Tag Archives: Darragh Kerins

Domination by Darragh Kerins in $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix

Darragh Kerins and Skara Glen’s Para Bellum ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – November 1, 2020 – Darragh Kerins (Wellington, FL) took the top call and the yellow rosette in Saturday’s $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC), clearing the short course timers with Skara Glen’s Para Bellum in 38.607 seconds and also piloting Carlos JD Z, the 2009 Zangersheide gelding (Canturo x Baloubet) owned by NRG Farm LLC, to third on a time of 42.011 seconds. Brian Murphy (Berryville, VA) and Denison Park Combat, the 2008 Warmblood gelding (Clinton H x Weinzuber) owned by Allyson & Andrew Lamb, scored second place with their 39.409 second jump-off performance.

Concluding the Tryon Fall Series with a strong showing in the week’s highlight class, Kerins qualified both his rides in the jump-off after successfully navigating the Skip Bailey (Loxahatchee, FL) course design, which tested 15 pairs. Five pairs returned for the jump-off round, where Kerins utilized his position as last in the order of go to pull the lead from Murphy and Denison Park Combat, who had conquered the $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake earlier in the week.

Kerins and the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Singulord Joter x Labor’s VDL Indorado) owned by Hampton Farms LLC, Patricia Hurter and Skara Glen Stables, have been paired together for just over a year, he relayed, and “he’s really come into his own this summer. This is actually the second Grand Prix that he’s won here this season. He’s been off for the last couple of weeks, so this was a great class to do before he shows next week.”

Brian Murphy Makes Easy Work of $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake with Denison Park Combat

October 29, 2020 – Brain Murphy (Berryville, VA) and Denison Park Combat clicked in just their second show together to top the $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC), stopping the jump-off timers in 38.216 seconds with one rail. Also pulling a rail and claiming second, Taylor Granat (Bolingbrook, IL) and Escada 289, the 2012 Holsteiner mare (Clearway x Coriano) owned by Windridge Farm LLC, halted the clock at 43.064 seconds. Rounding out the podium on their first-round, four-fault score, Grace Long (The Plains, VA) rode Happiness VD Hazel Hof, the 2012 Belgian Warmblood mare (Falaise de Muze x Ursina) owned by G&T Equestrian to a time of 73.75 seconds and the final podium spot.

One of 12 trips to tour the Skip Bailey (Loxahatchee, FL) course design, Murphy and Granat were the only two horse-and-rider combos to go clear in the first round, both pulling rails in the speed test. While his main goal was to go double-clear, Murphy admitted that the win was a nice alternative result:

“Honestly, I was just trying to go double clear. I didn’t get to see anyone go before me, but I had a plan. I didn’t want to do anything too silly. I’m very proud of him, and hopefully we’ll jump clear later in the week. I’ve had him for two months and this is my second horse show with him; Scott Keach found him for me in Australia, and so far, he’s been a pleasure.”

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Kerins Welcomes Win during Tryon Summer V $35,000 1.45m Welcome Stake

Darragh Kerins and Silteplait de Circee. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – July 12, 2018 – Tryon Summer V competition continued at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) on Thursday, July 12, with a first-place finish in the $35,000 1.45m Welcome Stake CSI 2* for Darragh Kerins (IRL) and the Remarkable Farms LLC entry Silteplait de Circee, who jumped to a quick time of 36.807 seconds to take the lead. Second place honors went to Todd Minikus (USA) and the Autumn View Farm owned Excel, a 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Douglas x Quick Star), who completed their jump-off round in 37.112 seconds. Third place was rounded out by Stefano Baruzzo (ARG) and the 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding Copa Cabana (Cartano x Cash) owned by Stransky’s Mission Farms Inc., who stopped timers in 39.13 seconds.

After a successful summer record to date, including a top finish in the Tryon Summer III Tryon Resort $5,000 1.40m Speed Stake CSI 2*, Kerins and the 2006 Selle Francais stallion (Ephebe For Ever x Laudanum) bested 30 other horse-and-rider combinations to land in the winner’s circle once more.

“This is my second summer riding him. He jumped here last year,” commented Kerins. “He’s quite a blood horse. We know each other well now and he knows my moves and I know his. He’s been a really consistent horse. He’s had so many second-place finishes and today was great because we pulled out the win.”

Kerins complimented the class lineup and explained his thoughts on the Catalina Cruz (MEX)-designed course. “I thought the course was difficult enough. I thought the time allowed was a good amount today; usually those times are very tight. There were a lot of good horses and riders and we still had ten clear, so it was a competitive jump-off.”

