, FL and her own Cypress finish atop the class as the fastest combination contesting the jump-off with a time of 34.258 seconds. Olivia Minicucci of Montreal, QC and her own Arian P earned second place after completing the short course in 38.384 seconds. Elle Haymond of West Heartford, CT and Tibri LLC’s Dalaide de Longpre finished in third place after stopping the timers in 40.206 seconds.

Sarah Hubbard of Cornwall, CT rode to victory aboard Coline, owned by Hubbard Horses, LLC, in the $5,000 1.35m Classic after stopping the jump-off timers in 43.707 seconds. Benjamin Meredith of Wellington, FL and Golden Point Partners LLC’s Frescon took second place with a time of 44.273 seconds, while Riley Newsome of Medham, NJ and Dakar VDL earned third place after crossing through the finish in 40.338 seconds with four faults.

The $1,500 Low Adult Jumper Classic was won by Jennifer Evancic of Versailles, KY and her own Loguestown Lass, with a jump-off time of 33.636 seconds. Second place went to Sabrina Greenwell of Loxahatchee, FL aboard Canieta, owned by Greenwell, after finishing the jump-off in 33.815 seconds. Rounding out the third-place position was Tracey Cover of Delaplane, VA and her own Vienna, who completed the short course in 34.551 seconds.

The $1,500 Low Children’s Jumper Classic awarded first place to Joshua Baird of St. Charles, IL and Sonas Douglas, owned by Heidi Schaefer, after dashing through their jump-off round in 29.74 seconds. Anika Lozano of Guatemala rode Varcotique AC, owned by Roberto Daza, to second place with a jump-off time of 31.988 seconds. Third place was captured by Ella Hess of Boca Raton, FL aboard All’s Well, owned by Susanne Richey, completing the track in 36.793 seconds.

Hunter Highlights:

Christopher Payne of Cincinnati, OH and Pure Giving, owned by Julie Holzberger, took champion honors in the USHJA Hunter 2’9″ Division. Sarah Kruel of Wellington, FL and her own Opulent received reserve champion honors.

The USHJA Hunter 2’6″ Division was captured by Kelly Mullen of Franklin, TN piloting Three Wishes, owned by Warioto Farms LLC. Reserve champion also went to Mullen and Warioto Farms LLC’s Valentino.

Jessica Hodnicki of Hamilton, NJ and Jethro, owned by Cheyenne Sickle, were champions of the USHJA 2’3″ and 2′ Hunter Division. Reserve champion was awarded to Anabella Cottone of Davie, FL riding her own Aurora.

Katharine Ellis of Weston, MA was awarded champion of the Medium/Small Pony Hunter Division. Her winning ride was Haley Ray’s Blue Moon. Reserve champion was presented to Sydney Raidy and Hershey’s Kiss, owned by Jessica Bader.

The Low Adult Hunter Division champion was awarded to Kristin McCuin of Fort Worth, FL riding Centoon, owned by NSL Ventures LLC. Reserve champion was awarded to Lyda Denney of Wellington, FL and her own Lubek.

For more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.

David Blake Wins $25,000 Odom Engineering, PLLC Grand Prix at Tryon Spring 5

David Blake and Baron. Photos ©ManciniPhotos.

Kelley Farmer and Baltimore Capture Top Honors in $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby; Trapp O’Neal and Quilona Z Earn Victory in $25,000 Suncast® Welcome Stake

Mill Spring, NC – May 24, 2016 – David Blake continued his dominance at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) this past week, picking up another grand prix win aboard Baron in the $25,000 Odom Engineering, PLLC Grand Prix on Saturday, May 21. Blake, of Wellington, FL, piloted Baron to a quick jump-off round, finishing in 33.855 seconds to nudge Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, NC and Basje to second place, as they crossed the timers in 34.69 seconds. Manuel Torres of Leesburg, VA and Christofolini H rounded out the top three with a time of 36.826 seconds. Competition at TIEC continues this week with the start of Tryon Spring 6 on Wednesday, May 25.

Blake has finished atop the leaderboard with three different horses in the past two weeks, earning top finishes in the Tryon Spring 4 $10,000 Suncast 1.40m Open Welcome aboard Bella Donna, the Tryon Spring 4 $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix aboard Park Lane, and this past week’s $25,000 Odom Engineering, PLLC Grand Prix with Baron, all owned by Pine Hollow Farm.

“This was Barons third time jumping under lights and each time he’s performed very well,” said Blake. “He loves the atmosphere here and really steps up during the bigger occasions. His form has been great these past couple of months and I knew he was knocking on the door for a nice win.”

The course, designed by Pierre Jolicoeur (USA), saw 20 entries test the first round track, while six combinations tackled the first round with ease, to move forward to the short course. Only the top three finishers completed the evening under the light in the George H. Morris Arena with a double clear effort.

“The time allowed in the first round was a little tight so you had to be thinking about that when you were going around,” he explained. “He [Pierre Jolicoeur] had an interesting open water option in the first round, which he also included in the jump off that was quiet unusual and was definitely something different than what you typically see in a jump-off.”

“It was quicker to jump the open water around the short course, but it made the inside turn afterwards quiet sharp, so it definitely added an aspect of difficulty if you were planning on taking the quickest route,” he continued.

Baron has been a reliable mount for Blake, as he competes the gelding in FEI ranking classes aside stable mate Binkie, who Blake has also experienced success aboard at TIEC. Baron, a 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Ukato x Vera van Veecaten), finished the winter circuit with several top finishes, and Blake noted that the gelding feels confident and ready to tackle some of the bigger tracks this summer.

“He is probably the most rideable of my upper level horses, which makes it much easier to execute your plan around a technical course,” commented Blake. “It is a comfortable feeling for a rider to know you can shorten and lengthen his stride to overcome the more difficult aspects that a course of that size and nature will present.”

With a carefully planned schedule for each mount, Blake will continue to rely on both Baron and Binkie in upcoming FEI competitions that will begin at the venue the first week of June, while continuing to accumulate valuable mileage with Park Lane, Bella Donna, and Casinjo Ex Z.

“Baron will show again next week and we’ll look to secure another strong result in that class. Right now I want to get him more experience under the lights, specifically in preparation for some of the upcoming FEI weeks too,” he noted.

Kelley Farmer and Baltimore Capture Top Honors in $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

Kelley Farmer of Wellington, FL and Baltimore, owned by Jane Gaston, made an impressive statement in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby hosted at TIEC on Saturday, May 21. The competition, intended to begin under the lights in the George H. Morris Arena on Friday, May 20, was postponed to Saturday, May 21, after inclement weather forced a schedule delay.

Kelley Farmer and Baltimore
Kelley Farmer and Baltimore

Farmer, who has ridden Baltimore to several top finishes already this season, completed the two rounds of competition with a total score of 394 for the win. Jennifer Bliss of Wellington, FL and Poker Face, owned by Harris Hill Farm, LLC, collected second place with a combined score of 378, while Erica Quinn of Maineville, OH rode Need I Say, owned by Kelley Farmer, to third place with a score of 375.

“We got him [Baltimore] I would say maybe midway through the winter circuit in Florida and he’s been nothing but an absolute superstar,” commented Farmer. “He has really stepped up to the plate on all occasions and is just a super horse. He never lets you down and if he doesn’t win it’s not his fault.”

The winning duo earned consistent scores throughout the Classic and Handy rounds, which would ultimately give them a strong hold on the class. Farmer entered the Handy round in the lead aboard her veteran partners Mindful, but a small rider error led to an unfortunate stop on course.

