Lexington, Ky. – July 29, 2020 – Professional hunters took to the Stonelea and Claiborne Rings at the Kentucky Horse Park for the second day of hunter competition at the Kentucky Summer Classic, all contending for the Grand Hunter Championship, presented by Visse Wedell. Awarded to the competitor with the most points accumulated in the Green 3’3″ Hunter, Green 3’6″ Hunter, Green 3’9″ Hunter, Green Conformation Hunter, High Performance Conformation Hunter, or the High Performance Working Hunter divisions, it was Christopher Payne and Reign who jumped to the top of the ranks out of the six considered divisions on a total of 46 points throughout the two days of competition in the Green 3’3″ Hunter division.
David O’Brien Packs One-Two Punch in Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tour 6-Year-Old Jumpers
The Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tour 6-Year-Old Jumper class took place in the Rolex Stadium Wednesday afternoon during day two of the Kentucky Summer Classic. These special classes give riders the opportunity to expose their up-and-coming jumper prospects to horse show life in a formal setting with course design that is educational and age-appropriate. Triumphing in the 6-Year-Old Jumper class was David O’Brien who would collect the first place prize on Olivia SCF and also bring home second place honors with Out Of The Blue SCF.
Mill Spring, NC – July 5, 2020 – Tryon Summer 4 concluded with a win for Todd Minikus (Lake Worth, FL) and Calvalou, stopping the jump-off timers in 34.762 seconds to best the field at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Kristen VanderVeen (Wellington, FL) and Bull Run’s Almighty, the 2008 Hanoverian gelding (Caspar x Quidam De Revel) owned by Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC, combined to produce a 35.398 second jump-off round for second place, while the podium was completed by Ginger Pop, the 2009 Irish Sport Horse mare (Luidam x Cruising), with Alison Robitaile (Upperville, VA) in the irons for Bertram and Diana Firestone clearing the short course in a time of 35.592 seconds.
Minikus and the 2007 Oldenburg gelding (Calvaro F.C. x Baloubet du Rouet) owned by Todd Minikus, LTD were able to turn and burn across the Oscar Soberon (Dallas, TX) course design to take the win, Minikus explained. “He’s had some nice successes and jumped big classes [in the last year that we’ve had him]. He hasn’t always been able to turn so well in the jump-offs, but lately he’s been turning better, and today he turned fantastically. I couldn’t be happier!”
Marion Gefaell and Home Run Bound Slide into $10,000 USHJA Pony Derby Win
July 4, 2020 – Marion Gefaell (Winston-Salem, NC) and her own Home Run Bound covered all bases to win the $10,000 USHJA Pony Derby at TIEC with a final score of 158. Just one point shy of first-place honors, Riley McKesson (Wellington, FL) and her own High Tops landed second place with 157 points, while J. J. Torano (Wellington, FL) and Somekindawonderful, owned by Augusta Iwasaki, took third with a total of 154.5.
David O’Brien and Maldonado SCF Win $6,000 Speed Stake CSI 3*
July 3, 2020 – David O’Brien (IRL) and Maldonado SCF, a 2012 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Diktator van de Boslandhoeve x Landino) owned by Spy Coast Farm, LLC, won the Tryon Summer 4 $6,000 Speed Stake CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), stopping the jump-off timers at 63.82 seconds. Katherine Strauss (USA) and Famous, a 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Aerobic TN x Kojak) owned by Katherine Strauss, LLC, took second place on a clear jump-off performance of 65.25 seconds, while Aaron Vale (USA) and Elusive, a 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Rodrigoo x Capfucino), owned by Thinks Like A Horse, claimed third-place honors on time of 65.66 seconds.
Mill Spring, NC – June 14, 2020 – Todd Minikus (Lake Worth, FL) and Amex Z secured a double victory during Tryon Summer 1 at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), winning both the $75,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix and the $25,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake. In Saturday’s Tryon Resort Grand Prix, Minikus and Amex Z stopped the jump-off timers at 35.096 seconds. Kristen VanderVeen (Wellington, FL) and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili, a 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Berlin x Darco) owned by Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC, took second place on a clear jump-off performance of 35.243 seconds, while Shane Sweetnam (Lexington, KY) and his own Indra Van De Oude Heihoef, a 2008 Belgian Warmblood mare (Casantos x Action-Breaker), claimed third-place honors in 36.262 seconds.