Of his mount, he continued, “He’s a great horse to have in the string and he’s very competitive. In the jump-off, he was fast and quick. He’s fast, but he’s quite sensitive, so you have to let him go quick without putting too much pressure on him. If everything comes together well, then we are usually golden.”

Kerins plans to challenge Saturday’s highlight class, the $70,000 Carolina Arena Equipment Grand Prix CSI 2*, before giving his mount some time off. “He’s going to show here on Saturday night and he’ll also show here next week, then I’ll let him have a couple of weeks off before we move on to the next show,” he concluded.

Abrahamson Clinches Victory in FEI $5,000 U-25 Welcome Stake

The FEI $5,000 U-25 Welcome Stake commenced on Wednesday, July 11, in the George Morris Arena at Tryon Stadium and concluded with a first-place finish for Kady Abrahamson (USA) and Abrahamson Equestrian LLC’s Charline 28, a 2005 Meklenburg mare (Cellestial x Prinz Oldenburg). The pair crossed through fast track timers in 32.675 seconds to secure the win. Second place was awarded honors to Catherine Wachtell (USA) and Indy Van de Roten, a 2008 Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Autumn View Farm, who completed their jump-off in 33.891 seconds. Third place awards went to Caitlyn Connors (USA) and her own 2005 Irish Warmblood gelding (Ard VDL Douglas x Nearly a Nose), Boleybawn Perfection, jumping to a time of 34.473 seconds.

“It was a good opening day, which was nice,” commented Abrahamson. “This horse jumped the CSI 2* two weeks ago and she had a week off and came here, so it was a good first day. We just wanted her to have a nice first day preparing for Friday night. She’s a nervous horse, so it was good for her to have a relaxed day.”

Abrahamson and the mare have been partnered together for the past two years. Crediting her mount, who boasts a spicy personality, she explained, “‘Carline’, as she’s known in the barn, is a typical chestnut mare personality wise. She has a way of doing things on her own, but she’s happy when you let her do her own thing and you’re pretty much just along for the ride.”

This is not the pair’s first appearance at TIEC, having competed at the venue several times over the past few years. “I jumped her here last year in the CSI 2* under the lights,” said Abrahamson. “She’s so genuine that she’ll just go in and jump around and be really good. She quite good under lights, but she can get a bit scared with noise and atmosphere.”

The week is playing host to the first U-25 Series of the Tryon Summer schedule and Abrahamson credited the division for creating a valuable experience for up and coming riders. “The U-25 gives people that gap between the High Amateur Division and the CSI 2* Grand Prix classes,” she noted. “You can fill in the gaps and get the kinks out under the lights. It’s a little less pressure, less money, and less height to deal with. Hopefully, you’re good to just step right up into the CSI 2* division. I’m lucky enough I have her (Charline 28) in the U-25 and two horses in the CSI 2* this week, so t’s going to be a big week.”

The $5,000 1.40m Power & Speed CSI 2* also welcomed a Wednesday win for David O’Brien (IRL) and Spy Coast Farm LLC’s Kioki Coffee SCF, a 2010 Belgian Warmblood mare (Amaretto D’Arco x Wolfgang), as the pair crossed through timers in 32.335 seconds. Second place was captured by Todd Minikus (USA) and Autumn View Farm’s 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding Excel, (Douglas x Quick Star), riding to a jump-off time of 33.626 seconds. O’Brien also captured third place aboard another Spy Coast Farm entry, the 2010 Belgian Warmblood gelding Kir Royal SCF (Amaretto D’Arco x Nabab de Reve), stopping timers in 33.821 seconds.

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

Darragh Kerins and Thunder D’Amaury Win $34k Suncast 1.45m FEI Welcome at Tryon Summer 4

Darragh Kerins and Thunder D’Amaury. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

David Jennings and Cashmore Shine in Pre-Green Hunter 3′

Mill Spring, NC – July 16, 2015 – In an exciting finish in the $34,000 Suncast® 1.45m FEI Welcome at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), Darragh Kerins (IRL) and Thunder D’Amaury stole the show, finishing with a double-clean effort to take the class with a time of 45.227 seconds. Kimberly Prince (USA) and RMF Bella Baloubet collected another second-place finish, stopping the timers just short of Kerins in 45.336 seconds. Candice King (USA) and Valinski S also made a strong run toward the top of the leaderboard, but finished in 45.543 seconds for third. Competition at TIEC continues with the Tryon Summer Series through Sunday, July 19.