Farmer explained, “With my handy round on Mindful, I really meant to approach the turn the same way I had on Baltimore, but I really didn’t give him enough time and it was my fault. There was a little bit of bad luck there, but I was really pleased with the way that they all went.”

Baltimore has been a strong addition to Farmer’s talented string of top hunters and Farmer believes that he has all of the right qualities to make him a strong contender in some of the larger derby classes approaching this summer and into the fall indoor season.

“He tries so hard for you in the ring and he always seems to do very well. He’s extremely careful and light on his feet so you can really do whatever you want with him in the ring,” she continued. “He’ll do Devon next week and then I’m thinking that I will bring him back for the $50,000 Derby here in Tryon in a few weeks since he enjoyed this class so much.”

For Farmer, the schedule change worked in her favor, as she originally was going to specifically choose which mounts she thought would excel in the electric atmosphere that the George H. Morris Arena provides under the lights. Instead, she was able to pilot four mounts, while Erica Quinn, who works for Farmer and Lane Change Farm, guided Need I Say to a respectable third place finish.

“I was really pleased with all of the horses to be honest. Erica rode Need I Say beautifully and it was really great. We came here last year for the big derby and the ring is just lovely,” commented Farmer. “We came in with a game plan for the night class, but all four horses ended up getting to compete, which was good. They all handled it very well and I was thrilled with everyone’s performance.”

Farmer will be back to the venue with a strong string of horses in just a few short weeks in attempt to repeat derby victories, as she will contest the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby presented by Mirimichi Green on Friday, June 10.

“I cannot say enough good things about this horse show. The ring is fantastic; the footing in beautiful. I thought the jumps looked spectacular. Everyone here at Lane Change Farm absolutely loves showing at this venue and we’re really looking forward to coming back in a few weeks,” she noted.

Trapp O’Neal and Quilona Z Earn Victory in $25,000 Suncast® Welcome Stake

Trapp O’Neal of Hockley, TX and Quilona Z, owned by Carolyn M. Elsey, captured the $25,000 Suncast® Welcome Stake with a time of 37.982 seconds. Manuel Torres of Leesburg, VA and Christofolini H, owned by Andrea Torres Guerreiro, finished in second with a time of 38.093 seconds. Fifty Shades, ridden by Andrea Torres Guerreiro of Waterford, VA, collected third place with a time of 38.72 seconds.

O’Neal and Quilona Z laid down the fastest of five double clear rounds to earn first place, while O’Neal also piloted Capitano owned by TKO Partnership, to fourth place with a time of 40.39 seconds. The class saw 24 entries tackle the first round, which was designed by Pierre Jolicoeur (USA), while 12 combinations moved forward to the jump-off round.

Jumper Highlights

Lauren Hester of Lexington, KY and Daister L, owned by Hester Equestrian LLC, finished atop the division in the Adequan® Open Jumper 1.30m division, while Manuel Torres of Leesburg, VA and Lily, owned by Santa Catalina Farm, took reserve honors.

In the Limo Zen Children’s Jumper 1.10m division, Caitlin Howie of Atlanta, GA and Couture Z picked up divisional champion awards, while Sarah Boston of Owings Mills, MD and Herminas finished in reserve.

Madeline Thatcher of West Bluffdale, UT and Skilliane de Varnel, owned by Pony Lane Farm, topped the Tryon Estates Amateur Owner Jumper 1.20m division, while Allison Epstein of Dix Hills, NY and I Watch, owned by R. J. Equestrian Group collected reserve.

Hunter & Equitation Highlights

Jennifer Bliss of Wellington, FL and Face the Music, owned by Harris Hill Farm, LLC, finished with a first place in the $1,000 USHJA Pre-Green Hunter Incentive with a score of 91. Jennifer Hannan of Wakefield, RI and Best Regards, owned by Patricia Fulchino, earned second place with a score of 87, while John Barker of Middleburg, VA and Calistro, owned by Sherri Crawford, rounded out the top three with a score of 86.

In the $1,000 Junior Hunter 3’6″ Classic, Bergen Sanderford of Santa Rosa Beach, FL finished in first and second place, respectively, winning aboard her own Mystical with a two round total score of 172 and placing second with her own Confidential with a 169. Devin Seek of Ocala, FL piloted At Last, owned by Century Performance Horses LLC, to third place with a score of 168.

Emma Marlowe of Lake Balboa, CA and Spalding, owned by Donald Stewart, took top honors in the $1,000 Junior Hunter 3’3″ Classic with a score of 172. Claudia Pollex of Troutman, NC and her own Mylo Xyloto earned second place with a 165, while Marlowe also picked up third place aboard Just Sayin, owned by Fairfield Farms LLC, with a score of 162.

Madeline Thatcher of West Bluffdale, UT and Jewel, owned by Pony Lane Farm, took top honors in the $1,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3″ & 3’6″ Classic with a score of 169. Thatcher also picked up second place aboard Summer Place, also owned by Pony Lane Farm, with a score of 168. Lynn Seithel of Johns Island, SC and her own Walk the Moon rounded out the top three with a score of 161.

In the WIHS Pony Equitation class, Jessie Marie Spade of Terrell, NC and her own With Applause captured top honors, receiving an 88, while Libbie Gordon of Statesville, NC and her own Tiffany Blue finished in second with a score of 86. Gigi Manigault of Charleston, SC and Marvel Comic, owned by Patti Manigault, earned third place with an 84.

Julia Schaumann of Palantine, IL and her own Cavallino rode to victory in the Ariat Adult Medal, receiving a score of 80. Courtney Canizares of Coventry, RI and her own Keira collected second place with a score of 79, while Madeline Pierce of Columbus, OH and Manhattan, owned by Arris Farms, Inc., finished in third place with a 78.

Carly Hoft of Rolesville, NC and her own Cashman took home a major win in the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 2*, while Melissa Deryn Foster of Langley, BC and Startin’ Monday, owned by Donald Stewart, finished in second place. Julia Curtis of Villa Rica, GA and her own Rocoso earned third place in the competitive class, which saw 14 entries.

For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center and to see a full list of results, please visit www.tryon.com.

David Blake Finishes Winning Week at TIEC Capturing Two Major Victories during Tryon Spring 4

David Blake and Park Lane. Photos ©ManciniPhotos.

Mill Spring, NC – May 16, 2016 – David Blake of Wellington, FL finished a winning week at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), capturing two major stake classes during Tryon Spring 4, taking the $10,000 Suncast® 1.40m Welcome Stake aboard Bella Donna and the $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix with Park Lane. Blake crossed through the timers in 44.15 seconds aboard Park Lane to steal the win from Cesar Almeida and Chaco 34, who finished the short course in 45.556 seconds. Carlos Ramirez and Happy Wandor Van T Roosakker earned third place, with a time of 51.452 seconds. Competition at TIEC continues this week with the start of Tryon Spring 5 on Wednesday, May 18, which continues through Sunday, May 22.

Blake and Park Lane, a 2005 Scottish Sport Horse gelding (Pall Mall x Nistrea) owned by Pine Hollow Farm, have steadily risen through the ranks at TIEC, and have become a competitive pair in many of the larger classes offered at the venue. Park Lane, who is part of the strong cast of Blake’s growing string, also finished in third place in the $10,000 Suncast® 1.40m Welcome Stake, behind barn mate Bella Donna, who took first.