The first grand prix of the Tryon Summer Series welcomed 22 horse-and-rider pairs to the Tryon Stadium course designed by Skip Bailey (Loxahatchee, FL) with ten pairs returning for the jump-off.
Minikus praised the growth of Amex Z, a 2009 Zangersheide mare (Andiamo Z x Landaris) owned by Bit By Bit Group, saying, “I think she [Amex Z] has really matured. She’s been a little bit inconsistent, but she started to go really well at the end of the winter circuit. With a couple months of being off at home and training the old-fashioned way, she really grew up.”
David O’Brien and La Belle SCF Dominate $25,000 Sunday Classic
David O’Brien (Lexington, KY) and La Belle SCF separated themselves from the rest of the field in the $25,000 Sunday Classic hosted in Tryon Stadium, stopping the second-round timers in 33.17 seconds to grab an almost four-second lead. Aaron Vale (Williston, FL) and Chaccman, the 2006 Warmblood gelding (Chacco Blue x Panadena) owned by Thinks Like a Horse, finished on a time of 37.009 to claim second, while third and fourth place honors went to Ashley Fleishhacker (Wayzata MN), who rode Durango VDL to a time of 38.916 seconds for third aboard the 2008 Dutch Warmblood stallion (Zirocco Blue VDL x Narona) and also earned a time of 39.543 seconds riding Auckland de l’Enclos, a 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Nagano x Peggyschnitt van Het Stal Hof), both owned by Ashland Show Stables LLC.
Kristen VanderVeen and Bull Run’s Divine Fortune Kick Off Tryon Summer Series with $25,000 Wednesday Classic Win
Kristen VanderVeen (Wellington, FL) and Bull Run’s Divine Fortune stopped the jump-off timers in 28.08 seconds Wednesday in the International Stadium to claim the $25,000 Wednesday Classic at the start of Tryon Summer 1 competition with the Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC-owned 2009 Dutch Warmblood mare (Padinus x Amhilavsca Fortuna). Hayley Waters (Sparr, FL) and Mr. and Mrs. Chuck Waters’ Uppie de Lis, a 2001 Dutch Riding Horse (Andiamo Z x Lorraine). stopped the timers at 28.375 seconds to take second, while Todd Minikus and Amex Z earned third on a time of 28.928 seconds.
David O’Brien and Octavious SCF won the 5-Year-Old division. Photo by Shawn McMillen.
LEXINGTON, KY – Sept. 19, 2019 – Day two of the Classic Champions Developing Jumper Finals kicked off competition in the Rolex Stadium at the 2019 Kentucky National Horse Show Thursday. Young Jumpers in the 4, 5, 6, and 7-year-old divisions had the opportunity to gain confidence and experience at one of the country’s most picturesque venues.
Course designer and vice president of Classic Champions, Tom Holden, builds inviting courses that allow the up-and-coming horses to become confident and enjoy the work. Holden, who hails from Ireland, has spent many years working as part of the Irish Young Horse Championships.
Each of Thursday’s divisions from the 5 through 7-year-olds were held in a Table II Section 2(d) format, a two-phase competition. All horse-and-rider combinations complete both rounds regardless of faults in the first phase. Scores are decided by accumulating the faults incurred over both phases and any time penalties.
Spy Coast Farm’s David O’Brien was victorious in both the five-year-old and seven-year-old divisions with Octavius SCF and Maldonado SCF, respectively.
“The courses today were great,” said Spy Coast Farm’s Lisa Lourie. “They were very well designed and asked the right questions for young horses but not dumbed down. It was very appropriate.
“We’re very excited at Spy Coast because we are starting to really develop some top quality jumper horses. After a decade of work to inspire quality breeding, America is finally becoming a place where people recognize they can now purchase very good young horses.”
O’Brien and the five-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Diktator Van De Boslandhoeve x Beluga) were one of only six double clear rounds and crossed through the second-phase timers in an efficient 35.320. The farm’s 7-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Diktator Van De Boslandhoeve x Simbette) was one of only three to finish double-clear in his division with a winning time of 29.716 seconds.