Kerins and the 2007 Selle Francais gelding (Quidam De Revel x Fille D Espoir) mastered the track set by Manuel Esparza (MEX), completing one of five double-clear rounds of the morning. The gelding has recently stepped up to the FEI level with Kerins in the irons.

“This feels great. It was a quite technical course and after I watched the first few runs through the track, the time allowed was very tight,” said Kerins. “I thought it might be an issue for us because he is so green, but I’ve been here for three weeks and he’s only progressed. He felt very confident in the ring today.”

The duo laid down a near perfect round in their first effort around the course, which pushed them into the jump-off portion of the class. Going late in the order, Kerins secured the win as the second-to-last horse on course.

“In the first round today everything just came up right and rode perfectly. I just felt with it today and he was perfect. He’s only eight, but I truly believe that he’s the best horse I’ve ever had and I’ve had some very special horses,” he explained. “He just has everything already at such a young age and sometimes I wonder if I’m asking too much too early, but he handles everything with such confidence.”

“The ability is there and it’s been great to come here for three weeks and consecutively jump the big tracks with him to get into the groove of what’s to come,” he commented. “I really expect big things from him next year and this was perfect preparation for what we’re looking to do. I think he’s just grown in this ring which is great for what we’d like him to do in the future.”

Thunder D’Amaury was poised and calm in the ring, which allowed Kerins to ask for a faster and more efficient round, testing the clock and the four other jump-off challengers.

“The jump-off was relatively small and like I said I don’t want to push him too hard, but he felt so great in the first round that I decided I would go for it and he handled it exactly how I expected he would,” added Kerins. “We stepped it into another gear to see what we had and he didn’t disappoint. He keeps producing which is just great.”

The gelding has only been stateside for six months, but has catapulted himself to the top of Kerins’ string. Campaigning through the 1.30m classes during the winter season, the duo’s recent three-week stay at TIEC has served as some of their first FEI competitions together.

“He was a stallion when we bought him and we gelded him over in Europe and left him there to mature a bit before bringing him over here to start competing in the U.S.” he noted. “We played around at the smaller heights to get him comfortable and are now trying to combine what he learned in Florida and translate that to bigger classes.”

After concluding their time at TIEC, Kerins and team will head north to several competitions in the Northeast before heading back to TIEC for the Fall Series (Sept 16 – Oct 25).

“This place is absolutely amazing and I have been so thrilled to be here. The atmosphere is amazing and it’s something that my horses won’t experience anywhere else,” he said. “We’re looking forward to coming back this fall. The direction they’re going with this venue is unbelievable. I wanted to come see it myself after hearing all of the talk and what they’re doing here is just brilliant.”

David Jennings and Cashmore Shine in Pre-Green Hunter 3′

David Jennings of Franklin, TN and 2010 Oldenburg gelding Cashmore, owned by Conner Durocher, championed the Pre-Green Hunter 3′ Division today at TIEC with several consistent and strong rounds placing them atop the competitive division. Gavin Moylan and Kinematic took home Reserve Champion honors in the division.

David Jennings and Cashmore
David Jennings and Cashmore

The duo collected two firsts and two seconds, including a second in the under saddle portion of the class to take home the tricolor ribbon after a successful morning. The flashy dapple-grey gelding has impeccable form over fences and seems to be a true contender for the First Year Division next year.

Cashmore is also piloted by owner Connor Durocher in the Children’s Hunter 15-17 Division and the $500 NAL/WIHS Children’s Hunter Classic 15-17. Durocher and Cashmore have been familiar faces in the Children’s Hunter 15-17 divisions throughout the spring season.

Gavin Moylan and Kinematic, who finished in reserve in the division, collected two firsts, one in an over fences class and also picked up a first place in the under saddle class. The duo also placed sixth and seventh, respectively, in the other two over fences classes.

FEI competition continues at TIEC this week on Saturday, July 18, with the $127,000 Grand Prix with gates opening at 6pm and competition beginning at 8pm. For more information on TIEC and for a full list of results, visit www.tryon.com. Please “Like” the TIEC Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tryon-International-Equestrian-Center to be eligible for various contests and promotions.

About Tryon International Equestrian Center

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

Darragh Kerins and Ali Wolff Capture the Wellington Turf Tour 1.30m-1.35m Victories

Darragh Kerins and Decia Van Het Molenhof. Photos by: Kendall Bierer/Phelps Media Group.

Wellington, FL – January 29, 2013 – Although the clouds hung dauntingly overhead, a field of 38 competitors warmed up for the fourth week of the Ridge at Wellington’s Turf Tour. Held at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, the 1.30m-1.35m Jumpers saw top international riders contend for the top spot in today’s two classes. Ireland’s Darragh Kerins rode to the pinnacle of the ranks during the first class, while Ali Wolff took the victory in the second class of the day.

