Tag Archives: Tryon International Equestrian Center

Todd Minikus and Quality Girl Capture $216,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix CSI 4* at Tryon

Todd Minikus and Quality Girl. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – July 23, 2016 – Todd Minikus (USA) and Quality Girl rode to victory in the $216,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix CSI 4* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), taking the final tour around the jump-off course and finishing as the only pair to earn a double clear effort on the night. Minikus and Quality Girl crossed through the timers in 41.093 seconds to secure the win, while Marilyn Little (USA) and Clearwater collected second place, finishing the track in 41.473 seconds and adding four faults to their score. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Testify dropped two rails for a total of eight faults around the short course and completed with a time of 42.826 seconds.

The track rode as difficult as it walked for the riders, testing accuracy and technicality, a specialty of course designer Catsy Cruz (MEX). Of the 30 original entries contesting the first round, only 23 pairs completed the course, while seven pairs finished the evening with four faults.

“The course rode very tough and the time allowed was fast. The 4AB combination was difficult and so was the Liverpool combination,” said Minikus. “You couldn’t get away with a green horse on this track. You really needed an experienced horse who could handle the questions.”

While recognizing the established partnership he has cultivated with Quality Girl, Minikus also took the time to appreciate his team and supporters. He commented, “Along with an experienced horse though, you have to have a top team. My wife, the girls that work for us, and all of our supporters and sponsors put in so much effort and it’s always a great feeling to finish on top because it’s a testament to their hard work too.”

Minikus was prepared for the trying track aboard longtime mount Quality Girl, a 2003 Oldenburg mare (Quidam’s Rubin x Dobrock) owned by Quality Group and Todd Minikus LTD, who has showcased her fierce and competitive attitude in some of the world’s largest classes. Her feisty demeanor pairs well with her careful technique and provides a perfect balance for Minikus, who is able to harness both traits to produce clear rounds.

“When you enter the jump-off as the last pair and the other riders have had rails, you want to think it’s a luxury, but really, it’s the opposite. If you try and be too careful and have one down, you don’t place as well,” he commented. “I wanted to go fast enough that if we did have one down I could still hit the gas pedal and be fast enough for the win.”

After a few weeks of rest to recover from a minor injury, Quality Girl returned to international competition in top form, showcasing her scope and agility throughout the week of competition. With three horses steadily moving through the ranks of FEI classes including Vita 24 and Babalou 41, Minikus feels that his team is in a confident place looking towards the fall season.

“Quality Girl jumped fantastic. It felt so solid the whole way around that I never even questioned if she would rub a jump. She really was on her job tonight,” he detailed. “You know, she’s tough. She has an opinion about everything and you have to pick and choose your battles with her. She’s a pure winner though and has been that way since the day we got her.”

Minikus and team have been based at TIEC for the full four weeks of the 2016 Tryon Summer Series and have seen the positive impact of increasing international competition opportunities in the United States. Minikus, who was short listed as a potential combination for Team USA with Babalou 41, owned by Two Swans Farm, spent much of the spring circuit in Europe and commented on the changing tide for riders now basing year-round in the United States.

“The prize money here has been great. For us, between sales and prize money, that is how we make our living. This has been a very enjoyable setting and they’ve done an excellent job,” elaborated Minikus. “It looks like the plans are to make it even better and it’s going to be a big location for the sport.”

“It’s just pluses across the board in terms of FEI ranking points, prize money, and a class venue. There’s an incredible fan base here. People really like to come out and enjoy the Saturday nights, which continues to give the sport more exposure,” he continued. “It’s a really a win win for everyone.”

While describing his time at TIEC this season, Minikus also opened up regarding the ongoing debate that surrounds the sport and the level of international competition available in the United States versus in Europe.

“To be honest with you, I don’t think that going over to Europe is any better than competing here in the United States. There are a select group of shows, obviously in Europe, that are great, but at the end of the day, I really feel like we do it better here in the United States,” he commented. “I think we’re going to see a lot more European riders coming here once the word gets out and this is just an awesome venue. There’s only room to grow here and it’s setting up for a very exciting future.”

Anna Davila, who oversees the care of Minikus’ mount Quality Girl, was presented with the Absorbine Grooms Award, honoring her commitment and dedication to the overall care and well-being of the outstanding mare. The efforts of Abigail McArdle (USA) were also honored at the conclusion of the class, as she received the Leading Lady Rider Award presented by realtor Meg Atkinson, recognizing her top finishes in each of the FEI classes at TIEC this week.

Competition at TIEC continues Sunday with the final FEI class of the week featuring the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Classic CSI 4* beginning at 8:00 a.m. For more information on TIEC and to see a full list of results, please visit www.tryon.com.

TIEC Supports “Buy a Donkey a Drink” Fundraising Initiatives through Summer and Fall Seasons

Mill Spring, NC – July 22, 2016 – As the summer series reaches its peak at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), the venue will embark on a mission to raise awareness and funds for Brooke USA through the “Buy a Donkey a Drink” campaign started this summer. Beginning Saturday, July 23, cool off from the summer heat with Orangeade or orange snow cones provided by Brooke USA-themed pushcarts located around the facility.

