Tag Archives: Tryon Fall Series

Conor Swail and Cenzo Win $35k 1.45m Horseware Ireland Opener CSI 5* at Tryon Fall V

Conor Swail and Cenzo. Photo ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 19, 2016 – Conor Swail (IRL) and Cenzo narrowly edged fellow Irishman Shane Sweetnam and Cornwall for the win in the $35,000 1.45m Horseware® Ireland Opener CSI 5* to begin the week of international competition during Tryon Fall V at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Swail and Cenzo made quick work of the jump-off track as the last pair to enter the George H. Morris Arena, securing a time of 35.056 seconds. Sweetnam (IRL) and Cornwall crossed through the timers in 35.582 seconds for second place honors, while Kent Farrington (USA) and Willow earned third with a time of 35.596 seconds.

In Swail’s first appearance at TIEC this season, the veteran Irish rider guided Cenzo, a 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Harley VDL x Cavalier) owned by Ilan Ferder & Tal Milstein to first place in the class, which featured a strong count of 50 entries. The pair drew late in the order and capitalized on their additional time to observe the other 14 combinations qualified to test the jump-off track set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA). Seventeen original pairs qualified for the jump-off round while three combinations decided to voluntarily withdraw before the start.

“I thought that it was a nice course for the first day and there were a few questions there. It was certainly a careful course. The jump-off ended up quite fast,” explained Swail. “I went last so I was able to watch how everything had gone and unfolded in front of me.”

“Basically, when I went in I knew that my horse was going to have to go very fast and do everything well. Thankfully today, that’s how it worked out for us,” he added, commenting on his strategy for the short course, which saw the top four combinations finish less than seven-tenths of a second within his winning time.

Swail has established a successful relationship with the gelding throughout the year, as he took over the ride this past winter season and has placed in numerous FEI competitions, garnering top five finishes in Wellington, FL, Coapexpan, Mexico, Spruce Meadows, Canada, and St. Lô, France.

“I started riding him in Florida at the start of the year and he’s owned by Ilan Ferder,” he elaborated. “He’s a very good jumper but can be a little bit difficult to ride. He’s brave and scopey though. We’ve had a reasonably successful year with him and it’s nice to finish up feeling like we’re progressing well.”

Cenzo is still young and is gaining valuable experience with Swail piloting from the irons, but looks to be a strong mount for the future. His adjustability stands out as a quality that will be essential to his development in international competition next season.

“His strengths are that he is careful and has a big step, but also has a short step as well. Equally, when we need to balance and put in that step he does it quickly and whenever we need to leave a stride out he does that quickly. I think with those attributes it makes him a fast horse,” noted Swail.

Swail will compete two horses this week in the highly anticipated FEI CSI 5* at the venue and feels the “luck of the Irish” may be playing in his favor for the remainder of the week.

“From what I see so far this is an amazing facility. There’s a lot of space to ride your horse with beautiful stables and a good arena. For me, it’s great that I started with a winning round here,” he smiled. “I do believe that I have lucky shows and unlucky shows. The way that this is starting off, it looks like it’s going to be a good one.”

For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) and surrounding amenities, please visit www.tryon.com.

Shane Sweetnam Concludes Tryon Fall IV with Win in $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix

Shane Sweetnam and Cornwall. Photos ©Sportfot.

Luis Larrazabal and Atlodetto FZ Fly through Timers to Capture $25,000 U25 Grand Prix; Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Series Concludes

Mill Spring, NC – October 16, 2016 – Shane Sweetnam of Wellington, FL and Cornwall earned top honors in the $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix on the Grass Complex at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) to conclude competition at Tryon Fall IV. Sweetnam and Cornwall completed the jump-off track in 37.838 seconds ahead of Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL and Boy IV who crossed through the timers in 40.399 seconds. Darragh Kerins of Wellington, FL and Rebeca LS completed the final double clear effort of the class, completing the track with a time of 48.176 seconds.

Sweetnam and Cornwall, a 2008 Holsteiner stallion (Con Air x Cambridge) owned by Siboney Ranch, bested the class of 31 entries, riding to a smooth first round on the track set by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN). The jump-off featured nine combinations and only the top three finishers completed both rounds of the class without faults.

“Michel did a great job today and I thought that it was a very nice course. It was big enough and not too technical I thought,” explained Sweetnam. “It was nice that the horses who were going to do this class had the opportunity to compete on the grass on Friday as well. The class had the right number of clears with nine and that always makes for an exciting jump-off.”

Cornwall is typically ridden by Sweetnam’s client, Kaley Tomeu, who sustained and injury and turned over the reins to her trainer while she recovers. The talented young stallion gained competition experience on both the turf and in the George H. Morris Arena this week, as Sweetnam contested the $35,000 1.45m Horseware® Ireland Opener CSI 3* and placed second, as well as the $8,000 1.40m Open Jumper Classic presented by Nutrena®.

“He’s only eight and belongs to Kaley Tomeu. She typically rides him but broke her collar bone so I’ll have the ride on him for the next few months. I’m just starting to get the hang of him now and we’re getting together a bit more,” he commented. “We’re aiming him for the last indoor competition in Kentucky. He’s very talented so I’m looking forward to seeing him progress over the next few months.”

Sweetnam finished a strong week of competition at TIEC after collecting first and second place finishes aboard Cornwall, and a top finish with second mount, Main Road, in the $130,000 Suncast® Grand Prix CSI 3* on Saturday night. Sweetnam continues to produce and compete a strong string of horses, which will play a major role in his success over the next few weeks.

“I have other horse Chaqui Z competing next week in the CSI 5*, as well as Cornwall and Main Road, who finished second in the class last night. I’ll then have to rotate the horses a bit as we’re going to go to indoors after,” commented Sweetnam. “I’m really lucky that I have such a strong string and they’re all getting mileage. Cornwall is a nice addition.”