Jeffery Welles claimed the early lead as the first rider of the day. He navigated Pierre Jolicouer’s course with finesse aboard Bilion, riding to a double clear effort in 40.870 seconds. Ireland’s Kevin Babington and Baloucat soon bested the pair with a faultless jump off in 39.051 seconds. The speed only continued as each consecutive rider outdid the next.

Kerins entered the ring and set a time that none could catch.

Decia Van Het Molenhof is a new mare for Kerins, but that did not put a hinge in his plans. He took the inside turn between fences 1 and 2 to shave the seconds, and then used her quick pace across the ground slide into the lead in a time of 34.267 seconds. The 11-year-old mare kept her focus inside the arena, and tackled the track with ease.

“We have only had her for about three weeks, so I am just trying to get to know her,” Kerins explained. “I competed last year at The Ridge events, and I know it is difficult to make a plan when you haven’t necessarily seen the other people go, but I was just trying to get to know her, so I gave it a good shot. I think from 1 to 2 in the jump off was where I shaved the most time. I gave that inside turn a go, and it went great.”

Last week’s winner, Samuel Parot, took the second place position, but was still three seconds shy of Kerins speedy round. Jeffery Welles and Antaris S captured the third place in 38.132 seconds.

Kerins continued, “I heard about IPC from the last time it was held there, and it got great reviews, so I wanted to put her into a new environment and know what she was like. She is quite sensitive, and that is another reason why I wanted to see what she was like on the grass. She can sometimes be spooky, but she handled the venue well. Nona [Garson], George [D’Ambrosio] and The Ridge do a great job, and I hope to see it grow.”

Molly Ashe Cawley and Cocq A Doodle were the first to tackle the second track of the day. They took an early lead in the class with a double clear effort in 37.134 seconds. Parot returned to the ring aboard Option D’auge to set the pace at 36.041 seconds to take over the lead. Speed was the name of the game as riders traversed the turf, with seven of the 11 horse and rider combinations going quick and fast. Babington and Baloucat took over the lead in 33.536 seconds, but Ali Wolff had her sights set on the win.

Ali Wolff and Brianda
Ali Wolff and Brianda

Wolff piloted Brianda, her most recent mount, to the top of the leader board with an untouchable time of 32.949 seconds. The 9-year-old mare was able to turn with nimbleness as they navigated the serpentine of the jump off.

“Brianda is the newest member of our family, and funny enough, I sat on her about a year and a half ago, but she was too much horse for me at that time,” Wolff laughed. “This time around she was a great match, and this was our third or fourth class with her so far. She bruised her foot a little bit early on, so this is her first real class; everything else has been schooling classes.”

Wolff continued, “She is fast in terms of her strides and turning, and she has so much scope that I know I can turn back and she will make it over, no matter how much striding or pace I have behind me. I tried to go for a fast clear with tight turns, but not racing. I also wanted to test out her rideability, and how we will fare in the future. I think we are really going to get along. She has such natural ability.”

Babington and Baloucat were awarded the second place, while he also guided Cord 11 to the third place finish. Jonathan McCrea and Brugal VDL rode to the fourth place, and Sarah Wayda and Spargel captured fifth. Parot and Option D’auge rounded out the top six.

“I came out last year for the Friday classes,” Wolff concluded. “The venues are always so nice, and the atmosphere is so pleasant – everyone is happy. It gets so repetitive for 12 weeks in a row at the horse show. It is a great change for both the horses and the riders. I love having the opportunity to go on the grass. We just changed our schedule, so we will be returning on Friday, as well. We love the series so much that we are definitely going to return.”

The stakes are increasing each week as top riders, amateur and professional, vie for their invitation to the $24,750 1.40m Invitational Grand Prix Series Finale on Saturday, March 22, 2014, as well as the coveted Leading Rider Bonus. The Wellington Turf Tour will return to the Schuyler Riley’s Wolfstone Stables next week for the Wednesday and Friday events, but will return to the International Polo Club Palm Beach on a date to be announced soon.

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

The Friday event will run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Riders are encouraged to get their entries in as soon as possible for the approaching classes. Turning in entries early will ensure that they get the time that they desire. Show Net will provide the live scoring for the Ridge Winter Tour II, as well as video all rounds. All recorded rounds and results are available at: www.shownet.biz.

The Ridge still has available sponsorships for the Invitational Series. For more information, call (908) 500-0996 or download information at http://www.theridgefarm.com.