“I had three in the Grand Prix and I thought I had a pretty good chance at doing well because all three jumped great in the Welcome on Thursday,” said Blake. “They’re all in great form and when I walked the course I thought it was nicely set and that it would suit them.”

The course was designed by Hector Loyola (PRI) and welcomed 23 entries who tested the first round, while six pairs moved to the jump-off round. Amanda Flint found herself narrowly edged from the jump-off after accumulating the only single time fault round aboard VDL Wittinger.

Cesar Almeida and Chaco 34
Cesar Almeida and Chaco 34

“Hector [Loyola] said that the time was going to be neat and it was, but also very quick, just not too tight. I had a fair plan as to what I wanted to do with all three of them. My first ride, Bella Donna, who won the Welcome, had one down, so I knew how I wanted to approach the course for my next two rides,” he continued.

Blake piloted both Park Lane and Casinjo Ex Z to the jump-off round and noted that both horses gained valuable experience under the lights in the class. Casinjo Ex Z, a newer mount for Blake, finished the evening with a rail in the jump-off, which placed them fifth.

“I got to see a few rides before I went and everyone was quick, but the track was quite open. There were some long runs between the jumps and Park Lane has become very dependable,” noted Blake. “I had the last jump down on Casinjo, but I didn’t want to leave too much to chance with Park Lane. I pushed the last little bit to try to go for the win.”

The Pine Hollow Farm team took advantage of their time at TIEC last summer, as Blake amassed some of his biggest career victories in 2015 aboard his top mount Binkie. With a talented string also moving into the top levels of the sport, Blake felt pleased with the performance of his three mounts, and is looking forward to a strong spring and summer campaign.

“These national weeks are very nice, especially because the classes are still at night and you can use some of the horses you wouldn’t normally use for the bigger classes, just because they’re younger with less experience,” he explained. “It’s nice to get them under the lights and this was Park Lane’s first time competing in this type of atmosphere and he really rose to the occasion. I felt like I got another gear out of him during the jump-off.”

“He’s a real trier and gives you everything every time you take him out. He just has so much heart. That’s an important quality to have in a horse when they want to win as much as you do,” he continued.

Blake and Bella Donna Finish With Win in $10,000 Suncast® 1.40m Welcome Stake

Blake and Bella Donna, owned by Pine Hollow Farm, powered to the top of the leaderboard in the $10,000 Suncast® 1.40m Welcome Stake at TIEC on Thursday, May 12, finishing with a time of 42.28 seconds. Bryn Sadler of Santa Fe, NM and Cezarro crossed through the timers in 42.584 seconds for second place, while Blake secured third with a solid performance from Park Lane with a time of 43.573 seconds.

Pleased with his ride aboard Bella Donna in the $10,000 Suncast® 1.40m Welcome Stake, Blake felt the 2005 Warmblood mare displayed her true potential and outperformed his expectations, as it was their largest class together to date and she tackled the track with ease.

“We got her just before the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and just worked with her during the winter circuit on her rideability in the ring. We kept her in the 1.35m classes and this was her first large class with us and she really rose to the occasion,” said Blake.

“She’s a bit smaller for me, but she’s a very correct jumper and has a great technique. She’s overall just a very competitive horse and is really useful for these types of classes and it was great experience for her,” he continued.

While Bella Donna seems to be peaking at the right time for Blake, he and his team continue to be meticulous with timing, making sure that each horse is performing to the best of their ability while also balancing time off.

“I really try to focus on building them up and doing a few big classes and then they each will get a few weeks off. I’ll show a few in the national classes next week as well, but it’s very nice to have a couple ready and peaking for each class. It makes for an exciting season,” commented Blake.

“We really enjoy it here in Tryon and they all always seem to jump well. We’re going to have more horses at the top levels this year and hopefully we’ll be back to where we finished last season with some strong placings in the FEI classes throughout the season,” he noted.

Jumper Highlights

Francesca Damasceno of Palm Beach Gardens, FL and her own Watermill Time secured a win in the 1.15m Open Jumper presented by Beval Saddlery, besting the class with a time of 58.228 seconds. Bryn Saddler of Santa Fe, NM and Cinderella, owned by Showcase 81, LLC, took second with a time of 64.001, while Sara Green piloted Chanel, owned by Sloan Hodges, to third place.

The Adequan® Open Jumper 1.30m division saw Cesar Almeida finish with champion honors aboard San Quinta SN, owned by Macro Antonio Alencar. Amanda Flint of Long Valley, NJ and Daisy Chain VT, owned by J&J Imperatore, LLC, finished with reserve champion honors.

Miguel A. Ventura of Murfreesboro, TN and Coulance, owned by Kenya Greenburg, took champion honors in the Nutrena Open Jumper 1.40m division at TIEC, while Ilan Bluman of Wellington, FL and Hector by Picobello, owned by Daniel Bluman, earned reserve honors for the division.

Laura Lindner of Warren, NJ and Carrara 11, owned by Helen Krieble, finished as champions in the Tryon Estates Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper 1.20m division, while Rebecca Bergman of Durham, NC and her own Dyon earned reserve champion.

Hunter & Equitation Highlights

John Barker of Middleburg, VA and Carlotta, owned by Ashley Hodges, were victorious in the USHJA National Hunter Derby at TIEC this past weekend, capturing the win with an overall score of 176. Sara Green and Carabello collected second place honors with a 170, while Donald Sheehan of Maryville, TN and Kenan, owned by EHM Equestrian LLC, finished in third.

Barker and Carlotta, a 2008 Warmblood mare, led from start to finish, earning an 88 in the first round, and putting another strong trip in the second round to repeat the score of 88. Green and Carabello finished with an 89 in the handy round, the highest score of the afternoon.

Isabel Stettinius of Washington, D.C. and Balenciaga, owned by Doreen Toben, collected top honors in the $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic, with a score of 166. Elizabeth McKim of Knoxville, TN and Quintessential, owned by EHM Equestrian LLC, finished in second place with a final score of 160. Caitlin Heilferty of Waxhaw, NC and Skyfall, owned by Caron Stucky, took third, with a score of 147.

In the $500 NAL/WIHS Children’s Hunter Classic, Janie Ware of Middleburg, VA and Welcome, owned by Mary Elizabeth Cordia, topped the class with a score of 152, while also taking second place aboard her own Trump Card, receiving a 150. Jennifer Cahill of Charlotte, NC and Incognito, owned by Donna Marie Deyoung, finished in third place with a two trip score of 149.

Elizabeth McKim of Knoxville, TN and Casper van’t Gestelhof, owned by Patricia Garrett, found themselves atop the leaderboard in the ASPCA Maclay, while Lauren Lindner of Warren, NJ and Diomaro VDL, owned by Amanda Flint, finished in second place. Curry Sherard of Spartanburg, SC and Eloubet P, owned by Christi Israel, rounded out the top three placings.

The THIS Children’s Medal saw Grace Roberts of Knoxville, TN and Olivier de Upatoi, owned by Kathleen Harrigan, take the win, while Carson Odle of Fort Mills, SC and Cortina’s Allesandro, owned by Brian Stucky, took home second place. Catherine Sharp of Tryon, NC and her own Imperio, rounded out the top three finishers.

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

David Blake and Binkie Earn Top Honors in $30,000 Noble Outfitters Grand Prix at ESP Spring II

David Blake and Binkie. ©Mancini Photos.

