David Blake and Dy Zento ©Madison Ibach, TIEC.
Mill Spring, NC – August 15, 2021 – The singular Hunter/Jumper competition of the 2021 August Series saw the triumphant return of Doug Payne from Tokyo to Tryon, a win in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby for Alexis Gallati, and David Blake topping the $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC).
David Blake (Wellington, FL) and Dy Zento saved the best for last in Sunday’s $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix, stopping the short-course timers in 30.416 seconds for the win. The duo edged out Doug Payne (Rougemont, NC) and Quintessence, the 2011 Holsteiner gelding (Quinar x VIctoria’s Secret) owned by Jane Dudinksy, on a time of 32.057 seconds. Cara Dayton (Chesapeake City, MD) and Deborah Dayton’s Curby Du Seigneur, the 2008 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Dore Van’t Zorgvliet x Victoria Du Seigneur), produced a clear jump-off time of 32.712 seconds for third place. Blake was also the trailblazer for the short course aboard Pine Hollow Farm’s Keoki, taking a conservative approach to finish in fourth on a time of 37.003 seconds with the 2009 Holsteiner gelding (Catoki x Tilba-Tilba).
Blake called the short-course contest a “nice, competitive jump off” that saw four pairs return to Tryon Stadium after eight horses initially toured the Skip Bailey (Wellington, FL) track. Blake and the 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zento x Selien) owned by Pine Hollow Farm used their place in the order of go to their advantage. “I was lucky enough to be last to go on the horse who won,” Blake reflected. “On [Keoki], I was just planning to give him a jump around for his fitness, so I gave him a nice round for the jump off. I knew the other two would be pretty quick, and then I was last, so I knew exactly what to do.”
The plan was simple: take advantage of Dy Zento’s massive stride and leave out a step in the first line. From there, it all fell into place for the duo, Blake explained. “I decided to do one less stride up the first line. My horse is a bigger horse, so I thought that if I carried on with enough pace the rest of the way, that would be enough to do it.”
After aiming Dy Zento at this class in particular, Blake was thrilled that his short trip to Tryon was successful. “It’s been good here. All the horses are jumping great. Obviously, we’re happy we won today, since that was the main thing we came here to do. We’re happy with that!”
For more info and results, visit www.Tryon.com.