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

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