Wellington, FL – April 18, 2016 – David Blake of Wellington, FL and Binkie, owned by Pine Hollow Farm, finished atop the leaderboard in the $30,000 Noble Outfitters Grand Prix at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), finishing the jump-off in 40.653 seconds. Andrew Ramsay of San Francisco, CA and Winn Winn collected second place, crossing through the timers just four-hundredths off the winning pace with a time of 40.699 seconds. Benjamin Meredith of Wellington, FL and Anabelle 28 earned third place finishing in 42.273 seconds. Competition at PBIEC resumes Wednesday, April 20, with the start of ESP Spring III, which will conclude on Sunday, April 24.

The class boasted 44 starters who tested the first round track set by Ken Krome (USA), with sixteen entries moving forward to the jump-off round. Only the top three finishing combinations earned a double clear effort on afternoon, while Blake and Binkie collected their first grand prix win of the 2016 season.

Blake and Binkie, a 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Larino x Whisper B), finished a stellar 2015 season, capturing numerous wins at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) throughout their summer and fall campaign. The duo used a softer schedule during the winter circuit to prepare Binkie for another strong summer season.

“We’re using this spring season to get him up and running a bit more. The big aim for him will be this summer in Tryon again. He was very good there and hopefully we can have a repeat performance,” said Blake. “We’ll be riding there the whole summer and I’m looking forward it. He enjoys it there and always seems to do very well.”

The duo’s set order in the jump-off proved to be a crucial component of their success, as they were the final combination to test the short course. Blake noted that Binkie’s large stride helped to cut time in several areas where leaving a stride out would be beneficial.

“When I walked it, I thought the first round seemed very nice and there were a lot of good lines. I had to make sure that I kept him moving throughout though because of the time allowed,” he explained. “I stuck to the plan and he went very well. There were a lot of clears and I knew that there would be some pressure in the jump-off.”

After analyzing in the jump-off track, Blake felt that with his position in the order, he could either ride conservatively for a respectable finish or push for the win. He stated, “Normally, I would have to take a different approach to the jump-off with him, especially when there’s a good number of people in it, but we got lucky with a good draw today. There were two choices: either play it safe and finish somewhere around fourth place, or go for it with the win. There were a few stretches of good gallop in the course and it suited him very well.”

Blake and the Pine Hollow Farm team will head back to TIEC at the conclusion of the fall circuit, and Blake is looking forward competing a string of talented young horses coming up behind Binkie.

“We have three really nice horses that are about to move up to the FEI level and a new horse who we’re hoping will be able to back Binkie up nicely with the ranking classes this summer. It’s a great learning experience for them and Binkie will have a great supporting cast behind him looking towards the bigger events,” elaborated Blake.

Jumper Highlights

Alex Granato of Wellington, FL continued a strong weekend of competition, earning the win in the $5,000 1.35m Classic aboard Criss Cross, owned by Lorena O’Neill and Top Line Farm, LLC, with a time of 37.33. Benjamin Meredith finished in second aboard Karlotta Scott, owned by Sarah Ryan, with a time of 37.46 seconds, while David Blake and Park Lane rounded out the top three, finishing the jump-off in 39.87 seconds.

The $1,500 NAL Child/Adult Jumper Classic was won by Francesca Damasceno of Palm Beach Gardens, FL aboard her own Watermill Time with a time of 36.416 seconds. Kamille Marcussen of Coraville, IA and her own Bull Run’s Pistol Pete finished in 36.587 seconds for second place. Phoebe Alwine of Delray Beach, FL and her own Zenja collected third place with a time of 36.807.

Michelle Navarro-Grau of Wellington, FL and Tazman picked up division champion awards in the Low Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper division for their performance throughout the week, while Isabel Sanchez of West Palm Beach, FL and Euro, owned by Pursuit Farms LLC, collected reserve honors alongside Taylor Land of Alpharetta, GA and her own Dulricke Utica.

Hunter & Equitation Highlights

Molly Sewell of Winter Park, FL and MTM Caruso S, owned by Brynn Hanson, finished the week with a the win in the $5,000 USHJA Hunter Classic, earning an overall score of 170.5 from the judging panel. Michael Zukerman of Huntington, NY piloted Denmark, owned by Patricia Adikes-Hill, to second place with a 164.5, while Katie Schell of Cleveland, OH and Candor, owned by Redfield Farm, took third place honors with a score of 159.

Sewell earned an 83.5 in the first road aboard MTM Caruso S, and followed in the second round with an 87, to secure the win. Fifteen entries vied for top honors. Sewell also rode E. L. Raymond, owned by Leslie Campbell, to a sixth place finish.

Coco Fath of Fairfield, CT and Akinda rode to the top of the $1,000 3’6″ Junior/Amateur Owner Hunter Classic presented by Sweet Oak Farm. Adam Edgar of Leesburg, VA and Candescence, owned by Clare Sargent, finished in second, while Madelyn Porter and Dragonfly’s Encore, owned by Dragonfly Farms, finished in third.

Continuing with consistency throughout the week, Molly Sewell added another win at ESP Spring II in the $1,000 Pre-Green Incentive aboard Dragonfly’s Cellestine, owned by Dragonfly Farms. Taylor Kain of Boynton Beach, FL and Market Trend, owned by Daryl Ziegler Henning, earned second place, while Sewell picked up another top three finish, piloting Quentin, owned by Janice Cannizzo, to third place.

Hannah Janson of Berkley, MA and Cascor’s Splendor, owned by Maria Moalli, topped a competitive division in the Pessoa/USEF Hunt Seat Medal presented by Randolph College. Dannie Murphy of Charlottetown, PE and Elmo, owned by Martie Murphy, finished in second, while Catherine Stafford of Worthington, OH and Alando, owned by Victoria Hoft, earned third.

Competition at PBIEC resumes Wednesday, April 20, with the start of ESP Spring III, which will feature $10,000 Open Stakes Class presented by Accuhorsemat on Thursday, April 21, and the $30,000 PonyUp Horse Treats Grand Prix on Sunday, April 24. For more information on PBIEC and to see a full list of weekly results, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Blake and Binkie Keep Irish Win Streak Alive in $34,000 Suncast Welcome 1.50m FEI

David Blake and Binkie. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Haley Gassel and Quite Dark 2 Make Statement in $10,000 Under 25 Welcome Classic; Cathy Geitner Bests 3′ Pre-Green Division aboard Keepsake

Mill Spring, NC – July 9, 2015 – The luck of the Irish continued in the George H. Morris Arena at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), as David Blake (IRL) aboard Binkie, owned by Pine Hollow Farm, captured their third FEI win at TIEC this season. Blake piloted Binkie to the only double-clear round in the $34,000 Suncast® Classic 1.50m FEI, edging out Alison Robitaille (USA) and Cassinja, who dropped a rail in the jump-off, finishing in 39.84 seconds. Blake and Binkie crossed the timers in 45.38 seconds with a clear round in hand to secure the win. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Testify finished in third, with a single time fault in the first round of competition. Tryon Summer 2 continues through Sunday, July 12, with the entire Summer Series concluding on July 19.

Binkie and Blake have made their mark in the George H. Morris Arena at TIEC, collecting several wins and top finishes throughout the Tryon Spring and Summer Series, with a highlight win in the $127,000 Adequan® Grand Prix on June 27 during Tryon Summer 1.

Blake drew the last ride in the first round of competition on Thursday, a situation he has become accustomed too, also riding last in his win two weeks ago. With a tough track designed by Ana Catalina Harris (MEX), Blake was able to observe and find the best possible route to cross through the timers with no faults.

“I had a lot of time to watch and figure out the course today. I got a great draw in going last. I thought the end of the course was causing a lot of problems. Having a time fault or knocking the double down seemed to be the struggle, so I knew I needed to be careful, but also keep a close eye on the time,” he remarked. “It was hard to deliver both, which is where a lot of riders got caught. I decided to open up a bit on the backside of the course and I rode it so that the double was almost slowing down and that helped me with time and jumping through clean. It worked out really well.”

Blake explained that going last in the order has allowed him to give his 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Larino x Whisper B) several educational rides, but the position does give the rider a mental edge. Blake has proven he can overcome the pressure to ride consistent fault-free rounds in make-it-or-break-it circumstances.

“I was in the same scenario during the grand prix two weeks ago and it’s a nice position to be in, but also puts on a lot of pressure on to get the job done. I know he’s a great jumper and I never really worry about him pulling a rail. I absolutely trust him and feel confident that he can go around clean every time we get into the ring,” commented Blake.

The duo’s consistency has kept them atop the leaderboard in the larger FEI classes offered at TIEC amongst a slew of talented international names and Blake sees Binkie as a real contender at the top levels. His laid back personality and willingness to fight in the ring are all signs that the best is yet to come.

“He’s been incredibly consistent for me since his first win at Spring 7. That was the first time that we really started to bring him out at this level. He’s young and I always have to remember that because I don’t want to overdo it,” he said. “We’re lucky that so far he hasn’t had to go very fast in the jump-off and that’s better for a young horse. He’s getting great experience and I’m thrilled with him so far this season.”

Giving Binkie time to recuperate from a string of stellar performances at Tryon Summer 1, Blake was impressed with the gelding’s efficiency and carefulness in the ring today. “He felt super. He had last week off and it’s great for him to come back now in the same good form he left with after his big win on Saturday night,” he said.

“The prize money here is as good as anywhere in the world and we’re in top form here,” added Blake. “The team and the horses are happy and I am truly grateful for the opportunity. I’m thankful to the Dvorkin family and the Pine Hollow Farm team for making these wins possible. It wouldn’t happen without them.”

Haley Gassel Makes Statement in $10,000 Under 25 Welcome Classic

Haley Gassel of Lenoir City, TN made a swift move up the leaderboard in the $10,000 Under 25 Welcome Classic aboard Quite Dark 2 owned by Westwind Equine Training Center, as the last rider on course in the class of 23 entries. Gassel and Quite Dark 2 tripped the timers in 33.743 seconds to edge out Kira Kerkorian of Sagaponack, NY and Cassi, who placed second in 33.864 seconds. Lucas Porter of Bartonsville, TX and Phineas finished in third place with a time of 34.24 seconds. The class was postponed from its scheduled Wednesday finish to Thursday morning as a result of inclement weather.

Haley Gassel and Quite Dark
Haley Gassel and Quite Dark

Gassel piloted Quite Dark 2 to victory in an immediate jump-off format. Gassel and “QD”, as she calls him around the barn, are coming off of a third-place finish in last week’s $15,000 Under 25 Grand Prix and captured their first TIEC win this season today.

“I thought it was very reasonable for a Welcome. I didn’t think it was too big for this early in the week and it was technical, which proved to be difficult. The time allowed was tight and usually I have time faults, so I was a bit nervous about that going in,” she explained. “It ended up working out great – you have to make these courses hard enough for this level of competition.”

Gassel’s massive 2005 Holsteiner gelding (Quality x Elegaz) has an aura about him in the ring and his confident attitude allows the duo to immediately find their stride in big-atmosphere arenas.

“He’s really strong and his size can be intimidating. He’s about 17.3 hands and has a very stocky build, but he is brave and always takes me to the jumps,” she explained. “I could miss or I could be spot on and I know he’s always going to get to the other side. He loves being in the spotlight and that’s why he excels in these types of classes.”

Gassel and Quite Dark 2 will be back looking to add to their top placings on Friday in the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix in the George H. Morris Arena. As the pair generates more buzz around the show grounds, Gassel is hoping that one day she will be able to represent the United States in team competition like a Nations Cup, as she represented Zone 4 at the 2014 Adequan® FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships and thoroughly enjoyed riding with a team.

“It was a great experience and QD really took it in stride. I loved the team competition atmosphere and would love to have the opportunity to do it again. We started off at 1.20m and have worked up from there pretty quickly. They’re big goals, but that’s part of the fun too, getting there and enjoying the process,” she smiled.

Cathy Geitner Bests 3′ Pre-Green Division aboard Keepsake

Cathy Geitner of Aiken, SC typically handles the day-to-day operations of Daniel Geitner Stables, letting her husband, Daniel Geitner, do the legwork in the ring, but today Cathy stole the show, championing the 3′ Pre-Green Hunters aboard 2009 Dutch Warmblood mare Keepsake. Daniel followed with Reserve Champion awards aboard Douglas.

“She’s just six and we imported her this spring. We’ve been taking it slow and doing a few shows here and there and some training at home,” said Geitner. “This is probably her third show in the U.S. and she really came into her own this week. She’s just the coolest little mare and was super today.”

The mare finished with blue ribbons in both over fences classes in yesterday’s portion of the division with Geitner piloting from the irons, also collecting a second place in the under saddle hack.

“She’s a super jumper and is so brave. She has a ton of scope and when I go in there I don’t worry about the jumps at all, it is more on keeping her focused and helping her learn what her job is in the ring,” she explained.

Keepsake has incredible natural ability and will make an excellent prospect for the future. Geitner is looking to move the mare to the First Year division when they return to Florida for the winter season.

“We’re bringing her out slowly and taking our time because she’s really nice and I think she is going to be amazing next year as a First Year,” remarked Geitner. “We’re being very picky about which shows we take her to and are keeping it completely positive for her. I’m really thrilled with the way she’s coming along.”

As for beating her husband, Geitner was all smiles and said it takes a very special horse to get her back in the ring and the little mare convinced her to give it a go.

“I really don’t compete that much. I like to focus on training and coaching our juniors and amateurs, but this mare is also small and fit me a little bit better than she would have fit Daniel,” she laughed. “We’re really excited for her future and I’m glad that I was able to really show her off here this week.”

Competition at TIEC continues tomorrow with the $34,000 1.45m FEI Speed Stake, $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, and the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix. For a full list of results and a weekly competition schedule, please visit www.tryon.com. Please “Like” the TIEC Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tryon-International-Equestrian-Center to be eligible for various contests and promotions.

About Tryon International Equestrian Center

The Tryon International Equestrian Center is destined to become one of the premier centers in the equestrian world. This new facility opened in June 2014 with sanctioned horse shows and initial supporting amenities including 10 riding arenas, 850 permanent stalls, a covered riding facility and fitness center. Future expansion includes a sports complex, two hotels, sporting clay course, and an 18-hole golf course plus a full calendar of equestrian competitions and activities. It is a spring, summer and fall haven for eastern and northeastern American equestrian competitors and enthusiasts. For more information, call 828-863-1000 or visit www.tryon.com.

David Blake and Binkie Win $127k Adequan Grand Prix CSI3* at “Saturday Night Lights”

David Blake and Binkie. Photos ©ManciniPhotos.