The Grass Complex at TIEC is the newest addition to the expanding facility, allowing horse and rider combinations to experience unique competition opportunities on different footing surfaces. Sweetnam is looking forward to the potential of the complex and was pleased with the performance of Cornwall in both outings on the turf.

“Today the footing already feels like it’s opening up a bit since Friday and I think that as we continue to compete over the next few weeks it will continue to get better. The horses are all jumping well on it. I think it’s going to be a very exciting venue for competition in the future and is a great addition to this facility.”

Luis Larrazabal and Atlodetto FZ Fly through Timers to Capture $25,000 U25 Grand Prix

Luis Larrazabal of Wellington, FL and his mount Atlodetto FZ dominated the $25,000 U25 Grand Prix at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) with an incredible jump-off time of 36.934 seconds. Taylor Alexander of Castle Rock, CO and Gipsy King trailed closely behind, securing second place with a time of 36.948 seconds, while Adrienne Sternlicht of Greenwhich, CT and Helios earned third place honors with a time of 39.00 seconds.

Luis Larrazabal and Atlodetto FZ
Luis Larrazabal and Atlodetto FZ

Luis Larrazabal and Atlodetto FZ, owned by San Francisco Stables LLC, have been partners for almost two years and are building their confidence together as they gain more competition experience. The pair has been based at TIEC all summer, competing in multiple 1.30m and 1.40m classes.

Larrazabal chuckled as he described his strategy going into the jump-off track set by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN), saying, “My plan was just to go for a conservative round. Taylor Alexander had a crazy fast time and I didn’t think my horse was ready for that speed. I jumped the first oxer and was good to fence two and three, so I got excited.”

“After the double I knew I was coming close to winning,” he continued, detailing his ride. “After the liverpool, I did a short roll back, galloped down to the last oxer, and as soon as I landed I knew I had the time.”

The victory came as a bit of a shock to Larrazabal, which made the victory that much sweeter. The pair have had success moving through the levels and today was a highlight for Larrazabal, as clinching victory in a competitive U25 class is always thrilling.

“I really swear that was not my plan,” he laughed. “Of course I wanted to be clear and fast, but I was not out to beat that time. It was my lucky day for sure.”

Larrazabal and his team are looking forward to heading to the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), as he plans to show Atlodetto FZ in ranking classes and possibly in the Nations’ Cup representing his home nation of Venezuela.

“We’re taking it slow and step by step. He is very confident right now, so when he’s ready for the bigger classes he will show me,” he continued.

Larrazabal nearly took another win today, also jumping clear in the $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix aboard Quintus Fabius. Larrazabal commented on the new Grass Complex at TIEC, stating, “Jumping on the grass is like dreaming. The footing is immaculate. I showed Friday on the grass and today as well. I actually retired one of my horses from the U25 Grand Prix after two unfortunate rails and decided to enter him in the class out on the turf and we ended up ninth. I just wanted to jump on the grass field!”

Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Series Concludes at Tryon International Equestrian Center Showcasing Five Divisions of Top Hunter Competition

The Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Series concluded at Tryon International Equestrian Center, hosting the best of hunter competition in the region. The week featured five divisions allowing riders of all ages and experience levels the opportunity to compete for top prizes in the George H. Morris Arena.

Kara Jones of Cornelius, NC secured first and second place in the $10,000 Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Junior Hunter class, piloting her own Joyful to first place with a two round score of 160 and Cristallo, owned by Long’s Stable LLC, to second after receiving a 146. Kendall Edwards of Charlotte, NC and her own Quarterback took third place honors in the class after earning a 144 from the judging panel.

The $10,000 Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Amateur-Owner Hunter was championed by Alexandra Maracic of Syosset, NY guided her own Lucky Times to victory after accumulating a two round score of 169. Ashley Hodges of Greensboro, NC and Jet Stream K, owned by Sloan Hodges, rode to second place with a final score of 163, while Lynn Seithel of John’s Island, SC took home third place aboard her own Versace.

Courtney Canizares of Elon, NC guided her own Kiera to victory in the $10,000 Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Adult-Amateur after completing two rounds in the George H. Morris Arena to earn a total score of 167. Vicki Autry of Greensboro, NC and her own Toltec rode to second place honors after receiving a 164. Kimberly Penfold of Lake Bluff, IL and The Spy, owned by Glory Days Farm, LLC, followed closely behind with a two round score of 163.

The $10,000 Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Children’s Hunter class was topped by Catherine Sharp of Tryon, NC and her own Imperio after receiving an 80 from the judging panel in the first round and a score of 75 in the second round for a total of 155. Ann Gray Stedman of Charlotte, NC and her own Winter Romance took second place after riding to a final score of 138, while Isabel Stedman of Charlotte, NC and Arrow K collected third place honors with a 120.

The 2016 Tryon Fall Series presented by Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District offers six weeks of hunter and jumper competition, including three weeks of internationally recognized FEI show jumping featuring two FEI CSI 3* weeks and an FEI CSI 5*. For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) and surrounding amenities, please visit www.tryon.com.

Andy Kocher Guides Zantos II to Win in $130,000 Suncast Grand Prix CSI 3* at Tryon

Andy Kocher and Zantos II. Photo ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 15, 2016 – Andy Kocher (USA) piloted Zantos II to the pair’s second victory this week, taking top honors in the competitive $130,000 Suncast® Grand Prix CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Kocher and Zantos II dashed through the jump-off timers, finishing nearly two seconds faster than the rest of the field, stopping the clock in 35.836 seconds. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Main Road finished in second place, crossing through the finish in 37.982 seconds, while Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) piloted Toulago to third place with a time of 38.238 seconds.

Kocher and Zantos II, owned by MKO Equestrian LLC, finished a strong effort in the first round, contesting a technical track set by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN), which featured 51 entries. After making a quick move in the jump-off, the duo secured the win to best the eight-horse jump-off.