While enjoying the items available for purchase at the pushcarts, exhibitors and spectators will also be able to support Brooke USA while dining at TIEC. Two on-site restaurants, Legends Grille, and the newest dining addition featuring Italian cuisine, Campagna, will offer special Moscow Mules and Orange Tea drink options, in which a portion of the proceeds will benefit Brooke USA and the “Buy a Donkey a Drink” campaign. For every $9 raised through the initiative a donkey or equine in drought-ridden Ethiopia will be provided with a lifetime water supply thanks in part to the generous support of the Brooke USA organization.

Tryon International Equestrian Center, located in the foothills of the Carolinas, is a growing hotspot for equestrians around the world, hosting numerous international and national hunter/jumper circuits, as well as multi-discipline events throughout the year. Brooke USA Board Members Katherine Bellissimo and Jim Wolf are heavily involved with the operation and management of the facility, making it the perfect location to highlight the “Buy a Donkey a Drink” campaign.

Brooke USA is the American-based fundraising arm of the Brooke, the world’s largest international equine welfare charity, dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules in developing countries. For more than 80 years, the Brooke has been alleviating the suffering of equines who work in some of the poorest communities on earth. The Brooke’s scientifically proven, practical and sustainable solutions to enormous equine welfare challenges actively improve the lives of equine animals and the people who depend on them across Africa, Asia and Central America. Last year alone, the Brooke reached 1.8 million equines, benefiting 10 million people in the developing world.

Soon 13,500 working equines will have lifetime access to the water they so desperately need, thanks to the new project being funded this summer by Brooke USA donors. The “Buy a Donkey a Drink” campaign will raise support to construct five permanent water troughs in the Shala Woreda (district) of Ethiopia. These 50-foot-long concrete troughs will be located in very busy market areas where thousands of animals regularly gather. The troughs will allow as many as 340 horses, donkeys, and mules to quench their thirst with each filling, and will allow other livestock such as cattle and camels to receive life-saving water as well.

The fundraising goal is $98,000 over the next three months, which will allow construction of the water troughs to begin at once and be completed in phases by the end of the year. To donate now, or to find out how you can help, please visit www.buyadonkeyadrink.org.

The pushcarts will make their debut during “Saturday Night Lights” featuring the $216,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix CSI 4*. The pushcarts will continue to make appearances on the show grounds throughout the remainder of the summer, including the sold-out Pony Club Championships East, held from July 27-31, and the Nutrena® American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover, which will run August 31 – September 4.

To learn more about Brooke USA, please visit www.BrookeUSA.org. To buy a donkey a drink, please visit www.buyadonkeyadrink.org.

About Brooke USA

Brooke USA is a 501(c)(3) charity located at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, which exists solely to support the overseas work of the Brooke, the world’s largest international equine welfare charity.  For more than 80 years, the Brooke has been alleviating the suffering of horses, donkeys, and mules who work in some of the poorest communities on earth. The Brooke’s scientifically proven, practical, and sustainable solutions to enormous welfare challenges improve the lives of equine animals and the people who depend on them across Africa, Asia, and Central America.  Last year alone, the Brooke reached 1.8 million equines, benefiting 10 million people in the developing world. To learn more, visit www.BrookeUSA.org.

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

Richie Moloney and Slieveanorra Top $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Speed Stake

Richie Moloney and Slieveanorra. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Danielle Grice and High Life Capture $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Mill Spring, NC – July 22, 2016 – Capturing their second victory in a two-week span, Richie Moloney (IRL) and Slieveanorra earned another victory in George H. Morris Arena, this time in the $35,000 1.45m Horseware® Ireland Speed Stake at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Moloney and Slieveanorra crossed through the timers in 56.09 seconds to push Samuel Parot (CHI) and Atlantis to second place, as the pair finished in 56.30 seconds. Emanuel Andrade (VEN) and Bon Jovi captured third place honors, completing the track in 57.67 seconds.

Catsy Cruz (MEX) is the course designer for this week’s FEI tracks in the George H. Morris Arena and is known for her strong building technique, which asks riders questions of technicality and quickness in each class. Moloney and Slieveanorra rode a neat and fast round, which placed them atop the leaderboard.

With 21 combinations contesting the track, Moloney had the advantage of tackling the course last in the order of go, already piloting his other mount Alsvid through the course. Seven pairs rode to finish with fault-free trips, but Moloney left everything on the line, entering the ring with an understanding that he would need to best the 56.30 seconds earned by Parot.

“He was very fast around the turns in between the lines and I think that’s where he upped the time,” said Moloney. “He’s naturally a quick horse and that helps in these speed classes. He felt great and is very aware of what is going on in the ring.”

When Moloney walked the course, he felt that while there were more efficient options available, he preferred to stick with a fast and straightforward approach, ultimately paying off with a victory.

“He always has a chance because he jumps up, but doesn’t waste time in the air. I thought that there were a couple of options to leave out strides and we didn’t even need to do that because it still worked out well,” he explained.