Sponsorships are available for the $25,000 Finale, $15,000 Weekly Grand Prix, $2,000 Weekly Hospitality Text, $3,500 Show Jump Sponsor for series, $750 Ring Banner for the series and $500 Weekly Class Presenter.

All checks should be made payable to the Ridge Farm LLC.
The Ridge at Wellington Grand Prix Series
C/O Eda Tordiff
110 Edwards Rd.
Parsippany, NJ, 07054

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

The Ridge at Wellington Horse Show Series Fast Facts


The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour offers their popular 1.40m Invitational Grand Prix for its second year, with an open in gate format taking place once a week at beautiful venues throughout Wellington. The Ridge at Wellington Grand Prix Finale will take place March 22, 2014.

The Turf Tour also will host 1.30m-1.35m Jumpers every Wednesday beginning January 8, 2014 and running until March 19, 2014.

Young Jumper Classes and both Children’s/Senior Jumper Classics will find their home intermittently throughout the Wellington Turf Tour.

The Ridge at Wellington offers Equitation Shows every Tuesday of the month from January – March 2013. There will also be a series of schooling shows at the Ridge at Wellington for all experience levels.

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

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

Wolfstone Stables
3655 Middleburg Dr,
Wellington, FL 33414

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

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

8:30am – 5pm daily


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

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

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

Text: (908) 500-0996

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

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

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

Darragh Kerins Tops $35,000 Spectra Energy Cup at Spruce Meadows ‘National’ Tournament

Darragh Kerins and E Muze Yek. Photos © Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Ward Wins Again, Tisbo Takes First Victory in International Ring

Calgary, AB – June 6, 2013 – The $35,000 Spectra Energy Cup 1.60m was the highlight of today’s schedule at the Spruce Meadows ‘National’ Tournament. Darragh Kerins (IRL) and E Muze Yek found the key to a clear round and were fastest in the jump-off for Kerins’ first victory in the International Ring. McLain Ward won for the second day in a row, this time on Zander in the $33,000 ATCO Pipelines Cup 1.45m. Another first-time International ring win came for Lauren Tisbo and Roundthorn Madios in the $33,000 Prairie Mines & Royalty Cup 1.50m.

The ‘National’ Tournament continues through Sunday, June 9. Weekend highlights include the $400,000 CN Reliability Grand Prix, CSI-W, on Saturday, June 8, at 2 pm and the $175,000 Nexen Cup 1.60m Derby on Sunday, June 9, at 2:30 pm.

The $35,000 Spectra Energy Cup 1.60m had 28 entries that contested a course set by Werner Deeg of Germany. Nine were clear through to the jump-off. The winning time of 40.165 seconds was set early in the jump-off by Kerins and E Muze Yek, a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by For Pleasure x Carthago owned by Kerins and Maarten Huygens. They went second in the jump-off and no one was able to catch their speedy time and keep the jumps up.

Kerins was “delighted” with the way his horse jumped, and with his progress over the past five months. They started out in the 1.40m classes in Florida this winter, although Kerins has ridden E Muze Yek off and on for over a year. Coming to Spruce Meadows and going into the International Ring, Kerins “didn’t know what to expect.” He described, “He can be a bit sensitive and this ring can be daunting. He’s maturing very quick. I didn’t think he’d be this far a couple months ago. I couldn’t be happier with where he’s at right now.”

While he has notched several second place finishes, this was Kerins’ first victory in the International Ring. “The first couple of years I came, it beat me up pretty bad. To come back this year and win was great,” he expressed.

Second place went to Ashlee Bond (USA) and Wistful, owned by Little Valley Farm. They were clear in 40.959 seconds. Ian Millar (CAN) and Team Works’ Star Power were third with no faults in 41.023 seconds.

Bond noted that this was Wistful’s “third or fourth 1.60m class ever.” She said, “We bought her as a seven-year-old. She’s still very green and I’m trying to give her good experiences and not take too much out of her. I’m elated and so proud of her. It’s a huge accomplishment for her to do that tonight.”

Ian Millar was pleased with his partner of four years, but is also looking at the long-term plans of the next World Equestrian Games/Pan American Games/Olympic Games cycle. “They’re long-term partners,” he said, “so it gets very personal with horses and ourselves.”

All three riders praised the new turf footing in the International Ring. Millar pointed out, “To get new ground to maturity in about eight months is a huge accomplishment. It’s another first for Spruce Meadows. No other venue in the world has ever put in ground that has come in line this quickly, that’s been this good.”