“What I really enjoy about this show and these classes is that they are all about bettering the young horses,” O’Brien explained. “Even if a horse has a problem or an error somewhere, they can always get out of it and regroup which builds their self-esteem.”
Maggie Jayne and Alex Jayne’s American Warmblood stallion (Amaretto D’Arco x Athena), Arizona ODF, took the red ribbon while Megan Wexler and Dolce Vita rounded out the top three.
Taylor Flury piloted the 4-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Calano Z x Role Model), Palano ABF, to a second consecutive high score of 85.00 points in the 4-year-old exhibition division. She also picked up another win in the 6-year-old class with Nefertari ABF, a Belgian Warmblood mare (Diktator Van De Boslandhoeve x JFA Cirque D’chiari ABF) also owned by Flury’s Aliboo Farm, Inc.
Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 18, 2019 – The final day of the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park concluded with the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington. Despite high temperatures, 28 horse-and-rider pairs contested Ken Krome’s course attempting to walk away with the lion’s share of the prize money. At the end of a competitive jump-off, it was David O’Brien and La Belle SCF who walked away with the day’s top honors, in addition to winning the Envisian Leading Rider of the Week award thanks to accumulating the most points in the jumper divisions throughout the week.
Luminosity Shines Bright with Geoffrey Hesslink to Win $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
The Bluegrass Festival Horse Show was bookended by the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by World Equestrian Center and Kentucky Horse Shows, on Sunday to complete a week of exciting equestrian action. In their first ever class together, Geoffrey Hesslink and Luminosity topped the scorecard following two standout rides to top the field of 40 starters and earn the lead spot in the victory gallop.
Lexington, Ky. – July 31, 2019 – The Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tour kicked off its fifth show of the eight-part tour Wednesday at the Kentucky Summer Classic with a talented collection of up-and-coming young horses tackling the 5, 6 and 7-year-old divisions. While Aaron Vale and Gray’s Inn topped the leaderboard in the 5-year-old class held in the Walnut Ring, the Rolex Stadium saw David O’Brien emerging victorious with the fastest double-clear round in the 7-Year-Old Jumpers. The 6-Year-Old division followed, where Vale topped the leaderboard once again, this time competing three horses in the class before riding away with a one-two finish with Vander Esch and Carina, respectively.
Gogul and Torano Tie for Grand Hunter Champion
Professional hunters wrapped up Wednesday. The Grand Hunter Championship, presented by Visse Wedell, is awarded to the competitors with the most points accumulated in the Green 3’6″ Hunter, Green 3’9″ Hunter, Green Conformation Hunter, High Performance Conformation Hunter, and the High Performance Working Hunter divisions. Similar to last week, there was a tie for Grand Hunter Championship title. Jeff Gogul with Roberts Stables LLC’s Maverick alongside Jimmy Torano aboard Amethyst Equestrian Consulting LLC’s California both earned 44 points in their respective divisions to tie for the prestigious prize.
David O’Brien and KIR Royal SCF. Photo credit: Bailey Beck.
Mill Spring, NC – March 25, 2019 – Tryon Welcome 1 saw David O’Brien grab top honors throughout the venue’s first contest for 2019, which featured USEF “A” and Level 3 Jumper competition, topping off the week with a win aboard KIR Royal SCF in Sunday’s $15,000 1.35m-1.40m Jumper Classic. The Lexington, KY resident and his Spy Coast Farm, LLC mount posted two clear rounds on the day to take the win, stopping the jump-off timers in 36.112 seconds. Claiming reserve honors, Jorge Ludwig and his own The Graduate, hailing from Newbury Park, CA, sped through the short-course in 36.171 seconds, while Nicky Galligan (Keswick, VA) and his own Javas Miss Jordan produced a 37.804-second jump-off round to receive third place honors.
The course, set by Dean Rheinheimer of Venice, FL, saw ten entries with six pairs demonstrating a jump-off round. O’Brien noted that he was glad to be back at Tryon, especially following his success at the venue last fall. “The course was really nice, and it’s nice to get my horses back in this ring again after the break this winter,” he said. “This was my first show outdoors since October , where KIR Royal SCF won a Speed class in CSI 5* competition. He’s home-produced, bred by Lisa Lourie at Spy Coast Farm.”