“I made a few mistakes on my first horse but this little guy is just so fast. I knew that we weren’t going to have time faults, but I wanted to not hit the in-fence of the combinations, especially if it was a vertical. He typically doesn’t have rails, but if he will tap one that’s where it will be,” commented Kocher. “We had a bit of trouble warming up to be honest because he was still so excited from how fast we went on Thursday. I had to get on and off of him a few times to get him to relax a bit.”

Zantos II has proven he’s a top contender for Kocher, who initially believed the gelding would be a good sales prospect when he arrived from England earlier this summer. After collecting a win in the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome FEI CSI 3* on Thursday, October 13, he felt confident that the pair could secure a fast finish in tonight’s class, but did not expect to earn another win. As Kocher has learned and adjusted to the ride, he believes the pair has found common ground when competing in the ring through the help of a few bit adjustments.

He laughed, “I was informed today by my owners after this class that he is no longer going to be a sales project. He’s just a little bullet and we’ve found a bridle that’s a happy medium for him.

“This win really means a lot to me. My dad is from here and he’s been in this area from the beginning. When I competed here last year, it was in some of the biggest classes I’ve ever done in my entire life. I came back this year aiming to qualify for FEI World Cup Finals and we’ve had an exciting season so far.”

The two horses Kocher had entered this week in international competition are both new additions to his string and program, as he is saving his ace ride, Uppie De Lis, for larger classes later this season. Kocher noted that the horses have helped to fine tune his own skills, as he cannot make as many mistakes as a rider to ensure they produce clear rounds.

“This is a big deal for both of them, but especially Zantos. They have to stretch to jump this high and I can’t make too many errors as a rider. I pushed myself this fall and the results are starting to pay off. I haven’t had all great shows, but this week has just been amazing.”

Looking ahead, Kocher has plans to now contest the indoor circuit in order to gain valuable qualifying points ahead of FEI World Cup Finals, before setting his sights on a strong winter campaign at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

“I think we’re going to try and do a lot more FEI classes next year. That’s really going to be the focus. I want to get world-ranking points so that we can start getting into some bigger shows. I’d like to get high enough up the rankings that I could go to whatever shows we wanted. That’s the big goal for me right now,” he elaborated. “I have to thank the owners too, Bob and Robin Mulkey, we each own a third of him and they’ve been great owners for me.”

Kocher’s groom, Cesar Uribe, was awarded with the Groom’s Initiative Award presented by Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP), in an effort to recognize the dedication and passion of the individuals who play an integral role in the success of top horse and rider combinations. Kocher graciously spoke of Uribe, who joined his team just over a year ago.

“It’s actually kind of a funny story. We had a few guys who didn’t work out for a couple of reasons and we brought Cesar in last year to help in the barn in New Jersey, but he had very little horse experience. He’s really taken over the role and stepped up to help manage the barn,” explained Kocher. “This is the first show that he’s been able to get to this year and I’m so happy that it was on a night where he could be recognized for his hard work. He’s one of the best guys I’ve ever had work for me.”

The Leading Lady Rider Award presented by realtor Meg Atkinson, was awarded to Laura Kraut (USA) for her consistent top finishes throughout the week in FEI competition. Kraut piloted two mounts to the jump-off in the $130,000 Suncast® Grand Prix FEI CSI 3*, finishing in seventh with Confu and eighth aboard Nouvelle. Kraut also earned a third place finish in the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome CSI 3* aboard Confu.

The 2016 Tryon Fall Series presented by Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District offers six weeks of hunter and jumper competition, including three weeks of internationally recognized FEI show jumping featuring two FEI CSI 3* weeks and an FEI CSI 5*. For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) and surrounding amenities, please visit www.tryon.com.

Alex Granato and Criss Cross Wins $8,000 1.40m Open Jumper Classic

Alex Granato and Criss Cross. Photos ©Sportfot.

Taylor Alexander and Gypsy King Impress in U25 Welcome Stake; Daniel Geitner Takes $10,000 Pre-Green Carolinas’ Challenge Cup aboard Walk the Moon

Mill Spring, NC – October 14, 2016 – Alex Granato of Wellington, FL guided Criss Cross to victory in the $8,000 1.40m Open Jumper Classic presented by Nutrena®, earning the first ever victory on the Grass Complex at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). The duo took the win after completing the track in 36.433 seconds, while Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL and Cortina 186 followed closely behind to finish in second with a time of 37.256 seconds. Adrienne Sternlicht of Greenwich, CT and Raia D’ Helby collected third place honors with a time of 37.262 seconds.

Granato has been a mainstay at TIEC all circuit, as his farm Mad Season, LLC has been based in Mill Spring, NC since the spring. This is the pair’s first major win this season and Granato was ecstatic with the performance of Criss Cross, as the pair topped a class of 42 entries.

“I am very pleased with him and how he handled the grass. He has experience on grass as a young horse but this was my first time competing with him on grass since we got him last fall,” explained Granato. “He is a very game, careful jumper. We’ve taken our time getting to know him this past season and now we are really starting to hit our stride with him.

“I really liked the course. I thought it was a nice use of the field and asked good questions while still being welcoming to build for the Grand Prix on Sunday,” he added.

The $8,000 1.40m Open Jumper presented by Nutrena® was the first show jumping class to be hosted on the new Grass Complex at TIEC and Granato’s win marked a full circle cycle for the talented rider, who also claimed top honors in the inaugural grand prix class at the venue.

“I’m really excited about getting to win the first open class in the grass complex. We’ve really enjoyed showing at TIEC,” he said. “We’ve shown here off and on since the first set shows and I actually happened to win the inaugural grand prix here as well. We’ve been based here for the summer and it’s a great place to build our younger string of horses.”

Granato has been building a strong string of young horses throughout the year, highlighted by top performances from Criss Cross, as the pair has secured top placings in numerous classes throughout the summer and fall seasons. Granato and team will head to Florida to prepare for a competitive winter circuit after competition concludes at TIEC later this month.

“This series is our last show to wrap up our fall before we head south and rest the horses for the winter circuit. We want to continue strong and finish with confident horses ready to move forward and move up in Wellington,” he concluded.

Adrienne Sternlicht, who is competing at TIEC for the first time this year and has earned top results so far this week, was elated with the opportunity to compete on the new Grass Complex and noted that her horse handled the atmosphere exceedingly well.

“I thought today’s class on the field was great! My horse loves jumping on grass, and the addition of the derby field provides valuable diversity to the show jumping facilities here,” commented Sternlicht. “For me, it allowed me to place my horse in a class where she would be most successful, so hopefully we’ll have a similar result in Sunday’s Grand Prix!”

Taylor Alexander and Gypsy King Impress in U25 Welcome Stake

Taylor Alexander of Castle Rock, CO and Gipsy King earned top honors in the U25 Welcome Stake at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) with a speedy jump-off time of 35.709 seconds. Taylor Land of Atlanta, GA and For Edition took home the red rosette with a time of 36.334 seconds, while Alise Oken of Charlotte, NC and Iraola Del Maset stopped the timers at 38.054 seconds for third.

Taylor Alexander and Gipsy King
Taylor Alexander and Gipsy King

Alexander and Gipsy King, owned by Alexander LLC, have been partners since March of this year. Before traveling to TIEC, the pair competed in Europe this past summer, where they were very successful in multiple 1.40m and 1.45m classes.

Alexander was confident coming into the jump-off with Gipsy King, a Belgian Warmblood gelding (Wandor Van De Mispelaere x Lys De Darmen), having the advantage of already riding the tough track set by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) on her first mount Ryanair De Riverland, on whom she placed fourth.

“Ryanair De Riverland is quicker and covers more ground, and I tried to make up my time in the turns but that caused me to have a rail. With Gipsy King, I wanted to do the same thing but not have any down. He spends a little more time in the air and I had to make up more time in the corners,” Alexander said.

“Going twice is definitely an advantage. I already had a feel for the jump-off and I know Gipsy King really well from competing this summer,” she elaborated.

Alexander touched on how she has had to adjust her riding style for Gipsy King because he is very straightforward but is quite sensitive in the mouth.

“I have had to look past the sensitivity, and learning how to ride him well on the flat has helped me tremendously in the show ring,” she explained.

Securing the win and a fourth place finish set Alexander on the right foot as she looks forward to the U25 Grand Prix on Sunday. Alexander and her team will remain in Tryon this weekend and next week for the highly anticipated CSI 5* and are planning to continue contesting the U25 classes.

“This was a great way to start off the weekend, especially looking ahead to the U25 class on Sunday. My horses have not jumped since Gold Cup which was four weeks ago, so this was a positive note to come in on.”

Alexander wrapped up talking about her first time competing at TIEC, saying, “It is really, really nice. This is a great stop for us in the fall.”

Daniel Geitner Takes $10,000 Pre-Green Carolinas’ Challenge Cup aboard Walk the Moon

Daniel Geitner of Aiken, SC and Walk the Moon, owned by Lynn Seithel, took top honors in the $10,000 Pre-Green Carolinas’ Challenge Cup with a two round score of 175. Robert Carey of Bolton, OH guided First Watch, owned by Barbara Mitchell, to a second place finish after receiving a 170.5, while Caroline Weeden of Lake Forest, IL piloted In Time, owned by Glory Days Farm, LLC, to third place with a score of 166.

Geitner and Walk the Moon impressed the judges receiving an 87 in the first round and an 88 in the second round. Carey and First Watch also laid down two smooth courses in the George H. Morris Arena to earn an 86 and 84.5, respectively. Caroline Weeden and In Time also earned two scores about the 80 mark, collecting an 82 and 84 for their efforts.

The 2016 Tryon Fall Series presented by Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District offers six weeks of hunter and jumper competition, including three weeks of internationally recognized FEI show jumping featuring two FEI CSI 3* weeks and an FEI CSI 5*. For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) and surrounding amenities, please visit www.tryon.com.

Andy Kocher and Zantos II Pave Way to Victory in $35,000 1.50m Suncast Welcome CSI 3*

Andy Kocher and Zantos II. Photo ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 13, 2016 – Andy Kocher (USA) and Zantos II made easy work of the track in the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome CSI 3*, which hosted an impressive 60 entries, to take the win at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). The pair stopped the jump-off timers in 38.458 seconds ahead of Laura Kraut (USA) and Confu, who collected second place with a time of 40.001 seconds. Adam Prudent (FRA) and Victorio 5 earned third place after finishing the course in 42.349 seconds.

Kocher and Zantos II, owned by MKO Equestrian LLC, were trailblazers around the course set by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) and were the first pair to secure a fault-free effort in the first round. The duo would later be joined by five combinations who also contested the demanding short course.

“I was really excited with this win. It was a tough class and when I walked I thought it would be one of those classes that would kind of show you where you were at, but it was a solid 1.50m,” said Kocher. “It was not soft in the slightest and was definitely built to the book.”

Kocher has added an element of consistency to his riding, which has been highlighted by several top finishes at major competitions in the United States and Canada this season. The class featured riders from around the world and included numerous Olympians, but Kocher took the pressure in stride, something he noted has improved since last season.

“Last year I would have been like frozen pizza out there with all of those guys. I had a great fall circuit here last year and we competed against some great riders too, but I just feel like now we’re a level up,” he explained. “I walked into the class today feeling like I had a chance to do really well and we did.”

Zantos II, a 2004 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Solitair x Mermus R), is a firecracker of a ride, whose determination and heart outsize his deceivingly petite frame. With Kocher piloting from the irons, the pair has collected top finishes at the American Gold Cup in North Salem, NY, Great Lakes Equestrian Festival in Traverse City, MI, and at Angelstone Tournaments in Rockwood, ON since the gelding was imported from England earlier this season.

“He’s really small. It almost feels like you’re riding a small pony but he is so brave. He thinks he’s 18 hands and is just incredibly careful. He isn’t a horse that naturally jumps 1.50m, but if you set him up right he will always be successful,” he explained.

The pair will now turn their focus to producing a strong finish in the $130,000 Suncast® Grand Prix CSI 3* on Saturday, October 15, before heading to contest the indoor season.

“This class was awesome and I got just about everything out of him. I love competing here and it was a great feeling to come out on top against such a strong field,” added Kocher.

The 2016 Tryon Fall Series presented by Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District offers six weeks of hunter and jumper competition, including three weeks of internationally recognized FEI show jumping featuring two FEI CSI 3* weeks and an FEI CSI 5*. For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) and surrounding amenities, please visit www.tryon.com.

David Will and Cento Du Rouet Win $35k Horseware Ireland 1.45m Opener CSI 3* at Tryon

David Will and Cento Du Rouet. Photos ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 12, 2016 – David Will (GER) and Cento Du Rouet earned a major victory in the $35,000 Horseware® Ireland 1.45m Opener CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), taking their first career win at the venue. Will and Cento Du Rouet crossed through the timers in 63.12 seconds for first place ahead of Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Cornwall who collected second place honors with a time of 63.86 seconds. Will piloted his second mount, Monodie H, to third place after narrowly edging the pursuing field with a time of 64.47 seconds.

Will and Cento Du Rouet, owned by Centin Gungor, took advantage of the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the George H. Morris Arena. Will first guided Monodie H, owned by Dietmar Gugler, around the course set by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) and felt he better understood the direct routes to take on Cento Du Rouet, which would ultimately secure the pair’s victory.

“With Monodie I took a couple of long ways and I wanted to turn tight with her but not gallop too much. She still went very well, enough to get third,” he said. “I’m very happy with her. With Cento, I wanted to try a little bit more and the course really got better towards the end. He did very well and the win gives me confidence for the rest of the week.”

Will is looking forward to competing in the remainder of FEI classes during Tryon Fall IV and will return with both mounts next week to contest the second FEI CSI 5* of the season at the venue. Off to a strong start, he hopes to continue his success from the first day of competition throughout the rest of the week with both horses.

“I will keep showing both Monodie and Cento in the FEI classes. Both horses will go tomorrow in the Suncast® class and then hopefully I will get to ride both in the bigger class on Saturday,” he said. “This is a really nice place for the horses and it’s very impressive. We’re very excited to be here.”

The partnership with Cento has been fruitful for Will, who took over the ride on the 2007 Oldenburg Springpferd gelding (Chintan x Balou Du Rouet) in early spring. The pair has amassed seven top ten finishes together at the FEI level in Europe so far this year and seems fit for top competition over the course of the next two weeks at TIEC.

“Cento is a real fighter. He always wants to work. He really enjoys it and hates it when he has to stay in the stall. He is always very excited to go in the ring and do his job well,” added Will.

The 2016 Tryon Fall Series presented by Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District offers six weeks of hunter and jumper competition, including three weeks of internationally recognized FEI show jumping featuring two FEI CSI 3* weeks and an FEI CSI 5*. For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) and surrounding amenities, please visit www.tryon.com.

Andres Rodriguez and S.F. Ariantha Win $127,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix CSI 3*

Andres Rodriguez and S.F. Ariantha. Photos ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 24, 2015 – Andres Rodriguez (VEN) and the talented grey mare S.F. Ariantha proved too quick to beat in the $127,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix CSI 3*, the final Grand Prix of the 2015 season at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Rodriguez and S.F. Ariantha flew through the timers, securing the fastest double clear effort of the night, finishing with a time of 43.26 seconds. Andrew Kocher (USA), winner of the $34,000 Suncast® FEI 1.50m Welcome Stake this week, narrowly missed the mark set by Rodriguez, finishing only a tenth of a second off the pace with a time of 43.36 seconds. Christine McCrea (USA) and Wannick WH rounded out the top three with a time of 44.50 seconds while Denise Wilson (USA) and Galous recorded the fourth double clear effort of the night. After six consecutive weeks of elite hunter and jumper competition, the Tryon Fall Series will conclude tomorrow, Sunday, October 25.

The competitive class of 34 entries tested a difficult and expansive track designed by Oscar Soberon of Mexico, with only six entries advancing to the jump-off round. Rodriguez has been a figure of consistency throughout the past two weeks of FEI competition hosted at TIEC, earning multiple wins aboard his two top mounts Caballito and S.F. Ariantha.

“I brought my best horses here because I knew that the competition was going to be tough. I am just very happy with how this class went and I was very glad to find someone as challenging as Andy Kocher to ride against for the past two weeks. I had never met him before coming here and he really gave it a go in every single class. I was waiting for him to go tonight in the Grand Prix and put him in a place where he had to work really hard to get the win. That is what makes it so fun,” said Rodriguez. “This was my first time at Tryon and everybody said great things about this place but as I’ve said before, I was even surprised because it is really a magnificent place. I think that this will become the heart of show jumping in the United States over the next few years.”

Rodriguez and Kocher finished an incredible week of competition at TIEC, as both riders battled for supremacy in each of the major FEI classes hosted throughout the competition week at Tryon Fall 6. Rodriguez and S.F. Ariantha finished second behind Kocher in this week’s $34,000 Suncast® FEI 1.50m Welcome Stake, while Kocher and Uppie de Lis have continued to add top finishes to their flourishing partnership. Abigail McArdle (USA) and Cade were the first combination on course in the jump-off, finishing a fast round but a single rail dropped in the double combination would ultimately keep them out of the top three spots. Lauren Tisbo (USA) and Rosiere Vesquerie attempted to catch Rodriguez in the jump-off, but rails dropped at the large Animo oxer would prevent the duo from securing a double clear effort for the night.

Andrew Kocher and Uppie de Lis
Andrew Kocher and Uppie de Lis

S.F. Ariantha is truly captivating to watch in the ring as the scopey 2005 Dutch Warmblood mare (Corland x Uriantha) tackles the largest Grand Prix courses with incredible ease while Rodriguez expertly guides from the irons. The gifted mare will serve as Rodriguez’s Olympic hopeful mount as the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil rapidly approach.

“She’s only ten years old and she doesn’t have all of the experience yet. Quality wise I think she is hard to match with any other horse in the world. She just needs more experience to get to the next level and that is what we’re hoping to get before the Olympics next year,” commented Rodriguez.

Soberon was praised by riders for his course design in the FEI classes throughout the week, as tracks continually challenged riders with technical questions while maximizing the majority of the space in the George Morris Arena. Rodriguez, who finished well in each of the three FEI classes offered this past week, commented on the night’s course, saying, “I think the course was set just right tonight. The crowd enjoyed the six rider combinations in the jump-off and I think that Oscar [Soberon] did a great job. There were some very tricky parts that were very challenging,” he noted. “Coming into the combination was difficult and there were a lot of people whose dreams ended there. I really think he did a great job.”

With international rider presence at a record high for the venue over the past two FEI weeks, Rodriguez believes those numbers will only continue to increase over time. Nine nationalities were represented in the $127,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix CSI 3* including entries from Ireland, Russia, Canada, Colombia, Venezuela, New Zealand, France, Puerto Rico, as well as the United States.

“The sport is growing so fast and there are circuits popping up all over the world,” remarked Rodriguez. “It’s really an incredible thing and I think people will start to discover that this facility is here and there are not many other facilities like it in the world. This is a place that was built thinking about the horses, the riders, the grooms, staff, and spectators. When people start coming here more and more it is going to be very big for the sport.”

Danielle Burns, Rodriguez’s groom, was honored with the Groom’s Initiative Award, which is presented to the groom of the winning horse and rider combination for each Grand Prix class hosted at TIEC. Burns, who has worked with Rodriguez for a number of years, rejoined the team before the 2015 Pan American Games hosted in Toronto, Canada, where Rodriguez and Darlon van Groenhove earned an individual silver medal.

“I have a lot of great people working for me and right before the Pan Am Games we knew that we needed to find a special person for that job because it was going to be hard, especially at the top levels. I reached out to Danielle to see if she would be interested in coming back and we managed to make everything work. We’ve had a great go. You need someone like Danielle behind your horses because I’m on the horse for an hour a day and she’s with them for the other 23 hours, so at the end of the day, she spends the most time with them and that is why she is so important on our team.”

Please “Like” Tryon International Equestrian Center on Facebook to get the latest updates and information on happenings around the facility!

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.

Strong Turnout for First FEI CSI3* Week of Tryon Fall Series

Andres Rodriguez and Caballito. Photos ©Sportfot.

Heather Caristo-Williams Tops $34,000 Horseware Ireland FEI 1.45m Speed Stake; Hunter Competitors Continue to Shine

Mill Spring, NC – October 18, 2015 – Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) hosted the first of two back-to-back weeks of internationally recognized FEI CSI 3* competition this past week, spanning four days in the George Morris Arena, and marking the eighth FEI competition hosted at the facility during the 2015 season. The finale of the six-week Tryon Fall Series will begin on Wednesday, October 20, and conclude on Sunday, October 24, with another strong week of CSI 3* competition ahead.

Recording the highest number of FEI horses presented at an international competition hosted at TIEC this year, Tryon Fall 5 saw 78 horses jog before the FEI ground jury. An impressive 62 entries tested the $34,000 FEI 1.50m Suncast® Welcome designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA). Andres Rodriguez (VEN) piloted longtime mount Caballito (Contendro x Arabesque) owned by ARAO Enterprises LLC and stopped the jump-off timers in 37.07 seconds for the win. Andrew Kocher (USA) and Uppie De Lis (Andiamo x Lorraine) owned by BTS Entertainment & Sales followed in second with a double clear effort and a time of 37.95 seconds. Rodriguez also finished in third place aboard S.F. Ariantha (Corland x Uriantha) owned by Robert and Sofia Castro with a time of 39.63 seconds.

“Riding two horses in this class is definitely a luxury and either one of them has the chance to win any class in the world. They’ve both been at the CSI 5* level before and really can compete at any level. It’s just a big luxury and I’m very happy to be here,” said Rodriguez.

“This is my second day here in Tryon and I’ve heard great things. I was very impressed with the facility and this place has a great future for the sport of show jumping. Everything here, the lifestyle around the grand prix arena, people staying in cabins, five or six different options for restaurants and everything – I just think the future for Tryon is great and I’m looking forward to coming more often,” he commented.

Besting a class of talented entries, Rodriguez, who has had a phenomenal 2015 season thus far, remains fully aware of the importance of winning and how it impacts an individual’s confidence heading into the bigger ranking classes.

“When you win a class it’s supposed to be what we do. I don’t think people ride for second place and everyone wants to win, which makes for great rides. There were a lot of top riders in the class and there was a horse that I love, one of Ronan McGuigan’s, and he was in the jump-off with us and that always makes it very exciting,” he continued. “When you have a horse that you like so much and it’s in the jump-off with you it makes it pretty fun and good competition.”

Caballito is Rodriguez’s longtime partner who has been a mainstay in his top string for a number of years. Detailing their partnership, Rodriguez explained the importance of Caballito in his barn. “He is my old time partner. I won my first ever FEI ranking class on him five years ago and he’s been winning ever since. He won a great class this year in Barcelona and it was such a fast class. He’s a really awesome horse and he’s very consistent.”

While continuing to amass wins throughout year, Rodriguez has earned several top place finishes at some of the biggest competitions and venues around the globe including Spruce Meadows and the Furusiyya Nations Cup™ in Barcelona, Spain, this past September.

“We’ve been having a great year and I’ve been showing almost every week. I’m looking forward to a little bit of a rest in December, but still I have this coming week here in Tryon and then I go to HITS Thermal and Vegas. After that the year is over for us,” explained Rodriguez. “Next year is huge because of the Olympics and I think they’re going to come up so fast after Wellington in April and we’ll only have three more months until they start and the horses will need to be rested. I also need to be in a good mindset to be able to perform too.”

With the 2016 Olympic Games to be hosted next July in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Rodriguez already has an idea of which lucky mount will be aimed towards the historic event next summer. S.F. Ariantha has steadily improved throughout the season and has a talent that is unmatched according to Rodriguez. The duo also placed in finished fifth in the $127,000 Suncast® Grand Prix FEI CSI 3* hosted on Saturday, October 17, during Tryon Fall 5.

“I’ve never had a horse with that type of quality. She’s truly special. Everything she does is unique and she jumps her heart out. She was born to jump and she does it in such a way that we’re definitely preparing her for the Olympics next year and she’s going to try her first main CSI 5* class in a few weeks. Next year we’ll do a few of the big grand prix classes in Wellington and maybe Hamburg and Aachen, some of the big shows in Europe,” stated Rodriguez as he continued to praise the talented mare. “The Olympics are a dream for everyone and that’s a horse to dream with. She’s the first horse who has made me feel that I can actually dream like that.”

With another week of international competition ahead, Rodriguez will look to continue riding with the same winning prowess and determination he possessed throughout Tryon Fall 5, while simultaneously preparing for the conclusion of the 2015 season. Commenting on the hopes of returning to TIEC in the near future, Rodriguez elaborated, “I think the more and more Tryon has good riders and good levels I only see it improving. I think a lot of riders are going to come here and like it and I think the location of this place is in the middle of where we do most of our jumping which is in Florida and New York. I’m very happy that I made the choice to come here,” he noted.

Heather Caristo-Williams Tops $34,000 Horseware Ireland FEI 1.45m Speed Stake

Heather Caristo-Williams (USA) and Wistful, owned by Ralph Caristo, captured a major win in the first FEI class of the week during Tryon Fall 5, hosted on Wednesday, October 14, in the $34,000 Horseware Ireland FEI 1.45m Speed Stake. The duo stopped the timers in 63.86 seconds after finishing a quick and efficient round, which would be unmatched by any other combination in the class boasting 42 entries. Andres Rodriguez (VEN) and Caballito, owned by ARAO Enterprises LLC finished just behind Caristo-Williams in second place with a time of 65.15 seconds. Fellow Venezuelan rider Emanuel Andrade rounded out the top three aboard his own Bon Jovi, crossing through the finish in 65.29 seconds.

Heather Caristo-Williams and Wistful
Heather Caristo-Williams and Wistful

“I was really happy with my round today. She did absolutely everything I asked and I really don’t think I could have asked for any more from her. She was just so fast and careful. I had seen a couple of people go before me and they went quite fast and I wasn’t sure where I would be able to make up the time,” said Caristo-Williams. “When I walked the course before the class I thought it looked great. There were a lot of tight turn backs and I was pleased because my mare just handled them beautifully. It was a fantastic track. When we got to the last jump I was just holding my breath and you always want to go clear but the last jump was tricky and you weren’t done until you were all the way through the timers.”

Caristo-Williams took the ride on Wistful at the beginning of the winter circuit in 2015 and took an ample amount of time to get to know the 2003 Dutch Warmblood mare (Be A Grand Star x Power Lady) before testing her on the international stage.

“This is one of the biggest tracks that we’ve done together and I just feel very privileged to work with a mare as talented as she is. We’re going to head to Florida a little bit early this year and do some nice trail riding and give her some downtime before the start of next season,” explained Caristo-Williams. “I’d love to have her as my speed horse. She seems to love to go fast and she’s so careful. I also just love to go fast on her too. I’m very happy to just keep competing her in speed classes and you know if we get to go bigger then we do but if we’re very happy and competitive right here than I’m really happy here too.”

Caristo-Williams represented the United States in equestrian competition during the Furusiyya FEI Nation’s Cup series throughout the summer in Europe, including an appearance for Team USA at the CSIO 3* in Lisbon, Portugal. Continuing to work towards her goal of competing for the United States in major international competition, Caristo-Williams described her surreal summer and the impact it has had on her goals moving forward in the sport.

“My summer has been unbelievable. I keep thinking if I’m dreaming please don’t wake me up because all of my horses have really stepped up and the highlight has been being able to compete for the U.S. on Nations Cup teams in Europe this summer. That was really amazing for me and honestly just a dream come true.”

Caristo-Williams added comments about her team’s experience at TIEC in their first visit to the venue this year. “The show grounds are beautiful and with the barns, where the stalls are, everything is just so well thought out. The complex is incredible and I really think it is just amazing. We’re so happy to be here and I’m only sad that it took us this long to get here this year. We’re very excited to come back in the future.”

Hunter Competitors Continue to Shine at TIEC

Hunter competition continued throughout the week at TIEC, offering a variety of classes and divisions for riders of all ages and experience levels. Liza Boyd, a name well-known on the AA-circuit and based in nearby Camden, SC, took home top honors in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby aboard 2004 Oldenburg mare Fieona owned by Kelly Maloney and Jack Towell. The duo also picked up a blue ribbon in the Performance Hunter 3’3″/3’6″ presented by Bruno Delgrange before their impressive performance in the only hunter derby of the week.

The duo earned a score of 87 in the first round of competition and returned to receive a 91 in the second round to finish the class with a total score of 178. Amy Nunnally of Charlottesville, VA and Cailler, owned by Carilynn Peyton, finished in second place after earning an 84 and 88 respectively for a final score of 172 while Amanda Forte of Glenmoore, PA piloted Look Again, owned by Rebecca Baker, to a total score of 167, which earned them a third place finish.

Amy Nolan of Wilmington, NC and Extra Credit, a 2006 Warmblood gelding owned by Missy Luczak-Smith, earned the tricolor in the Adult Amateur Hunter 3’6″ & Over division after collecting two first and two second place finishes in the over fences portion of the division. The duo also won the $500 NAL/WIHS Adult Hunter Classic 3′ with a two-round total score of 161.

For more information and to see a full list of results from Tryon Fall 5, please visit www.tryon.com.

Please “Like” Tryon International Equestrian Center on Facebook to become 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.

TIEC Announces Release of 2015 Fall Series Prize List Highlighting Two FEI CSI 3* Weeks

Aerial shot of the official opening ceremony on June 6th. Photo ©ErikOlsen.

The 2015 fall series prize list is now available online

Mill Spring, NC – August 31, 2015 – Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) has announced the release of the 2015 Tryon Fall Series Prize List now available online at www.tryon.com to competitors and spectators wishing to compete at the world-class facility during the highly anticipated Tryon Fall Series, set to begin on Thursday, September 17 and conclude on Sunday, October 25. The series will host six consecutive weeks of competition including two FEI CSI 3* weeks (October 14-25).

The Tryon Fall Series will begin on Thursday, September 17, highlighting the first “Saturday Night Lights” event of the series, as the venue hosts the $25,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix at 7pm in the George Morris Arena on Saturday, September 19. Fall 1 will also offer a week of B-rated hunter competition.

Tryon Fall 2 and 3 will increase prize money within the grand prix series offering the $15,000 Suncast® Welcome on both Thursdays of each week and back-to-back “Saturday Night Light” classes with a $40,000 Grand Prix and the $40,000 Tryon Equine Grand Prix. Hunter competitors will contest a continued week of B-rated competition.

Hunters will take the main stage at Tryon Fall 4, as the venue will offer AA-rated competition throughout the week and showcase the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby and the $10,000 Tryon Fall Pre-Green Classic. The $25,000 Nutrena® Grand Prix on Saturday, October 3, will accompany the largest hunter week of the Tryon Fall Series.

The last two weeks of the series will play host to the largest competition weeks of the season with back-to-back FEI CSI 3*competitions. Fall 5 will offer FEI riders the $34,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Speed Stake, $34,000 Suncast® Welcome Classic, as well as the $127,000 Suncast® Grand Prix on Saturday, October 17. Fall 6 will mirror Fall 5 with an equal number of FEI classes, including a $34,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Speed Stake and $34,000 Suncast® Welcome, while capping the fall “Saturday Night Lights” series with the $127,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix on Saturday, October 24.

“We’re looking forward to hosting another successful series at Tryon International Equestrian Center and will look to build upon the momentum and feedback we received from the first three series this year,” said Mark Bellissimo, managing partner for the Tryon Equestrian Partners. “It is important to give riders of all ages and experiences the opportunity to compete and learn. We are excited that we can forge that appreciation and passion for the sport here at TIEC.”

Please visit http://bit.ly/1X7snKe to access the 2015 Fall Series Prize List online!

Tryon International Equestrian Center offers competitors, visitors, and families several on-site lodging options to help make competition visits as simple and convenient as possible. With multiple cabin sizes, as well as the newly opened Stable House Inn, both located within walking distance of the facility and stabling, lodging at TIEC also ensures easy access to vendors and restaurants located on-site.

With a limited number of one-bedroom, three-bedroom, and five-bedroom cabins available for booking, contact lodging@tryon.com or call (828)-863-1015 to reserve your cabin for the Tryon Fall Series today!

The Stable House Inn is the newest addition to the on-site lodging options at Tryon International Equestrian Center. With 50 rooms, each room furnished with two queen sized beds, a full bathroom, and smaller amenities such as a mini-fridge, microwave, and coffee-maker, The Stable House Inn is the perfect destination for a short or long term stay at TIEC. For more information regarding nightly and weekly rates, please contact lodging@tryon.com or call (828)-863-1015 for more information.

Lodge on Lake Lure, recently acquired by the Tryon Equestrian Partners, will also be accepting lodging reservations for the Tryon Fall Series. Outfitted with 17 beautifully furnished rooms and located only a short 18-minute drive from TIEC, Lodge on Lake Lure offers guests access to a beautiful lake-front patio deck, a variety of watersport activities, and is home to one of the area’s finest restaurants, Tree Top Restaurant. To reserve a room at Lodge on Lake Lure, please visit http://www.lodgeonlakelure.com or call +1(800)-733-2785 for more information.

TIEC also offers visitors and guests several popular dining venues located around the facility including Roger’s Diner, Legends Grille, Blue Ginger Sushi & Sake, and Tryon Café. On-site favorites, Open Road Coffee and Tryon Treats, will also open to exhibitors and visitors during each of the competition weeks during the Tryon Fall Series. Tryon Tack is also available on-site providing competitors and spectators with all of their equestrian retail needs.

The Legends Club, overlooking the George Morris Arena in Tryon Stadium, serves breakfast and lunch buffet options to patrons daily during the competition week, as well as table seating during the highly attended “Saturday Night Lights” Series, which will span the six-week duration of the 2015 Tryon Fall Series. To reserve a table in the Legends Club, please contact lodging@tryon.com or call (828)-863-1015 for more information.

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.