The 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Voltaire x Flagmount Diamond) owned by Equinimity LLC, has been a staple in Moloney’s string for a number of years and performs with a sense of consistency and strength that make him an invaluable member of the top competition team.

“He’s adjustable and naturally very quick around the turns. I don’t always have to take the fastest option, because I know he will make it up around the rest of the course,” he commented. “He’s very experienced, and like I said last week, we try to save him for classes we know he will do well in and this was one of those occasions.”

Moloney will look to continue his success throughout the week as top mount Carrabis Z is entered in the $216,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix CSI 4* Saturday evening, while Alsvid and Slieveanorra will both contest the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Classic on Sunday, July 24. Looking forward to a rest for the horses in the coming weeks, but also already preparing for a strong fall campaign, Moloney reflected on his team’s success so far this season.

“I’m just pleased that my horses are all going well. We’re picking up good results at almost every competition and going forward I think we’d like to keep that,” he said.

Danielle Grice and High Life Capture $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Danielle Grice of Mufreesboro, TN and High Life, owned by Allison Reichenbach, rode to victory in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at TIEC, taking the class with a two round score of 121. Morgane Qualls of Mufreesboro, TN and Limousine, owned by Julie Burton, took second place honors with a score of 163, while Jillian Briggs of Wellington, FL piloted Roc Du Triomphe, owned by Barry H. Carragher, to third place, receiving a 156.

Danielle Grice and High Life
Danielle Grice and High Life

Grice and High Life, a flashy dapple grey gelding, impressed the judges, earning the two highest scores of the class with an 87 in the first round and an 84 in the handy. High Life plays dual roles as he is ridden by owner Allison Reichenbach in the Adult Amateur Hunter divisions and then transitions to Grice for the larger classes.

“I thought this was a great derby course. I liked how they had the high options early on in the course so that you could impress the judges right off the bat,” said Grice. “The first bending line looked like it was riding as a very long seven and I was a little bit nervous after watching the first few go, but he has a huge step and carried me down early in the seven.”

“The handy round had some great options, which I think really showed off his highlights,” she added.

Grice and Reichenbach have been working with High Life for a year now, as they purchased him from Chad Keenum and have been competing him since, specifically with Reichenbach who competes in the amateur classes.

“He’s been doing the First Year Greens and we’ve kept him at the 3’3″ height to preserve him for next year. He’ll start doing the bigger classes and larger derbies, and Allison will also step him up in the amateur classes too,” explained Grice.

According to Grice, the ring presence of High Life has had a major impact on his success in the ring, influencing his ability to score well with both herself and Reichenbach. She commented, “He likes to show off, but he’s super quiet. He has this tremendous presence in the ring that I think draws people to him. He jumped some of the best jumps of his life in the schooling area before the class, so I knew he was ready.”

The pair who rode two elegant and smooth rounds, finished well atop the leaderboard, which helped them to gain needed experience for what Grice hopes will be a successful fall campaign.

“I would love to get him to indoors and take him to some big places. He doesn’t care very much about the environment. We always want him to be impressed with what he sees in the ring,” she noted. “I think it would be fun to get him to some of those bigger horse shows and show him off.”

Competition at TIEC continues Saturday featuring the highlight class of the week with the $216,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix CSI 4*. Gates open to the public at 6:00 p.m., while entertainment will begin at 7:15 p.m. Competition will commence at 8:00 p.m. For more information on TIEC and to see a full list of results, please visit www.tryon.com.

Tryon International Equestrian Center Announces Start of 2016 Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Series

Photo Credit ©MegBanks/TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – July 19, 2016 – Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in conjunction the North Carolina Hunter Jumper Association (NCHJA), is pleased to announce the launch of the new Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Series, set to take place at horse shows across the Carolinas region, with the series culminating in a final competition to be hosted at the TIEC venue during Tryon Fall IV, which will begin Wednesday, October 12, and conclude Sunday, October 16.

Horse and rider combinations competing in the following divisions: Children’s Hunter, Adult Hunter, Junior Hunter, Amateur Owner Hunter, 2’6″ Hunter, and Pre-Green Hunter, through their participation in the series, will have the opportunity to accumulate points throughout the year for a chance to receive yearly awards and championship honors, as well as an opportunity to compete at the Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Championship Finals at the Tryon Fall IV Horse Show. The top 30 horses finishing atop each designated division will be invited to compete in the Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Finals.

“This is a unique experience for hunter exhibitors competing in the Carolinas and we are looking forward to bringing this championship event to TIEC, as well as maintaining the growing partnership with other competitions operating in the region,” said Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners. “We believe this opportunity will become an important component of the longstanding hunter circuit in this region for many years to come.”

Horses will qualify based on points earned in their respective divisions during the qualifying period, which started, Wednesday, June 29, and will continue through Sunday, October 9, 2016, at eligible competition locations.

“This series will allow for riders and competitors of all ages to partake in something that we hope will continue to grow the sport in this area,” added J. P. Godard, show manager of TIEC.

A horse may earn points in any section for which it is eligible, and may accumulate points in multiple sections with multiple riders. Participants may not compete more than three horses in the Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Finals.

The following list of events will serve as qualifying competitions for the Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Finals. In order to be eligible for the Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Series or to compete in the event finals, competitors must compete at least one show, in a minimum of three of four possible locations. Qualifying for the inaugural 2016 Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Series began during the NCHJA Charity Horse Show in Raleigh, NC in late June and will continue through the summer and into early fall. Locations and qualifying events include the following:

NC State Fairgrounds – Raleigh, NC
NCHJA Charity Horse Show – June 24-28

Tryon International Equestrian Center – Mill Spring, NC
Tryon Summer IV – July 20-24
Tryon August I – August 11-14
Tryon August II – August 18-21

L. M. Tate Horse Show Grounds – Blowing Rock, NC
Blowing Rock Charity Horse Shows I – July 26-31
Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show II – August 2-7

The Aiken Horse Park “Bruce’s Field” – Aiken, SC
Aiken Fall Festival I – September 8-11
Aiken Fall Festival II – September 15-18

“Wild Card” Qualifying Event – Mill Spring, NC
Tryon Fall III – October 5-9

No enrollment or membership is required. The top 30 qualified competitors must accept invitations and be entered by October 3rd, 2016 for eligibility to compete in the Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Finals. In the event that there is a tie in points for the final placing qualification (30th), than both/or all participants tied in the 30th position will be eligible to compete in the final competition.

The Tryon Fall III Horse Show will offer a “Wild Card” invitation in each division offered for the Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Finals. The horse/rider combination (if not already invited or qualified) that accumulates the most points in each respective division at Tryon Fall III, will earn an opportunity to compete in the Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Finals at the Tryon Fall IV Horse Show. If the “Wild Card” invitation is declined, no additional invitation or qualification will be extended.

The Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Finals is set to take place at the Tryon Fall IV Horse Show and will offer a two round classic. Each round will count as 50% towards the scores of the top 12 in each respective division invited back for a second round. Formal attire is required and the order of go will be determined based on points accumulated.

An overall series Championship and Reserve Championship will be awarded for each of the Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Divisions and will be presented at the Tryon Fall IV Horse Show. Points from the Finals classes will be included and count toward overall series championship.

For more information on the Carolinas’ Challenge Cup Series, please visit www.tryon.com.

Adam Prudent and Vasco Earn Third $35,000 1.50m Suncast Welcome Victory in a Row at TIEC

Adam Prudent and Vasco. Photo ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – July 21, 2016 – Adam Prudent (FRA) and Vasco have dominated the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome classes at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) throughout the four-week Tryon Summer Series, taking three of the four Thursday classes offered this season. Prudent and Vasco sped to victory again, stopping the clock in 35.821 seconds, while David Blake (IRL) and Binkie took second place, finishing in 42.568 seconds. Kevin Babington (IRL) and Shorapur moved forward to the jump-off round, but retired on course to finish in third.

Prudent and Vasco took their third consecutive win in the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome at TIEC, and have amassed a number of top placings during their time at the venue. Thursday’s class featured 32 entries and saw only three contestants return for the jump-off round. Catsy Cruz (MEX) designed the intricate track, which saw eleven combinations drop a single rail to accumulate four faults and proved to be a thoroughly testing course.

Vasco and Prudent have had a fruitful season so far in 2016, as the pair have finished in the top ten placings of FEI competition 15 times to date, with a long stretch of international competition approaching in the fall. Vasco is a seasoned mount, who understands his job and brings a sense of experience to the ring, which allows Prudent to select bolder strategies on course.

The duo made a tight rollback turn to the Horseware® Ireland one stride combination, while adjusting in the air to land in perfect time with an accurate set up a strong gallop to the massive Suncast® oxer. Prudent and Vasco took the opportunity to test the adjustability and athleticism that will be needed in the $216,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix CSI 4*, which will be featured on Saturday, July 23.

Vasco, a 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Andiamo x Clinton) owned by Plain Bay Sales, has exemplified his seasoned demeanor over the course of the Tryon Summer Series and the pair will look to finish atop the results in the remainder of competition this week. As Prudent’s top FEI mount, Vasco has been relied on heavily this season, but continues to enjoy competition and brings a sense of fire and will to win to each competition.

Before their arrival at TIEC, Prudent and Vasco dominated at the Upperville Horse Show CSI 4*, capturing two top three finishes before continuing their streak at TIEC. While Prudent builds a successful business and remains a shining young talent for France, the pair has caught the attention of the many riders and spectators who have praised their consistency and fearlessness in the ring.

Competition at TIEC will begin Friday at 8:00 a.m. featuring the $35,000 1.45m Horseware® Ireland Speed Stake, as well as the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby beginning at 12:40 p.m. For more information on TIEC and to see a full list of results, please visit www.tryon.com.

Famoso D Ive Z and Sharn Wordley Set Tone in $35k 1.45m Horseware Ireland Opener at Tryon

Sharn Wordley and Famoso D Ive Z. Photo ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – July 20, 2016 – Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Famoso D Ive Z have established an impressive record this season at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) and the duo recorded another win at the venue, taking the $35,000 1.45m Horseware® Ireland Opener at Tryon Summer IV with ease. Wordley and Famoso D Ive Z completed the track in 36.223 seconds, ahead of Samuel Parot (CHI) and Couscous Van Orti, winners of the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Classic at Tryon Summer III. Alise Oken (USA) and Belmont earned third place, finishing in 42.625 seconds.

Wordley and Famoso D Ive Z started off this season looking to gain experience together at the FEI levels and establish a strong relationship that would make them competitive at the top tiers of the sport. The 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding (For Pleasure x Chin Chin) owned by Sky Group & Wordley, has greatly surpassed the expectations of Wordley and their goals coming into this season, as he now looks to be top contender at the international level.

Catsy Cruz (MEX) will design this week’s FEI tracks and competition saw 27 entries, while 10 combinations moved forward to the jump-off round.

“I thought this was a good course today. I always like Catsy’s [Cruz] courses and they’re always very well built,” said Wordley. “The numbers were perfect too. We had ten clean and that was about right for the class.”

“It flowed very well and there were some tough questions that created some challenges out there. It was easy to pull a rail down, but it also wasn’t tremendously big,” he added.

The pair went late in the jump-off order, allowing Wordley to analyze the course, as well as previous competitors before he entered the ring. Noticing that multiple combinations were exiting the difficult one stride combination with a rail, Wordley turned his focus to that specific component of the course.

“As I was watching I noticed that some scopey horses had the back rail down. My plan going into it was to do seven from the oxer around to the double and I changed that after I saw the few pairs have that rail down,” he detailed. “I wanted to get ahead in there so I did eight strides instead.”

Their victory marked Wordley’s seventh win at the facility this season as he currently has four incredibly talented mounts representing New Zealand at the international level.

“There’s no secret really. I just have some incredible horses. I’ve had them now for just about a year and I think that it takes about that long to get to know them and train them,” commented Wordley. “It takes you that long to be able to get to do everything you want with them and I can’t say enough about the team of horses we have here.”

With three horses entered this week in FEI, Wordley will look to continue with the impressive consistency he has showcased this season, as well as improve on what seemed to be an off outing for his top mount Casper in the $216,000 Hollow Creek Farm CSI 4* Grand Prix. Wordley also plans to return to the venue during the 2016 Tryon Fall Series to contest the FEI CSI 5* with all three mounts.

“We brought Casper out today to give him a good go after last week. He jumped great and was confident today so we’ll probably do the class on Saturday this week,” said Wordley. “We’ll definitely be back in the fall for the FEI classes and I hope we’ll have three in the FEI CSI 5*.”

Competition at TIEC continues throughout the week, featuring the hunter and jumper disciplines, while FEI competition will resume Thursday in the George H. Morris Arena with the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome beginning at 8:00 a.m. For more information on TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com.

Richie Moloney and Slieveanorra Win $35,000 1.50m Suncast Classic at Tryon

Richie Moloney and Slieveanorra. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – July 17, 2016 – Richie Moloney (IRL) and Slieveanorra made the most of their time in the George H. Morris Arena at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), topping the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Classic, bringing a close to the final day of FEI classes at Tryon Summer III. Moloney and Slieveanorra jumped past Samuel Parot (CHI) and Couscous Van Orti, who were the only other pair to advance to the short course. The winning combination stopped the clock in 40.787 seconds, while Parot collected four faults and crossed through the timers in 40.40 seconds. Alison Robitaille (USA) and Sensation 21 took third place, completing the fastest four fault trip around the original course, finishing in 75.54 seconds.

Moloney and Slieveanorra went late in the class order, which featured 23 entries and was set by this week’s FEI course designer Manuel Esparza (MEX). While Moloney was surprised that only two combinations moved forward to contest the second round, he was pleased with the way Slieveanorra handled the track, as the 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Voltaire x Flagmount Diamond) owned by Equinimity LLC, made efficient work of the difficult course.

“I thought after I walked it that there might be one or two more clears, but it proved to be pretty difficult for everyone. It was a long way around and I think that also it’s the end of the week and some of the horses may have been feeling less fresh than at the beginning of the week,” said Moloney.

Slieveanorra was originally sourced by Moloney’s brother from Ireland early in his career and has been successfully guided to numerous top finishes in FEI classes around the world. The gelding produced a valiant effort around both tracks, which helped the duo secure the win.

“This horse is pretty quick as well, so I said that I would try to go fast enough to try to secure the win. I wanted to go fast because I knew that even if we had one down there was still a chance that we could take the class depending on Samuel’s ride,” he added.

Samuel Parot and Couscous Van Orti
Samuel Parot and Couscous Van Orti

Moloney is careful to regulate and select specific classes where he and his team feel Slieveanorra will have the opportunity to be the most successful. While age is a factor, Moloney said that Slieveanorra feels better than ever and continues to love his job and the thrill of competition.

“He’s fourteen now and is an Irish horse that originally came from my brother when he was just nine,” he explained. “He’s a very cool horse and I’ve been able to have the ride on him for most of his career. We will still use him to do the odd grand prix, but we really try to save him because he’s a bit older.”

“We typically put him in the speed classes and the 1.50m classes. He enjoys these classes and always seems to do very well,” he detailed.

Moloney had a successful campaign at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta earlier in the summer but is happy to have returned to the venue, where he has had incredible success over the past two seasons, including a top ten finish in the $216,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI 4* last night aboard Carrabis Z, also owned by Equinimity LLC.

“We’re happy to be back here at Tryon. We did a few of the weeks at Spruce Meadows and will be here for the remainder of the series,” detailed Moloney. “After next week the horses will get a good break before we look at some of the bigger classes coming up later in the summer and then we’ll come back here for the fall.”

Alma Bjorklund of Wellington, FL and her own Loro Piana Ballyleck rode to victory in the $10,000 High Junior/Amateur Owner Classic, presented by Asheville Regional Airport, topping the class of 22 entries with a jump-off time of 39.356 seconds. Nicole Loochtan of Lincolnshire, IL and her own Carla de Kalvarie Z took second place honors with a time of 41.871 seconds. Bjorklund also picked up third place aboard her own S.I.E.C. Contessina, dashing through finish in 41.006 seconds.

Competition at TIEC resumes on Wednesday, July 20, welcoming the final week of the 2016 Tryon Summer Series, which will feature an FEI CSI 4* including the $216,000 Tryon Estates Grand Prix CSI 4* on Saturday, July 23. For more information on TIEC and to see a full list of results, please visit www.tryon.com.

Margie Engle and Royce Impress in $216,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI 4*

Margie Engle and Royce. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – July 16, 2016 – Margie Engle (USA) and Royce have been a fixture in the sport of show jumping since 2011, and Saturday the pair captured their first major victory at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), besting a class a talented class of international competitors. The pair finished with an incredibly fast jump-off time, finishing two seconds faster than Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili, who set the pace and stopped the timers in 36.69 seconds. Matt Williams (AUS) and Valinski S, who will travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil later this month in their Olympic Games debut, secured third place with a time of 38.35 seconds.

Engle took over the ride on the 2004 Oldenburger Springpferd stallion owned by Elm Rock Partners LLC five years ago, and has established a strong and trusting relationship with Royce, which was a major contributing factor to their win. Engle, who is not easily deterred from laying everything on the line to earn a win, made a quick dash through the jump-off track set by Manuel Esparza (MEX), ultimately proving that the gutsy and bold round was worth the risk.

“Both Michelle Grubb and Alison Robitaille told me that when they walked one to two of the jump-off, they thought there were seven strides there. I think most of the combinations did eight and I felt like there was nothing to lose because we’re in the jump-off,” she detailed. “I then decided to do eight up the middle. They raised the jumps a little bit for the jump-off, which helps him because he’s really a power jumper.”

“I am just so thrilled. He tried his heart out and I wanted to move it up a notch from what I did on Thursday here. I knew I had some fast combinations coming up behind me and I had to take the shot when we had the chance,” elaborated Engle. “This has been a great week for us and he’s jumped fantastic here. I’ve been so impressed with each part of this competition.”

Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run's Faustino De Tili
Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili

The class featured 41 entries and saw eleven combinations return for the jump-off round, which proved to be problematic for many of those who advanced to contest the short course. Only Engle, Vanderveen, and Williams finished the evening with a double clear effort, while the other eight combinations accumulated faults.

“In the first round, I thought there were more clean than I had anticipated. The course walked hard enough. This was a nice break for Royce though, in a way, because he’s only been doing the CSI 5* shows in Europe,” commented Engle. “He was thrilled to be here on good solid footing and I was very happy with the way he went on Thursday too.”

Engle and Royce were selected as a potential combination to represent Team USA at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to be hosted later this summer, and Engle noted that Royce gained valuable experience competing at the observation events in Europe throughout the spring and summer. The stallion received a lengthy rest period after arriving back stateside and this week’s competition proved to be a welcome return back to the international ring.

“He’s been learning how to go faster and faster and I have to thank the owners of this horse, who have been very patient with us from the beginning. He’s always had all of the jump in the world, but we’ve really focused on rideability with him,” commented Engle. “We started working with U.S. dressage rider Lisa Wilcox this past winter to help us with the flatwork and the adjustability.”

“I haven’t pushed him in a jump-off since Europe, so I figured today I was going to go for it and that was fast for him. We left out strides in the first two lines and then he turned super for me to the Horseware® vertical,” she explained. “To the skinny oxer I just kept squeezing and the distance was really far away, but I relied on his natural scope and he jumped it incredibly.”

This was Royce’s first trip to TIEC and Engle felt the pair was able to apply much of what they had worked on in Europe in their two appearances this week, which led to their top finishes. She stated, “He’s a horse that does better in a bigger ring, which is why he has done so well here. He’s naturally a little bit of a slower horse, so indoors is not his cup of tea. He’s really good in new places. This is his first time here and I have been so happy with how he feels and the way he’s been going.”

Engle has competed around the world and remains one of the most decorated riders of the sport, having made appearances for Team USA in nearly all of the major championship events during her career. Her return to the winner’s podium elated the crowd, as many spectators have idolized and followed Engle’s lengthy and successful career very closely through the years.

“They had a great spectator turnout tonight, which always makes a class special. It is more fun to ride in front of a crowd that is engaged and energetic. I couldn’t have asked for a better result,” she smiled. “This is a spectacular venue all around, one of, if not the best in the world. The rings and the footing are incredible and we’re very happy to be here. We’ll be staying next week for the CSI 4* and hope to continue with the success from this week.”

Engle’s longtime groom Joy Montgomery was awarded with the Groom’s Initiative Award presented by Mark Bellissimo and Tryon Equestrian Partners, for her commitment and care of Royce and the other FEI horses in Engle’s string. Montgomery has been a staple of Engle’s program for many years and her dedication and hard work continue to ensure their team’s success. Engle was presented with the Leading Lady Rider Award, presented by real estate broker Meg Atkinson, for her top performances in this week’s FEI classes.

Competition at Tryon Summer III concludes Sunday, July 17, featuring the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Classic CSI 4* and the $10,000 High Junior/Amateur Owner Classic in the George H. Morris Arena. Tryon Summer IV will begin on Wednesday, July 20, and continue through Sunday, July 24. For more information about TIEC and to see a full list of results, please visit www.tryon.com.

Ali Wolff and Caya Gallop to Glory in $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Speed Stake CSI 4*

Ali Wolff and Caya. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Steve Heinecke and Hercules VD Vromboutshoeve Take First Place Honors in $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Mill Spring, NC – July 15, 2016 – Ali Wolff (USA) and Caya dominated in the $35,000 1.45m Horseware® Ireland Speed Stake CSI4* at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), exemplifying speed and agility with a remarkable time of 61.42 seconds. Trailing not far behind Wolff and earning second place honors was Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Famoso D Ive Z with a time of 62.81 seconds, also winners this week in the  $35,000 Horseware® Ireland Opener CSI 4* earlier in the week. Third place was awarded to Todd Minikus (USA) and his mount, I Am Nala, with a time of 63.95 seconds.

Wolff and Caya (Carolous I x Lancer II) have been partners for almost four years, growing together as a team since she took over the ride. Wolff consistently showed Caya in the high amateur classes and brought home multiple wins. During their campaign, the numerous and accumulating wins led Wolff and her team to the decision to step Caya up to the FEI level.

Wolff was determined to secure yet another victory, stating, “I was going for it. I did not care if I had a rail or not; I was tired of being third, fourth, and fifth. I was either going to go for it or I was going to have a rail trying.”

Wolff went on to elaborate about the specific track she chose set by Manuel Esparza (MEX) that ultimately granted her the victory. She commented, “What helped the most was going inside the double combination towards the end of the course. I also snuck inside after the Horseware® Ireland oxer, where many competitors went around to approach the double verticals. I think that shaved off a significant amount of time.”

Along with impressive inside turns, Wolff touched on her horse’s athletic abilities. Wolff believes that Caya’s talent shines in the speed classes as the mare is quick off of her feet and very adjustable around courses, especially those that offer multiple tracks and opportunities.

“Caya is a speed demon. She is so naturally speedy and fast across the ground that I can rely on this a little bit to decrease our time,” said Wolff. “Caya goes the same every day. She is one of my most reliable horses and she is always game for anything.”

This is Wolff’s first victory at TIEC this season and it came at the right time, as the rising star for the United States has found herself in every position but the winner’s so far during her time at the venue. Wolff and team will stay to contest the remainder of competition this week, as well as for the CSI 4* to be hosted next week.

“I love it here! It is a great show. It seems as though it is well put together, and planned out from the beginning,” noted Wolff. “There is incredible competition here and it is located in a very horse-friendly area. Tryon also offers great money, so how could you not want to come here?”

Steve Heinecke and Hercules VD Vromboutshoeve Take First Place Honors in $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Steve Heinecke of Charlotte, NC and Hercules VD Vromboutshoeve, owned by Freedom Group, rose to the top of the class in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, earning a two round score of 181. Madison Johnson of Matthews, NC and her own Ferrari earned second place receiving a 172, while Josh Dolan of Wellington, FL and Hidden Lane, owned by Page Tredennick, collected third place, finishing just behind Johnson with a score of 171.

Steve Heinecke and Hercules VD Vromboutshoeve
Steve Heinecke and Hercules VD Vromboutshoeve

Heinecke and “Hercules” took the class by storm, collecting a score of 91 in the first round to then return for the handy to earn a 90. Hercules recently transitioned from the jumper ring to the hunter ring and Heinecke has been impressed with his willingness and attitude, which has helped him to excel in the derby classes.

“I’ve only had him for a month and a half or two months. He came out of the jumper ring and came over to the U.S. in January,” said Heinecke. “Geoff Teal had him first and said he would be a great derby horse. He said I should take the ride and show him, so I did.”

“Each week he just keeps getting better and better. He came in third in the last derby and you know, he’s never had to trot a jump in the ring before and has handled it all so well. He’s just been so nice to ride,” he added.

Hercules VD Vromboutshoeve is co-owned in partnership by Heinecke and good friend Laura Kraut, as the pair typically invests in two horses a year together. While the gelding may be new to the discipline, he’s shown that he’s willing and able to score well against some of the best combinations in the country, and Heinecke is hopeful that he will turn into something very special.

“He has an enormous stride and is very easy. You can see where you are ten strides away and if you need to adjust, you can,” he commented. “We’ll do the derby again next week and then we’ll bump it up into the Performance Hunters. Then, if we still have him in the fall, we may try to do an International Derby.”

Heinecke, who is based in Charlotte, NC during the spring, summer, and fall months, is thrilled with the opportunity to compete at TIEC, which has drastically impacted the growth of his business, as horses of all ages and experience levels benefit from the competition.

“We love it here. We’re actually staying at The Lodge on Lake Lure this week and have had an incredible time. I love this show and I’m a big fan and advocate,” commented Heinecke. “I bring my more experienced horses and also the younger ones too. There’s something for everyone here and I think they treat this show like every ring is FEI or international competition. It’s really just spectacular.”

Competition continues Saturday, July 16, featuring the third week of the third installment of the “Saturday Night Lights” Series of the 2016 Tryon Summer Series presenting the $216,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI 4* with gates opening to the public at 6:00 p.m. and entertainment beginning at 7:15 p.m. Competition will commence at 8:00 p.m. For more information on TIEC and to see a full list of results, please visit www.tryon.com.

Adam Prudent and Vasco Speed to Victory in $35,000 1.50m Suncast Welcome CSI 4*

Adam Prudent and Vasco. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – July 14, 2016 – Adam Prudent (FRA) and his veteran partner Vasco took home top honors in the highly competitive $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome CSI4* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). The pair secured the win with a jump off time of 34.566 seconds, while legendary talent Margie Engle (USA) and Royce earned themselves second place honors with a speedy time of 34.933 seconds. Sharn Wordley nearly kept his streak alive, this time aboard mount Barnetta, but ended in third with a time of 35.076 seconds.

Prudent and Vasco have experienced incredible success at TIEC since arriving for the 2016 Summer Series, as the duo also captured a similar win in last week’s $35,000 Suncast® Welcome. Along with the wins, the duo has consistently placed in the top ribbons, including a top two finish in the $130,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix CSI 3*. Prudent spoke of the first round, detailing the course design by Manuel Esparza (MEX).

“The first round was very straightforward. Everyone was doing the same numbers of strides in between the lines, so there was not much that I changed about my ride compared to the other competitors,” said Prudent. “It was pretty big for a Welcome class and it was technical enough, but I thought the jumps were much bigger today.”

Going into the jump-off, Prudent knew he had to be smart about his strategy on course in order to shave time on the clock, but also ensure the win. In the first line of the jump-off, the pair did not leave out a stride, but Prudent went on to explain why he felt this plan was better suited for Vasco.

“Vasco is never one to leave out a stride in the first line. This allowed me to land collected and execute a very tight turn to the next fence,” commented Prudent. “I think that’s where I made up the majority of time; specifically it was in the last turn. I think I went two strides inside of where everyone else turned in that particular rollback.”

“That’s where I won the class,” he added with a smile.

Margie Engle and Royce
Margie Engle and Royce

Prudent and Vasco’s success can be attributed to experience and enthusiasm for competition. Prudent spoke of their strengthening relationship, saying, “He is an older horse, but he loves to show. We do every class of the week. We get him out every day to stretch his legs and we spend a lot of time walking. I also work on a lot of laterally movements to stretch his old joints out.”

“All in all, he comes out every day fresh and happy. Vasco loves to do his job,” he detailed.

Vasco’s happiness and joy for life also comes from the love and immaculate care he receives from Prudent’s groom Emeline Heot. Heot is always with Vasco, whether it be in the barns, in the schooling ring, or standing beside him at the in-gate.

“She is in love with him and he loves her too. She takes amazing care of him, which is a huge part of our whole success,” said Prudent, as he spoke of the affectionate relationship between Vasco and Heot. “He is a calm horse as soon as he is with her, but the moment I get on him, he fires up and is ready to go. She is Vasco’s down time.”

Friday, July 15, will feature a $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, a $10,000 Pre-Green Hunter Incentive, and a $35,000 1.45m Speed Stake. The third installment of the “Saturday Night Lights” of the 2016 Tryon Summer Series will be featured on Saturday, July 16, presenting the $216,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI 4* with gates opening to the public at 6:00 p.m. and entertainment beginning at 7:15 p.m. Competition will commence at 8:00 p.m. For more information on TIEC and to see a full list of results, please visit www.tryon.com.