Mill Spring, NC – June 27, 2015 – In another action-packed Saturday evening at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), David Blake (IRL) and Binkie, owned by Pine Hollow Farm, cruised to victory in the $127,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3*. The duo bested a class of 35 entries to take top honors. Lauren Tisbo (USA) aboard Entre Nous followed in second with Andrew Welles (USA) and Boo Van Het Kastanjehof rounding out the top three. Competition at Tryon Summer 1 continues Sunday with the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix at 2pm in the George Morris Arena at the Tryon Stadium. The Tryon Summer Series will continue through Sunday, July 19.

Blake and Binkie won out in a three-horse jump-off as the last pair on course in the class, which Blake used to his advantage. Tisbo and Welles dropped a rail in both of their rounds, which left the door open for Blake to seal the win.

“I knew since there was only three of us in it and there were two good riders in front of me with Andrew and Lauren, that they would probably be quicker than me if they were clear,” he said. “When I saw Lauren’s late rail, I had to make a choice when I walked into the ring about whether I wanted to go quick and risk a rail or if I wanted to play it safe.”

Lauren Tisbo and Entre Nous
Lauren Tisbo and Entre Nous

The timely decision paid off for Blake, as he and the 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding, rode a smooth and fault-free round to secure the win. The course, designed by Ken Krome (USA), saw rails drop throughout the night, which Blake commented is the sign of a true course.

“When I walked the course I thought it looked like there was space everywhere to get the job done. I knew the last line would take a decision as to what you wanted to do. There were plenty of choices there. The time was nice but Ken Krome did a great job because it was deceiving,” explained Blake. “When the first twenty horses went and there were only two clears, you knew it was going to be tough to get around clear. Fences came down everywhere and that’s the key to a good course. He did a great job with it tonight.”

The pressure was on in the jump-off round, as the riders contested a difficult track with an optimum time of 58 seconds. The long course, after a testing first round, was intimidating, but Blake felt confident as soon as he entered the ring.

“Going into fence 1 and 2 I felt like he was really operating tonight and he was really himself, so I said I’m going to play it cool and see if we can go clean. He did a great job and I’m really proud of the way he handled himself out there,” he remarked.

When asked about his mental preparation before entering the ring in such a competitive class, Blake commented that sticking to a plan is important when faults are coming throughout the course.

“When you see rails dropping, it makes me want to stick to my plan even more and prove that it can work and jump a clear round. I much prefer a class like this than a class with twenty in the jump-off. You really have to work for your clear round. It makes me want to get it done even more,” he continued.

The win marked another great effort by Blake and Binkie, who have placed at the top of the leaderboard in nearly every class they have contested at TIEC this season. The duo has a bright future ahead, as Binkie, at only nine years of age, continues to improve and impress.

“This feels great. Everyone worked hard to make this happen and all of that pays off on nights like this. I would like to thank my owners, the Dvorkins, for everything they do to make nights like this possible,” he noted. “The organizers and partners here have done an incredible job of putting on a world-class show at a beautiful facility. We have really enjoyed being here and are looking forward to spending the rest of our summer and fall season here at TIEC.”

Aoife O’Grady, groom for Blake at Pine Hollow Farm, was the first winner of the newly announced Grooms’ Initiative Award, which is presented to the groom of the winning combination in the largest Grand Prix class above $25,000 during each competition week and will receive $500 as a part of their award. Originally from County Galway in Ireland, O’Grady joined the Pine Hollow Farm team last year to start working with Blake in only her second year as a groom.

“It feels amazing to receive this award. I’m absolutely in shock and feel so honored. It is good to know that grooms will be getting recognized for all of their hard work,” said Grady. “Binkie has been in my care since he arrived in the U.S. and I just love him to bits. He’s an absolute character and he loves to mess around and give kisses. He’s the star of all of my SnapChat stories. I love working with him and he’s a really special horse to me.”

O’Grady is an essential part of the team in the barn, according to Blake, who was quick to say that none of this would have been possible without her hard work and dedication to Binkie and the entire program.

“Aoife absolutely made this possible tonight. She spends so much time with that horse. She loves him to pieces and he knows it and feels it. He tries hard not just for me but also for her and I really have to thank her for that,” said Blake.

For more information on TIEC and for a full list of results, please visit www.tryon.com.

About Tryon International Equestrian Center

The Tryon International Equestrian Center is destined to become one of the premier centers in the equestrian world. This new facility opened in June 2014 with sanctioned horse shows and initial supporting amenities including 10 riding arenas, 850 permanent stalls, a covered riding facility and fitness center. Future expansion includes a sports complex, two hotels, sporting clay course, and an 18-hole golf course plus a full calendar of equestrian competitions and activities. It is a spring, summer and fall haven for eastern and northeastern American equestrian competitors and enthusiasts. For more information, call 828-863-1000 or visit www.tryon.com.

David Blake and Binkie Start Off Tryon Spring 7 with Win in $34,000 Suncast FEI Tryon Welcome

David Blake and Binkie. Photo ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – May 27, 2015 – David Blake (IRL) and Pine Hollow Farm’s Binkie kicked off Tryon Spring 7 with a win in the $34,000 Suncast® FEI Tryon Welcome at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), the first FEI class to ever be offered at the venue. FEI CSI 3* classes, alongside national level hunter and jumper competition, continue at TIEC throughout the week with the highlight, the $127,000 Kingsland Equestrian Grand Prix CSI3* on Saturday, May 30, beginning at 7pm. TIEC will continue to host the Tryon Spring Series through its conclusion on June 7.

Blake and Binkie were the second to last pair to test the course in the jump-off order, following the fastest round laid down by Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Sky Group’s Casper, which put the pressure on Blake for a quicker clear round.

“I didn’t get to see the rides, but I knew Jonathan (McCrea) had done five (strides) up the middle and that Sharn had gone in and beaten that. I knew that I wanted to stick to my plan and needed to ride everything correctly,” said Blake. “I knew I could get just under that without feeling like I was running him around too quickly.”

The duo also rode one of the fastest first rounds of the class, finishing the track in 72.37 seconds to move to the jump-off. The competition was stiff as 37 combinations vied for the top prize in the leadoff FEI class of the week. The course, designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA), saw 12 pairs move forward to the jump-off.

“I knew when I looked at the course that it would suit my guy because there were three places that I could leave out a stride, so I knew I could be quick using the length of his stride without going really fast,” explained Blake as he talked about his plan going into the jump-off. “I just wanted to be smooth and leave out those strides where I could and maybe it would get me close enough to win it.”

The duo has had an incredibly successful run so far during their time at TIEC, Pine Hollow Farm’s summer home base for competition. Binkie, a 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Larino x Whisper B), haven’t placed outside of the top ten under Blake’s guidance at TIEC so far this season.

“We’ve only had him for about four months and he’s placed in every class so far since we’ve had him here and then he won today. This is also the first show we’ve really stepped him up at,” he said. “He’s just nine years old so I think he’s really a great horse and we’re very excited about him and his future.”

Blake and Binkie will look towards the $127,000 Kingsland Equestrian Grand Prix on Saturday night, attempting to capitalize on the gelding’s consistency in the George H. Morris Stadium so far this season. As the first real test of the week, Blake is confident that Binkie will add another strong performance to their already impressive list of finishes in 2015.

“We’ll shift the focus to the main Grand Prix class on Saturday. We’ll take it easy now in preparation for that. He jumped last week also, so I want to make sure that he’s fresh for Saturday and feeling rested,” commented Blake. “Hopefully we’ll get another good result there too. He’s jumping well and the courses have really suited him.”

Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Sky Group’s Casper finished in second, just behind Blake, crossing the timers in 36.58 seconds. Jonathan McCrea (USA) aboard Candy Tribble’s Aristoteles V placed in a close third, in just 36.67 seconds.

Tryon Spring 7 will highlight several FEI CSI 3* classes including the $34,000 FEI Tryon Speed Stake tomorrow beginning at 12pm and the $127,000 Kingsland Grand Prix to be held on Saturday, May 30, with competition starting at 7pm. The $25,000 Grand Prix, a national level class, will conclude competition on Sunday, May 31, at 2:15pm. All FEI classes will be held in the George H. Morris Stadium on TIEC grounds.

For more information on TIEC and a schedule of current events, please visit www.tryon.com. Please “Like” the TIEC Facebook page at www.facebook.com/tryonresort to be eligible for various contests and promotions.

About Tryon International Equestrian Center

The Tryon International Equestrian Center is destined to become one of the premier centers in the equestrian world. This new facility opened in June 2014 with sanctioned horse shows and initial supporting amenities including 10 riding arenas, 850 permanent stalls, a covered riding facility and fitness center. Future expansion includes a sports complex, two hotels, sporting clay course, and an 18-hole golf course plus a full calendar of equestrian competitions and activities. It is a spring, summer and fall haven for eastern and northeastern American equestrian competitors and enthusiasts. For more information, call 828-863-1000 or visit www.tryon.com.

Holly Shepherd Wins First Day of $1,000 Adequan 1.30m Open Jumper

Holly Shepherd and Belle Clara DKS. Photos ©Sportfot.

David Blake and Zelaleen Take $1,000 Animo 1.20m Open Jumper at Tryon Spring 6

Mill Spring, NC – May 20, 2015 – Competition was underway at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TEIC) today with the start of Tryon Spring 6, the sixth installment of the 2015 Tryon Spring Series. Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, AL finished in first and second in the $1,000 Adequan® 1.30m Open Jumper piloting Dejan Krunic’s Belle Clara DKS to first and Loretta Patterson’s Copycat to second place. David Blake of Wellington, FL topped the $1,000 Animo® 1.20 Open Jumper aboard Pine Hollow Farm’s Zelaleen. Tryon Spring 6 will continue through Sunday, May 24, and the Tryon Spring Series will conclude on Sunday, June 7.

Holly Shepherd dominated the $1,000 Adequan® 1.30m Open Jumper class at TIEC, finishing first aboard the Belle Clara DKS, riding the jump-off round in 36.65 seconds to secure the win. Shepherd then put in another fast clear round riding Copycat, crossing the timers in 67.246 seconds in the first round and jumping clean in 36.66 seconds in the jump-off, just a hundredth of a second slower than her ride aboard Belle Clara DKS.

The class of 25 entries battled for the fastest time around J. P. Godard designed course, which entailed several quick rollback turns, creating faults in several trips. Belle Clara DKS handled the tight course with ease, suggesting good things to come for the pair who has started their week at TIEC in strong fashion.

Jordan Coyne, winner of the Tryon Spring 5 $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, rode Christoph Schroeder’s Catori to third place, completing their first round in 67.975 seconds and finishing the jump-off in 39.812 seconds.

David Blake and Zelaleen Top First Day of $1,000 Animo 1.20 Open Jumper

David Blake and Pine Hollow Farm’s Zelaleen topped the first class of the $1,000 Animo 1.20 Open Jumper at TIEC, besting a class of 22 entries. The duo finished the first round on course in 61.457 seconds and completed the jump-off in 40.718 seconds to seal the win.

David Blake and Zelaleen
David Blake and Zelaleen

“Zelaleen is owned by the Dvorkins and is ridden by their daughter, Carly, who typically competes the horse. We decided to give it a run before she arrives this weekend,” said Blake. “She’ll be competing him in the Low Junior classes this weekend and I just wanted to basically give him a good round before she comes to compete.”

TIEC will serve as the summer base for Blake and Pine Hollow Farm team, as they will continue to compete throughout the remainder of the spring and summer seasons at the venue. This week is their first week of competition at TIEC and Blake was pleased with the course design he saw today.

“It was a lovely course and the ring is really nice to ride in. There’s plenty of space and you know it’s not too big or too small for what we need,” commented Blake. “This facility is just state of the art; we were here last fall and it was lovely and now it’s just 200% more.”

Blake had several rides throughout the first day of competition with mounts in both the 1.30m and 1.40m classes today and is looking forward to the larger classes to come later in the week.

“Basically today was about getting on and helping them get used to a new place. We’re hoping to do a few in the big class tomorrow and then a few on Saturday night in the Grand Prix as well and a couple in the Under 25 Grand Prix on Sunday,” he stated. “It’s a busy enough week for us for sure. It’s good to be busy and that’s why we enjoy it here.”

Ricardo Villa aboard his own Dulana finished in second place, finishing the jump-off clear in 40.743 seconds and Holly Shepherd with Loretta Patterson’s Win a Date finished in third, completing the jump-off in 41.028 seconds.

For more information on TIEC and to learn more about the June 6th schedule, please visit www.tryon.com. Please “Like” the TIEC Facebook page at www.facebook.com/tryonresort to be eligible for various contests and promotions.

About Tryon International Equestrian Center

The Tryon International Equestrian Center is destined to become one of the premier centers in the equestrian world. This new facility opened in June 2014 with sanctioned horse shows and initial supporting amenities including 10 riding arenas, 850 permanent stalls, a covered riding facility and fitness center. Future expansion includes a sports complex, two hotels, sporting clay course, and an 18-hole golf course plus a full calendar of equestrian competitions and activities. It is a spring, summer and fall haven for eastern and northeastern American equestrian competitors and enthusiasts. For more information, call 828-863-1000 or visit www.tryon.com.

Ireland’s David Blake Proves It’s More Than Luck, Riding to 1-2 Finish in 1.30m-1.35m Wellington Turf Tour

David Blake and Lisalba rode to the Wellington Turf Tour 1.30m-1.35m victory at IPC for Week 9 of the series.

Wellington, FL – March 5, 2014 – Ireland’s David Blake and Lisalba rode to a blazing time of 26.307 seconds in the second 1.30m-1.35m Jumper class at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) to snatch up the win. Not only did he secure the first place, but he also guided his other mount Aischa to the second place finish. Linda Sheridan and Invitational rode to the first place finish in the first 1.30m-1.35m class, riding to the time of 28.509 seconds.

Darrin Dilin set an early lead this morning at the IPC, riding to the top finishes with three mounts. He left nothing to chance as he guided Tennyson, owned by Susan Grange, to the jump off time of 29.043 seconds. Their time held strong as consecutive competitors attempted to catch it without avail. It wasn’t until the end of the day that defeat seemed a possibility.

Ramiro Quintana was the first to surpass Dilin in the jump off. He shaved the seconds with tight turns and an open stride to slide into the lead in 28.785 seconds. Quintana wore a target on his back as Ireland’s David Blake rode Aischa onto the field. Blake knew that he had ground to cover in order to take over Jeffery Welles for the Leading Rider Bonus, sponsored by the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Sitting in second with nearly 6,500 points separating the competitors, Blake threw caution to the wind.

He rode Aischa through the timers in a speedy 26.669 seconds, and then returned on his 1.30m ringer, Lisalba. Although he only had himself to beat, he took on the challenge. Blake rode Lisalba to a clear time of 26.307 seconds for the win.