KIR Royal SCF, a 2010 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Amaretto D’Arco x Nabab De Reve), improved on his second-place finish in Friday’s $5,000 1.35m Welcome Stake, where O’Brien also collected top honors riding Dayla 6, a 2009 Belgian Sport Horse mare (Ogano Sitte x Zeoliet). “We had one down in the second round Friday, but today there were no mistakes,” O’Brien continued. “I was very close to a double clear on Dayla today, and she was very good this week. She belongs to Cleveland Equestrian, and I don’t have her for that long, but she seems really nice.”
TIEC competitors have begun utilizing the newly-built jumps added to the inventory this winter, as well as enjoying recently-renovated barns and numerous facility updates ahead of the Tryon Welcome Series. As a rider known for his ability to bring along younger mounts, O’Brien mentioned that he appreciates the venue as a horse-friendly place to start the season and prepare them for the year ahead:
“I brought all my young horses here because we get to jump in the main ring with very nice jumps,” he explained. “I use TIEC as a preparation for Kentucky in May. I get them in the main ring with all these great jumps, so I’ve kind of caught up to everyone who’s been in Florida without having to go down there.”
O’Brien will spend another week at TIEC, competing in Tryon Welcome 2 (USEF “A”/Level 3) before returning to Kentucky for a bit to be with his younger horses ahead of their summer season. “We have a Young Horse Show at our farm in April – part of the same series that will come to TIEC in November this year – and then I’ll come back here for the summer and bring all my babies back,” he concluded.
Click here to view full results from the $15,000 1.35m-1.40m Jumper Classic.
Mill Spring, NC – July 6, 2016 – David O’Brien (IRL) and O’Splendido sat atop the leaderboard early on in the $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Opener CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), maintaining the lead to secure the win with a faultless round and a recorded time of 60.800 seconds. Coming in a close second place with a time of 61.250 seconds was Todd Minikus (USA) aboard Vita 24, while third place honors were awarded to Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and Cannavaro BH with a time of 61.820 seconds.
O’Brien and O’Splendido, a 2002 Selle Francais stallion (Burggraaf x Voltaire) have been partners for close to a year, building their relationship and contesting multiple FEI classes representing the nation of Ireland. The pair finished second in last week’s Tryon Summer I $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Opener CSI 3* and this week they kicked it into a higher gear to secure the win.
O’Brien went on to speak of the tough track set by Martin Otto (GER), which allowed for varied distances between fences, tight inside turns, and finished with a long gallop down to the last oxer.
“I did eight in the first line, allowing me to set up the tight turn that followed,” noted O’Brien. “I also chose the inside turn, which I believe saved me a lot of time on the clock.”
“With this horse, I gradually get faster as the round continues on, which gives me the ability to take out a stride here and there. I always start out steady, organize my turns, and then move him up steadily throughout the course. He really kicked into an extra gear for me today,” he added.
O’Splendido is a veteran to FEI competition and has plenty of experience in international competition. O’Brien commented on how he uses their combined knowledge to an advantage in the ring, saying, “My horse is older, so he knows how to perform. The speed class is his forte; his ears are pricked, he turns tight, and he really enjoys it. When he puts his eye on that first jump, he is so game, especially in that ring. He is on the job.”
O’Brien expressed his gratitude for Lisa Lourie and Spy Coast Farm for allowing him to not only compete on O’Splendido, but also provide the opportunity to bring multiple young horses up through the ranks.
“I just have the one horse to compete with at the elite level and the rest that I show are young Spy Coast-bred horses. Competing with the young horses makes the FEI classes possible and also makes wins like today so special,” he detailed. “I am so lucky that Lisa allows me to come to these shows and compete on her incredible horses. I am very thankful for her.”
TIEC continues with competition throughout the remainder of the week, hosting the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome CSI 3* on Thursday, July 7. “Saturday Night Lights” will return presenting the $130,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix CSI 3* beginning at 8:00 p.m. Premier AA Hunter divisions will run throughout the week, featuring the $10,000 Pre-Green Incentive on Thursday, July 7, as well as the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby on Friday, July 8. The $5,000 Pony Hunter Derby will take to the George H. Morris Arena on Saturday, July 9.
For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit www.tryon.com.