McLain Ward and Zander
McLain Ward and Zander

McLain Ward Makes It Two

McLain Ward is starting off his Spruce Meadows Summer Tournament in his usual fashion: winning. After a win yesterday with Super Trooper de Ness, he led the victory gallop again today in the $33,000 ATCO Pipelines Cup 1.45m with his own Zander, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Cantos x Saygon, owned by Ward and Grant Road Partners LLC. There were 65 entries in the competition, and 20 advanced to the jump-off.

Ward and Zander went into the shortened course chasing a fast time of 35.46 seconds set by Kent Farrington (USA) and Zafira, owned by Haity McNerney, who went first in the jump-off. Ward and Zander boldly left out a stride in the first line, and along with one stride less in the line to the double combination, they cut down the winning time to 34.84 seconds. Third place went to Conor Swail (IRL) and Martha Louise, owned by Susan and Ariel Grange, who finished in 36.54 seconds.

Ward recapped, “I didn’t see Kent go, but I heard about it. I know him pretty well and we have a great, competitive friendship. I knew the only place was to do one less stride from (fences) one to two. It was a little dodgy, but this horse has a huge stride and I figured it was worth the risk. I had planned it before I went. I saw a few horses getting stuffed in the seven (strides). He does have a massive stride and he’s quite brave off a long spot. There was a moment in the line when I wasn’t sure I was getting there, but he was a good boy.”

Ward described Zander as a “confident and a really humble horse.” He added, “He wants to do a good job. Sometimes he’s a little babyish, but he’s really learning. I’ve tried to be really careful with him, but I’ve believed in him from the beginning. I try to move him up when I really think he’s ready to do that. This is the next step of his education.”

Ward plans to show Zander in Saturday’s $400,000 CN Reliability Grand Prix, CSI-W 5*.

Lauren Tisbo and Roundthorn Madios
Lauren Tisbo and Roundthorn Madios

Tisbo Has Inaugural International Ring Victory

The $33,000 Prairie Mines & Royalty LTD Cup was held in a winning round format. From the original 38 entries, the top 16 came back for a second round. From there, the top eight returned again over a shortened jump-off course. The only horse and rider combination to go through all three rounds without fault was Lauren Tisbo (USA) on Roundthorn Madios, an 11-year-old Irish Sporthorse gelding by Condios x Clover Hill owned by Tequestrian Farms LLC.

In the third round for speed, Tisbo and Roundthorn Madios finished with the fastest time of 45.22 seconds. Second place went to Katie Dinan (USA) and Nougat du Vallet (46.13 seconds), owned by Grand Road Partners LLC, while Conor Swail (IRL) and Susan Grange’s Game Ready were third in 46.98 seconds.

Tisbo felt that it was a big chance to take an inside turn in a rollback to a vertical, but that it is what helped her get the win today. “I think only one or two other people did it. Candice King, who is helping me here this week, said, ‘If you land and you see it, go to it.’ So I guess I got lucky! It just worked out,” she said.

Tisbo and Roundthorn Madios have been paired since November; the horse was brought along by Irish rider Andrew Bourns and competed in the BMO Nations Cup at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament. “He brought him along beautifully and already gave him his debut in the International Ring, so I knew I had nothing to worry about,” Tisbo said of their first time together at Spruce Meadows.

This was Tisbo’s first win in the International Ring. “I don’t think it’s quite set in yet,” she expressed. “Ever since you first come here, you see the classes in this ring and you think you want to show in them one day. Then you’re showing in them and you think, ‘I want to win one day.’ And it finally was my day.”

The ‘National’ Tournament CSI-W 5* continues tomorrow with two main events: the $35,000 ATCO Energy Solutions Cup 1.45m and the $35,000 RBC Capital Markets Cup 1.50m. Junior and Amateurs will contest the $10,000 Mercer Jumper 1.40m in the All Canada Ring. For more information on Spruce Meadows and full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

What Can You Do at Spruce Meadows?

Spruce Meadows includes affordable fun for the whole family. With admission starting at only $5 per person, and children (12 & under) and seniors (65 & up) free, it is the perfect venue to unwind and enjoy a day of show jumping, activities, delicious food, and shopping.

From Friday through Sunday, there will be a number of activities for the whole family (all included in your admission to Spruce Meadows) such as Pony Rides, presented by Kozy Shack, the Spruce Meadows Prairie Dogs, presented by RE/MAX, Wagon Rides, Face Painting, children’s games in the Garden Court Restaurant and more! Delicious food is offered throughout the grounds, featuring a healthy menu at the Garden Court Restaurant, a wide range of options at the Time Faults Public House, and International Fare in the Plaza.