“Lisalba is leading the 1.30m series at the Winter Equestrian Festival,” Blake said. “When I saw that the Wellington Turf Tour also offered the 1.30m-1.35m classes, I saw an opportunity to show her here. I am hoping we can show her here on Wednesdays until the end of the series.”

Blake continued, “She is older, so she is quite experienced. I have had her for a year and a half, and she is very competitive. We leave her at this level because she is good at it. She knows when it is the jump off. If you show her the turns, she will always make them. She is naturally a quick horse. She is very straightforward, all you have to go in and show her the numbers.

Blake also took the second place in the first 1.30m-1.35m class with Lisalba. His time of 29.019 seconds did not hold against Linda Sheridan and the 18-year-old Invitational. Sheridan is no stranger to the winner’s circle at the Wellington Turf Tour, having won the 1.30m-1.35m Jumper class at Deeridge Farms during Week VII with the same mount.

Linda Sheridan and Invitational rode to their second 1.30m-1.35m win at the Wellington Turf Tour
Linda Sheridan and Invitational rode to their second 1.30m-1.35m win at the Wellington Turf Tour

Sheridan made a beautiful turn from the first to second obstacles of the short course, and continued her winning ways during the in-and-out when she made a smart angle into the combination, leaving a stride out and emerging a half of a second faster than Blake and Lisalba to finish in 28.509 seconds.

“He was amazing!” Sheridan exclaimed. “Honestly, I think the biggest thing with this horse was doing a nice turn from the first to second jump in the jump off. Doing the short turn to a bigger oxer wasn’t the plan since I am normally very conservative with him, but he was on his favorite lead, the left, and he felt so balanced; he just soared. I really came in on an angle in the in-and-out and he was very clever about that; he left a stride out.”

At only 15.1 hands, Invitational is very short, but his stride, speed and scope proved that he is able to compete with the world’s best. Sheridan has been riding the gelding for 10 years, and she knows him like the back of her hand.

“It is so nice to be able to come out here and do this for fun,” Sheridan stated. “Out here you don’t feel all of the pressure. I like this location, and everything was good. For now, I am going to keep him at the 1.35m height, and then after going home in the spring we may do some small grand prix. The 1.40m competition here is very heavy, and he has been jumping fabulous, I don’t want to change that. I am so pleased with how he is jumping, that right now I want to keep him comfortable at this level.”

Kevin Babington and Borindy would capture the third place just behind Blake. They rode to the time of 30.301 seconds without fault. Jennifer Goddard and Forme Dubra rode to the fourth place finish, while Molly Ashe Cawley and Coq A Doodle finished in fifth. Peter Leone and My Pleasure rounded out the top six with their clean effort in 32.763 seconds.

Today marked the fourth of five YJC Young Jumper Qualifying opportunities. Over 40 competitors rode the track at IPC with their young mounts. Babington returned to IPC to take the victory in the 7 & 8 Year Old YJC Qualifying Class with Dublin 4, while Brooke Cudmore rode Cassin to the 5 & 6 Year Old YJC Qualifier win.

The course opened at 8 a.m. and remained open until 4:30 p.m., allowing competitors ample time to come at their convenience to ride and enjoy the ambiance of the International Polo Club Palm Beach. The $175,000 1.40m Invitational Grand Prix event will return to IPC Friday for the ninth week of competition. Next week the Wellington Turf Tour will continue at the spectacular Valiente Farms. This is the first time the venue has opened its gates for a show jumping event, and the Wellington Turf Tour will make history. The 11-week series will culminate with the $24,750 Wellington Turf Tour Invitational Grand Prix Finale on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at Deeridge Farms.

Meadowbrook Horse Transport will provide transportation to and from the horse show and other locations throughout Wellington for both the Wednesday and Friday events. The transportation is a nominal fee of $50 per horse, and will be calculated into the final show fees. To make a reservation for one of the three pickup times, 8 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., please call Peter Tufano of Meadowbrook Horse Transport at (954) 415-7217, or call Nona Garson at (908) 500-0996.

For more information about the Ridge at Wellington, please go to http://www.theridgefarm.com. For up-to-date information, please follow the Ridge at Wellington on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ridge-at-Wellington/219358376264.

For more information, call (908) 500-0996 or download information at www.theridgefarm.com.

Show Net is onsite for all Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour events, capturing footage and providing live results for each class. For full results and videos, please visit: www.shownet.biz.

The Ridge at Wellington Horse Show Series Fast Facts

Events:
The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour offers their popular 1.40m Invitational Grand Prix for its second year, with an open in gate format taking place once a week at beautiful venues throughout Wellington. The Ridge at Wellington Grand Prix Finale will take place March 22, 2014. The Turf Tour also will host 1.30m-1.35m Jumpers every Wednesday beginning January 8, 2014 and running until March 19, 2014.

Young Jumper Classes, Junior/Amateur-Owner, Child/Adult and Senior Jumper Classics will find their home intermittently throughout the Wellington Turf Tour.

The Ridge at Wellington offers rated Equitation Shows every Tuesday from January – March 2014. There will also be a series of schooling shows at the Ridge at Wellington for all experience levels.

Two USHJA International Hunter Derbies will take place February 7, 2014 and March 21, 2014.

What:
The Ridge at Wellington series includes several weeks of competition throughout the Winter Season with USEF Rated Equitation Shows. This winter will also feature five two-day schooling shows. The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour will offer 1.30m-1.35m Jumpers, 1.40m Invitational Grand Prix, Young Jumpers, Children’s/Senior Classics, and two hunter derbies.

Where:
International Polo Club Palm Beach
3667 120th Avenue South, Wellington, FL 33414

Barn & Show Phone 561-791-1471 | Barn Fax 561-791-1543

When:
Wednesday, January 8, 2014 – 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Friday, January 10, 2014 – 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Hours:
8:30am-5pm daily

Directions:

From the Florida Turnpike: Take the exit for LakeWorth Road West. Continue on Lake Worth Road approximately 6 miles to South Shore Blvd. Make a left on South Shore Blvd. Continue to the stop sign at 50th Street. Make a Right on 50th Street. Continue to Stables Way and make a right. Continue to the end of Stables Way and make a right on Palm Beach Point Blvd. Driveway to farm is 50 feet on the left.

From Route 95: Take the exit for Forest Hill Blvd West. Continue on Forest Hill Blvd to South Shore Blvd. Make a left on South Shore Blvd. Once on South Shore Blvd, continue straight at light at Pierson Road and again straight through the intersection at Lake Worth Road, to the stop sign at 50th Street. Make a Right on 50th Street. Continue to Stables Way and make a right. Continue to the end of Stables Way and make a right on Palm Beach Point Blvd. Driveway to farm is 50 feet on the left.

Information:
Before Show – (561) 791-1471, Email: RidgeShows@aol.com
During Show – Telephone: (561) 791-1471, Fax: (561) 791-1543

Text: (908) 500-0996

Website: http://www.theridgefarm.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ridge-at-Wellington/219358376264?ref=ts&fref=ts.

Management:
Nona Garson
14415 Palm Beach Point Blvd. East
Wellington, FL, 33414
(561) 791-1471 (show office)
(908) 839-3859 (show cell)
(561) 791-1543 (show fax)
Email: RidgeShows@aol.com
Website: http://www.theridgefarm.com

Media Contact:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd.
Suite 105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com