Looking to test your luck? Spruce Meadows has several contest options for those wanting to win excellent prizes, including the Jump to It contest, with a chance to win a full set of jumps, the CN/Sun Media Name the Foal contest, and the Win a Year contest, with a chance to win a year of access to all Spruce Meadows events. If you are looking for some retail therapy, vendors in the Gallery on the Green and Vendor Village offer an excellent variety of gifts and services, both equine and non-equine in nature.

For full details, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com or contact us at 403.974.4200 or information@sprucemeadows.com.

Based in Calgary, Canada, Spruce Meadows is the brainchild of the Southern family who built a Show Jumping complex at the foothills of the Alberta Rocky Mountains. It was in 1976 that the first Spruce Tournaments were held, with annual spectator attendances reaching over 50,000 by the end of the decade. Today, Spruce Meadows boasts one of the greatest outdoor equestrian venues in the world and offers an incredible experience for riders and fans alike. Spruce Meadows focuses on the organization and hosting of show jumping tournaments of unmatched quality for junior, amateur and professional athletes in a manner that reflects basic family values in a clean, green and welcoming environment that celebrates the horse and encourages the breeding and training of quality sport horses and the teaching and development of athletes. For more information on Spruce Meadows, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations

The Grand Prix of Tampa Sees Heated Competition with Darragh Kerins and E-Muse YEK Emerging Victorious

Darragh Kerins and E-Muse YEK were the winners of the $35,000 Grand Prix of Tampa. Photos By: Kendall Bierer/PMG.

Tampa, FL – March 31, 2013 – It was a jump-off for all the nations today on the concluding class of the Tampa Bay Classic. The Bob Thomas Equestrian Center was alive with heated jumper competition as riders gathered to contend for the top earnings in the $35,000 Grand Prix of Tampa. It was one of the last opportunities for riders to qualify for the $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational – the stakes were high. It came down to eight riders today, fighting to the finish, but Irishman Darragh Kerins and E-Muse YEK emerged the victors.

This afternoon, riders assembled beneath the Covered Arena to compete over courses designed by Michel Vaillancourt of Canada. The first round featured an imposing opening vertical-oxer line, followed by a left turn to a red oxer bending to the skinny liverpool. Riders were also challenged by a black vertical at the far end of the ring that led into the oxer-vertical-oxer triple combination set on the vertical. From there, they made a right hand turn to a green and white gate where they bended to the left over a daunting oxer, took a skinny vertical, and moved into the bending oxer line leading into the vertical-oxer double combination. With only once obstacle left, riders would seal their fate upon landing from the black plank oxer.

Darragh Kerins (IRL) was the first to tackle the track, piloting E-Muse YEK, owned by Kerins and Maarten Huygens, to a clear round, and paving the way to a possible jump-off. Although many other riders found fault throughout the course, the final oxer claimed the most victims. It wasn’t until Sharn Wordley and Quick Blue Z were on course, that a jump-off became reality.

Eight riders were able to lay down a clean first round, with five different countries represented. The short course consisted of the opening vertical-oxer line, a left turn to the third obstacle, and then a quick right through the double combination. Riders then had to slice the turn across the diagonal and take the liverpool to the vertical at the far end of the arena, and race to finish over the first oxer of the original triple combination where they would stop the clock.

Eventual victor Kerins commented, “I walked the course and I thought it was a bit difficult. Michel always builds very good courses. It is different for us that we come from outside to one the indoors and the turns are very tight. It was a great course, very well built, and it was a good number in the jump-off.”

Kerins was the first to return in the order of clear efforts, bursting out of the in gate with the grey gelding, E-Muse YEK. He decided to give the jump-off his all with his most recent mount, guiding him down the opening line in five strides, and utilizing all tight turns and slices to the best of their ability. The crowd was breathless as they cleared all the obstacles, and landed from the final oxer in a mere 36.576 seconds. He wore a target on his back as the other contenders attempted to lay down a similar track; however, his time would prove resilient and Kerins would take home the blue.

“I didn’t really know what to expect,” Kerins admitted. “I planned to do six down the first line, but I picked up the canter and he was a little out in front of me, so I thought I would take a chance and let him do the five. We took another challenge at the last fences as well, and it worked.”

“He’s a great horse, and that is the fastest that I have probably gone with him in a jump-off,” Kerins laughed. “He has a huge stride, lots of scope, and is very careful. We thought he was a bit of a slow one at the beginning. He has a lot of ability, but he lacks a bit of mileage at this point. We wanted to take him up here to see what he would be like, and it seemed to work out well.”

Sharn Wordley and Quick Blue Z
Sharn Wordley and Quick Blue Z

Sharn Wordley (NZL) was the next to showcase his mount’s skills on the course. Quick Blue Z easily navigated each obstacle, but Wordley was slightly more conservative in the turns to avoid Blue’s legs from slipping out. They left all the rails intact, but they were off Kerins’ pace by two seconds, proving good enough for the red ribbon with the final time of 38.586 seconds.

“During the first round I was just wanting to go clear. The time allowed was slightly tight, so you had to be aware of the time, and the last line was very tight, so you had to be careful,” Wordley stated. “Blue was a little ornery in the first round, bucking and kicking out a bit, but he really came through in the jump-off.”

Wordley elaborated, “In the jump-off I wanted to go medium fast. He doesn’t have good traction on the corners because he cross-canters, so I was afraid that if I went too fast he could slip out, or I could have a rail. I could have probably gone faster, but I wanted to go double clear. I’m very happy about the outcome, and I am excited for the American Invitational next week. This is my first real go at it, and I will be riding my other mount. Funny enough, I didn’t have a groom for this show, so I have been grooming myself. After the third place the other day and the second place today, I am thinking it is good luck. I plan on grooming my horse myself for the Invitational.”

Scott Keach (AUS) and Coco also jumped double clear, but their time of 41.196 seconds was only good enough for the fourth place honors. Erin Haas (USA) and Admiral Clover overtook the pair as they put their best foot forward to take the third place finish with a faultless jump-off in 38.643 seconds.

“This is the first Grand Prix I’ve gone clean in with him so I actually hadn’t looked at the jump-off course, and I didn’t put studs in him because I was more excited about just jumping the round. So now I know next week maybe we should be ready to get in the jump-off!” Haas exclaimed.

Erin Haas and Admiral Clover
Erin Haas and Admiral Clover

Haas continued, “With Aaron not having a horse in the jump-off, he told me to go fast. I thought I started out well and everything, but then he slid a bit after the blue in-and-out. So I slowed down just a bit. He’s the type that the faster you run him at the jumps the better he is. He’s really kind of a machine. He knows his job, and he loves to do it, so that’s why Aaron won just about every Grand Prix he did on him last year. I’m an amateur, and I still get excited – I need to get more comfortable at that level.”

Kerins was also able to snatch the fifth place award with Hot Wheels, owned by Sarah Kerins. They laid down a quick round in 38.197 seconds, but four faults stood in Kerins way of going 1-2. He has been riding Hot Wheels for about nine years, riding the horse in numerous classes, and taking the top awards.

“I haven’t shown him very much this winter; he is getting a little older now, so we have been more conservative with the classes,” Kerins explained. “When you do pull him out, he gives 110 percent, this is one of the bigger classes he has done in a while.”

It was Michael Hughes (USA) who nabbed the sixth and seventh place finishes with Luxina and MacArthur, respectively. Both horses are owned by Christina Fried, and Hughes guided them to speedy times, but four faults knocked each of the horses out of the running. Megan Wexler (USA) and Cadence took the eighth place finish with a final score of eight faults in 39.804 seconds.

The Tampa Equestrian Series’ first week, the Tampa Bay Classic, concluded today with the $35,000 Grand Prix of Tampa. The 41st Annual $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational, presented by G&C Farm, will be the highlight event on the final day of the Tampa Equestrian Series, the Tournament of Champions CSI, to be held April 6, 2013, at the Raymond James Stadium. The world’s top horses and riders will gather to compete under the lights during one of the premier show jumping events in the United States.

For more information about the Tampa Equestrian Festival, please visit www.StadiumJumping.com.

Kendall Bierer for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Media Contact:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
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Wellington, FL 33414
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Hot Wheels Rolls to Victory with Darragh Kerins in $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers

Darragh Kerins (IRL) and Hot Wheels won the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers. Photo © Sportfot

Wellington, FL – February 1, 2012 – The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival welcomed exhibitors for the fourth week of competition, which starts today and goes through Sunday, February 5. In the opening class in the International Arena, Darragh Kerins (IRL) guided Hot Wheels to victory in the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers.

Week four of the FTI WEF runs February 1-5, and is sponsored by Adequan. The Budweiser Clydesdales will be making two appearances at the FTI WEF this week. The first will be before the $80,000 Adequan Grand Prix, CSI 2* on Saturday, February 4, and again on Sunday, February 5 before the Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. The 2012 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition that conclude on April 1, 2012, and they will be awarding more than $6 million in prize money through the circuit.

Continue reading Hot Wheels Rolls to Victory with Darragh Kerins in $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers