Tag Archives: Mark Bluman

Ben Maher and Tic Tac Claim Victory in $137,000 Restylane Grand Prix CSI3*

Ben Maher and Tic Tac. © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – It was a thrilling finish for the final day of the second week of FEI competition at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) as Olympic team gold medalist Ben Maher (GBR) and the 18-year-old stallion Tic Tac, owned by Jane Forbes Clark, edged the competition by just one one-hundredth of a second to take top honors in the $137,000 Restylane Grand Prix CSI3* on Sunday, January 24.

On the derby field at Equestrian Village, a total of 42 entries entered the ring to tackle the course designed by Oscar Soberon (USA) with 12 qualifying to return for the jump-off. Maher executed the track flawlessly aboard the SBS stallion by Clinton x Panama Du Seigneur, leaving all eight obstacles in their cups to secure the win in a blistering time of 43.56 seconds, just one one-hundredth of a second ahead of Canada’s Eric Lamaze.

Ashley Vogel Marks Another Win in the $25,000 FEI Hermès U25 Grand Prix

The U25 riders took to the Derby Field at Equestrian Village on Sunday afternoon to contest the first $25,000 Hermès U25 Grand Prix, and the class of 55 welcomed 10 back for the jump-off on the Oscar Soberon-designed course. The U25 Series will return for WEF 4 with the $25,000 Hermès U25 Grand Prix Series Team Event.

Notching their second U25 victory of the week, Ashley Vogel (USA) and her 2009 Zangersheide mare Bellissimo Z (Bamako de Muze x C’est Elle Z) flew through the jump-off timers in 39.10 seconds, solidifying the blue ribbon during their first week ever competing on the Derby Field.

Trailing just behind the duo was Lucy Deslauriers (USA) aboard the Luja LLC’s 2011 Selle Francais gelding Billy de Beaufor (Allegreto x HH Rosine De Beaufor), finishing with 39.43 seconds on the clock. Third place went to the USA’s Tanner Korotkin and Deauville S, a 2006 Holsteiner gelding (Diamante de Semilly x Touch of Class) owned by Castlewood Farm Inc., who concluded their jump-off in 40.56 seconds.

Mark Bluman and Noortje Vd Windheuvel Victorious in the $30,000 CP Grand Prix

It was a day of firsts for Mark Bluman (ISR) as he and his mount, the eight-year-old Noortje Vd Windheuvel owned by Over the Top Stables, LLC, flew to the top of the podium in the $30,000 CP Grand Prix, their first grand prix class together. They were also first to go in the starting order, first to return in the jump-off, and as luck would have it, they ended the class in first place with a double-clear effort in a time of 42.784 seconds.

“Since we got her I’ve been saying that she [was] one of the most talented seven-year-olds I’ve ever ridden,” he beamed. “She has a great attitude, she’s quiet, and she always wants to do a good job for you. She’s fast, scopey, and has all the qualities to be a real grand prix horse.”

The Belgian Warmblood mare by Farfleu De Muze x Calista Vd Windheuvel showed those aforementioned qualities as they raced around the shortened course with authority to solidify the win.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Kachelhoffer, Bluman, and Manship Top Turf Tour Week 2 Grand Prix

Johan Kachelhoffer & And Action.

Wellington, FL (January 21, 2020) – Turf Tour Week 2 at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center wrapped up Friday, where constant activity in both Ring 1 and Ring 2 gave proof of a diversity of levels competing. The day’s highlight event, the $15,000 1.40m Turf Tour Grand Prix saw 20 horses and riders race the timers over a course designed by Jaime Marillo of Ecuador. With great turn out the first few weeks, the Turf Tour is expecting a record number of riders and spectator attendance at week 3’s stunning venue Black Watch Farm.

An early ride from Israel’s Mark Bluman and Ferrari set the pace for the Grand Prix, and sat at the top of the leader board most of the day. Late in the class, rides from Johan Kachelhoffer and Stella Manship, however, bumped the standings. Bluman and Ferrari’s early double clear with a jump off time of 37.580 ended up being one of only 3 double clears for the day. Stella Manship and Colorado put in an impressive effort to trail behind Bluman, jumping off in 38.329. But Johan Kachelhoffer and And Action, as the last ride in the day, had the final say in the Grand Prix: the pair jumped off in 35.329 seconds, taking the win.

Another addition to Week 2’s roster of top riders was Olympic Medalist Phillip Dutton. With double Olympic Gold Medals to his name, along with multiple World Championship and International titles, the eventing icon brought a number of young and just back to competition horses to the Turf Tour as a first show of 2020. “We bring the young horses and horses going back into training after a rest to the Turf Tour because it is a nice alternative for them,” said Dutton. “The show is more focused on the horses, and allows myself and my riders to create the best training experience for them. It’s less stress and a fantastic first time back.”

For full results, visit www.HorseShowing.com.

For full schedules and prizelists, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

Mark Bluman and Cartouche Claim the $25k Lactanase National Grand Prix

Mark Bluman and Cartouche. ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – December 29, 2019 – The ESP New Year’s competition wrapped up at the main grounds of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Mark Bluman of Colombia and his entry Cartouche won the $25,000 Vita Flex Lactanase National Grand Prix, which was the highlight class of the day, after flying through the jump-off timers in 36.527 seconds. Santiago Lambre of Mexico navigated his Doloris through the short course in 38.086 seconds to claim the second-place finish, while Ryan Genn of Lebanon, OH and Dieta, owned by Shannon Reid, rounded out the podium with a jump-off time of 39.64 seconds.

Twenty-eight entries contested the first round set by course designer Andy Christiansen with only six returning for the jump-off. “I think the course was pretty fair for the amount of people that we had in the class today. We ended up having a good number for the jump-off, and I had the good luck of being the last one to go clear,” Bluman commented. Since Bluman was the last to go clear in the first round he gained the advantage of going last in the jump-off. “Going last in the jump-off is always a big advantage, especially when you have a horse like the one I’m riding. He’s super-fast, turns very tight, and is really careful. Basically, the only thing that I have to worry about is aiming to the jump and to just let him go as fast as he wants. It worked out today.”

Bluman revealed that he and Cartouche have been working together since the summer when his cousin, Daniel Bluman, went to Europe this summer and elected not to take Cartouche overseas. “He’s been making money at every show he goes to. He’s just a winner and it’s a pleasure to ride him.”

As for the upcoming WEF season, Bluman admitted that Cartouche will get a break from back-to-back competition: “I don’t think I’m going to show him much during WEF. I’m going to save him for the summer when I have a better chance of making money. I showed him a lot pre-circuit, and he placed in every Grand Prix he jumped. Today, we finally got the win and it was a good way to close the year. I’m very happy,” Bluman concluded.

Attention Competitors: ESP’s show office records indicate that a large percentage of exhibitors will soon need to renew their Safe Sport eligibility. Please be sure to check your status at usef.org and renew if you are planning to compete at PBIEC in the upcoming weeks.

To learn more about the ESP Holiday Series and PBIEC, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Mark Bluman and Cartouche Win $36k Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 2* at TIEC

Mark Bluman and Cartouche ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – July 11, 2019 – Mark Bluman (COL) and Cartouche claimed the win in a competitive $36,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 2* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) on Thursday morning, stopping the jump-off timers at 31.402 seconds. Abigail McArdle (USA) and Victorio 5, a 2006 Hanoverian stallion (Uccello x Graf Top) owned by Victorio Equine Group LLC, took second place on a clear jump-off performance of 32.459 seconds, while Todd Minikus (USA) and Calvalou, a 2007 Oldenburg gelding (Calvaro F.C. x Baloubet du Rouet) owned by Todd Minikus LTD, claimed third-place honors on a double-clear effort in 33.314 seconds.

Bernardo Costa Cabral (POR) set the track to test the 55 entries in the class with a total of 24 pairs to return and navigate the jump-off track. “The course was very friendly,” Bluman continued on to explain: “This week [Tryon Summer 5] is a 2* and it is also the first day, so there are a lot of people bringing young horses along. It was a good class and honestly, it’s never nice to have that many go in the jump-off, but I understand the course designer. He’s trying to build up riders, trying to build up the horses so I’m very happy with the course designer. It worked out well for us today!”

Bluman revealed that the 2007 Argentine Warmblood stallion (Unknown x Unknown) is not one of his usual mounts and is owned by his cousin, Daniel Bluman, and Over the Top Stables LLC. “[Cartouche] is a horse that my cousin Daniel rides, but he’s in Europe right now, so I got to take him! I’m lucky I got to ride him. He’s a super fast horse and very careful. I literally can just sit there and let him do his job. I know every time I go in the ring, he’s going to try everything not to have any jumps down so I can go as fast as I can and it worked out today.”

Bluman continued: “I didn’t pay much attention [to the other riders],” Bluman shared on his strategy heading into the jump-off. “I just tried to follow my plan. I wasn’t looking at anybody and I just think I was fast from the first to the last jump. That’s the best way to ride him and he loves it. It worked out very well!”

For full results from the $36,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 2*, click here.

For more information and results, please visit www.Tryon.com.

Mark Bluman and Thriller P Secure Victory in $35,000 1.50m Suncast Welcome CSI 3*

Mark Bluman and Thriller P. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – June 30, 2016 – Mark Bluman (COL) demonstrated his skill and expertise, besting Thursday’s tough field of 37 riders at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) aboard Thriller P in the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome CSI 3* on the second day of FEI competition at Tryon Summer I. Bluman and Thriller P dominated the complex course design designed by Oscar Soberon (MEX) with an impressive jump-off time of 36.597 seconds.

Taking second place with a speedy and accurate round was Eugenio Garza (MEX) and his ride Empire Van Wuitenshof with a time of 37.142 seconds, while Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and Lady Maria BH claimed the yellow rosette with a time of 38.023 seconds.

Thriller P is not one of Bluman’s usual mounts, as the 2004 Swedish Warmblood stallion (Cardento x Lucky Light) is owned and ridden by Bluman’s student, Daniela Stransky. Bluman elaborated on why he took over the reins.

“You know it is funny because that horse is not part of my string. He is part of my student’s string. We recently purchased him for her, so we decided that I would show him this week,” he detailed. “I wanted to make sure he went well in the big ring. Every time he has shown, he has been fantastic. With my students, I always prefer to tune-up their horses and help them to feel incredible.

“Thriller P is one of the greatest horses in the barn,” he added.

The tough track asked many questions, yet Bluman and Thriller P exhibited several tidy turns and a deceivingly fast round, delivering the winning answer in the talented class. Bluman elaborated on the athleticism of Thriller P and how he felt the class rode overall.

“In the jump-off, yes I was quick, but on this horse you don’t realize how fast you are actually going,” Bluman commented. “In Florida, I had a very similar ride on him after WEF, where we also won the class. He covers a lot of ground and is very athletic, which is an unbeatable combination.”

Eugenio Garza and Empire Van Wuitenshof
Eugenio Garza and Empire Van Wuitenshof

Bluman went on to speak of the preparation and accuracy needed to excel in classes such as this, which showcased a talented group of international riders. He stated, “Part of my system at home is to practice a line, but do all different numbers of strides in-between those two jumps. We work on collecting and extending, along with gymnastics to teach the horses that those types of situations can happen at the show. We actually practiced something very similar last week to prepare for the four weeks of the Summer Series here at TIEC. That technique teaches the horses to be soft, adjustable, and careful, which helped him feel incredible today.”

Bluman was ecstatic with his win, but is already looking forward to Saturday night. He hopes his accomplished mount, Uitteraard, who he has been successful with at TIEC before, will rise to the occasion in the $130,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3*. Bluman spoke about Uitteraard, saying, “He is a part of my string and is coming off of a win. I feel very confident and I hope Saturday night goes well!”

Bluman and team now consider themselves locals, training out of a farm only minutes from the show, and will strive to be top contenders at TIEC for the remainder of the Summer Series. They also have plans to return for the 2016 Tryon Fall Series.

World-class show jumping and nationally rated hunter divisions will continue throughout the week at TIEC, consisting of a $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby and a $10,000 Pre-Green Hunter Classic on Friday, July 1. The highlight event on Friday, however, will be the first ever Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas (GCCC), which encourages guests and spectators to dress in costume representing this year’s super heroes theme! Gates will open at 5:00 p.m. and competition will begin at 7:00 p.m.

The “Saturday Night Lights” series will return for weekend fun, beginning Saturday, July 2, and continuing four consecutive Saturdays through July 23. Entertainment will start at 6:00 p.m. and the class is set to commence at 8:00 p.m. Following competition on Saturday evening, TIEC will host the first-ever laser light show the Foothills region in the George H. Morris Arena in celebration of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit www.tryon.com.

Mark Bluman and Thriller P Take $10,000 Accuhorsemat Open Welcome at PBIEC

Mark Bluman and Thriller P. ©Mancini Photos.

Wellington, FL – April 22, 2016 – Mark Bluman of Medellín, Colombia and the newly acquired Thriller P, owned by Stransky’s Mission Farms, Inc., dashed to victory in the $10,000 Accuhorsemat Open Welcome Stake during ESP Spring III hosted at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) with a time of 31.001 seconds. Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL and Don Juan finished in second place, crossing through the timers in 32.153 seconds, while David Blake of Wellington, FL and Park Lane earned third place with a time of 32.272. Competition at ESP Spring III will continue through the week and conclude on Sunday, April 24 with the $30,000 PonyUp Horse Treats Grand Prix.

The course, designed by Catsy Cruz (MEX), saw 54 entries test the opening track, while 18 combinations moved forward to the jump-off round. Only seven pairs earned a double clear effort on the afternoon, while Bluman and Thriller P went later in the class order.

Bluman and Thriller P, a 2004 Swedish Warmblood stallion (Cardento x Nelly P), are just getting to know each other, as he was recently purchased by Stransky’s Mission Farms, Inc. as a prospective mount for Daniela Stransky. Bluman also piloted his top mount, Califa LS, also owned by Stransky’s Mission Farm Inc., to an eighth place finish in the class.

“I showed two horses today and my top horse, Califa, also went in this class. I was trying a new setup with him, just with bitting and equipment, so we used it as a practice round for him. Thriller is a horse that just got out of quarantine last week. We bought him for Liliane’s daughter Daniela to ride,” explained Bluman. “I like to get to know the horses before I put her on them and let her compete, so that we have an idea of where they are. This week was about us getting to know him and see how he goes in the ring.”

Bluman, who had a very successful 2016 winter circuit, is looking forward to helping coach Stransky aboard Thriller P, as the horse has all of the potential in the world to do the larger classes and will be a strong second mount behind her top competition horse HH Donatella. He elaborated, “He’s a bit of a strong horse and very powerful, but I think it will be a great fit for Daniela. The horses that we have in the barn really enjoy her and we just need to see him go a bit more.”

Thriller P, while new to competition in the United States, has an extensive FEI record in Europe, and will be a solid addition to the string of horses at Stransky’s Mission Farms, Inc. Bluman, who was not expecting to ride as fast as he did, was pleased with Thriller P and is excited for his future with Daniela.

“Honestly, it’s a horse that I’m getting to know. I didn’t think I was going quite as fast as I did. He’s quick himself so I just went in there trying to have a nice round and we were lucky but it’s also a great way to end it. He’s very talented and it is always nice to come out at the end of the day with a win.”

For more information on the ESP Spring Series and to see a full list of results, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Mark Bluman and Cumulet Win $15k Under 25 Grand Prix on Final Day of Tryon Summer Series

Mark Bluman and Cumulet. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – July 19, 2015 – Mark Bluman of Lexington, KY finished the final day of the Tryon Summer Series at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) with a win aboard Cumulet, owned by Stransky’s Mission Farms, Inc., in the $15,000 Under 25 Grand Prix. The duo finished in 44.632 seconds to beat out David Blake of Wellington, FL aboard Baron, who stopped the clock at 46.038 seconds. Hayley Iannotti of Wellington, FL and Carlos G took home third-place honors with four faults, crossing the timers in 50.238 seconds. With the conclusion of the Tryon Summer Series, competition at TIEC will commence again on August 6, with the start of the August Series, spanning four weeks and offering hunter and jumper classes, including an FEI CSI 3* (August 6-9).

Bluman, who competes internationally for the nation of Colombia, has had an incredibly successful stay at TIEC, which will be Stranksy’s Mission Farms’ northern home base. Bluman piloted two mounts through the Manuel Esparza (MEX) designed course, but finished atop the class with Cumulet, a relatively new ride for him the barn.

“It was a really fair course for the amount of people in the class I thought. There was almost half clear in the class, which is what I was expecting. It was a nice class and it was really good for young horses, ones that are coming up through the levels,” said Bluman. “Both of the horses I had in the class are stepping up. Cumulet just got here from Europe three weeks ago, so this is one of our first classes together and I’m really happy with how he handled himself today.”

Purchased as an investment horse by Stransky’s Mission Farms, Inc., Bluman thinks the 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (King Kolibri x Sonnette) may have more of a long-term place in the barn as he has the scope and bravery to make it to the very top.

“This was a great class for him and it suited him so well. I think it’s time for us to keep him for a while and try to get as much as I can out of him because he’s really talented and I think he can go all the way,” he explained. “He’s already jumping this height and he’s only eight years old, which I think is really impressive and I want to work with that going into the rest of the season.”

Using TIEC as a home base for the summer has helped to improve and educate Bluman’s talented string of horses, as the opportunities are endless in terms of experience and exposure at the venue.

“Being here has been great for us. The FEI weeks are a great fit for the horses that don’t go to Spruce Meadows or to Europe because we have an incredible venue to continue competing in the international classes,” he commented. “It’s been great to get some FEI ranking points and we’ve been supporting this show since the beginning. We came last fall when it first opened and I said to my boss that we needed to build a farm here and base here because there were so many opportunities. I think that, at the end of the day, this is going to be the place to be in terms of competitions in the U.S.”

David Blake and Baron
David Blake and Baron

In his young but successful career, Bluman has high expectations for where he would like to be in the coming months, “My goal right now is to keep stepping up. We have a lot of new but extremely talented horses in the barn and that’s what I’ve always hoped to have. I’d like to produce as many good results as I can and with these horses; there’s a lot of potential to do that,” he said.

Bluman is always quick to thank his owners, investors, sponsors and hardworking team for their continued support. “I always have to thank Stransky’s Mission Farms for giving me this opportunity. We have an incredible team and results like this wouldn’t be possible without everything they do for us on a daily basis.”

For more information and a full list of results, please 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.

Mark Bluman and Uitteraard Collect Win in $5,000 1.45m Challenge at Tryon Spring 7

Mark Bluman and Uitteraard. Photos ©Sportfot.

Holly Shepherd and Longstreet Claim $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Mill Spring, NC – May 29, 2015 – Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) offered a day of rest from FEI competition today, but that did not stop top international talent from taking to the George H. Morris Stadium in the $5,000 1.45m Challenge. Mark Bluman (COL) and Stransky’s Mission Farms, Inc.’s Uitteraard finished atop the class of 16 entries, crossing the timers in the jump-off round at 33.289 seconds. Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Ashland Stable’s Uppie De Lis finished second with a time of 34.262 seconds, and Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Spy Coast Farm, LLC’s Beluga placed third in 35.459 seconds. Competition continues tomorrow with the largest class of the week being the showcase $127,000 Kingsland FEI CSI 3* Grand Prix. The grand prix begins at 7pm with doors opening to the general public at 5pm.

Bluman, who began riding for the Stransky family at Stransky’s Mission Farms this year, has enjoyed a very successful start to the summer season with top placings aboard several horses, including a top-ten finish in the $34,000 Suncast® FEI Tryon Welcome at TIEC this week. Stransky’s Mission Farms is currently building a summer base in Tryon and Bluman is looking forward to spending his time at TIEC during the summer months.

“I was here last fall and the expansion is unbelievable. I love this place and our horses love this place. I don’t ever have to leave the show. I stay in one of the cabins and can be with my horses at the barn in two minutes,” said Bluman. “It’s so quiet and peaceful. It’s really unbelievable. I’m really happy to be here and they’re doing a great job. I’m also so thankful to Lily Stransky and Stransky’s Mission Farms for giving me this opportunity, and to Step-by-Step Foundation who I also ride for. It’s nice to win for them.”

Uitteraard, a 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding, has an extensive FEI record, competing in competitive international classes throughout his career. Bluman has enjoyed riding the experienced gelding, as he always delivers in the ring.

“This has been a season to get to know my horses since I joined Lily Stransky and Stransky’s Mission Farms earlier this year in Florida. The horses are great. The horse I’m riding is very experienced and has jumped 1.60m with other riders. He is the easiest horse,” commented Bluman about Uitteraard. “He’s just a sweetheart in the barn and a solid citizen. He does his job every time he goes in the ring and always tries his hardest.”

The class saw seven clear trips move forward to the jump-off round, where Bluman was able to ride to the top of the class finishing one second faster than Wordley. He also finished fourth aboard Stransky’s Mission Farms, Inc.’s Copa Cabana. The course was designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA), who has been the course designer for each of the FEI classes this week at TIEC.

“The course today was built great for the class and it was competitive. It’s nice to have a class like this available alongside the FEI classes here this week,” added Bluman. “There were several clear rounds which made the jump-off very fast and I was really pleased with both of my rounds.”

Bluman is set to ride Stransky’s Mission Farms, Inc.’s Califa LS in tomorrow night’s $127,000 Kingsland FEI CSI 3* Grand Prix. The experience of competing under the lights with a large crowd is always a highlight for Bluman, who is looking forward to riding in the competitive class. He also is aiming his mount Califa LS at the Pan American Games, which will be held in Toronto, Canada in July.

“It’s going to be a really competitive class. It is always nice to jump under the lights and there’s a little bit more excitement. It’s great to have people cheering and yelling for you during your round,” concluded Bluman. “I’m really looking forward to staying here through the remainder of the season and I’m hoping that it allows me to qualify for the Pan American Games. That’s my main goal right now.”

Holly Shepherd Takes Top Honors in $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, AL and Barbara Risius’ Longstreet scored an impressive 178 in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby to handily take the class of 23 original entries.

“Both of my horses were really comfortable today and they’re not the most experienced at the 3′ level, but I felt like they really went out there and gave me consistent rounds,” said Shepherd. “I think I was the only trip to do a double inside turn in the handy round on Longstreet to the trot fence which definitely helped add to my score.”

Holly Shepherd and Longstreet
Holly Shepherd and Longstreet

Shepherd, who has dominated the circuit so far at TIEC, continues to accumulate top finishes in both the jumper and hunter rings aboard several different mounts.

“I’ve been riding him since Gulfport in February and we’re planning on doing Tryon for the Summer Series and then we’ll head to Chicago for the Derby at the end of July and of course Derby Finals in Lexington, KY in August,” she stated. “The big plan is to keep doing really well across the board and in the FEI classes for my jumper horses. We’ll have a pretty light week next week, but I have several clients who are shooting for the moon right now,” she smiled.

Continuing the season at TIEC is a highlight for Shepherd, who enjoys the convenience the facility offers to riders with horses in both the jumper and hunter classes throughout the day.

“The horse show has been fantastic both times I’ve been here, including last fall. We’re really happy with everything and everybody has been tremendously nice and so helpful,” commented Shepherd. “The crew is amazing. They help to make my job so much easier. It’s great to be able to have a team to help me balance all of my horses and have a great show staff that is so willing to adjust and work with us.”

Margaret Camp and Cascaron finished in second with a 172 and Paige Caskey aboard Waterford VDL rounded out the top three with a total score of 170.

Competition continues at TIEC with the highlight $127,000 Kingsland FEI CSI 3* Grand Prix tomorrow, May 30, beginning at 7pm and the $25,000 Grand Prix on Sunday, May 31, starting at 2:15pm.

For more information on TIEC and a full schedule, please visit www.tryon.com. Please “Like” the TIEC Facebook page at www.facebook.com/tryonresort 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.

Mark Bluman and LaGran Dash for the Cash in the $20,000 Bluegrass Classic at Kentucky Spring Horse Show

Mark Bluman and LaGran win $20,000 Bluegrass Classic.

Lexington, KY – May 10, 2014 – When speed is key to winning an event, it helps to be riding one of the fastest horses in the world. LaGran was the fastest horse at the 2010 World Equestrian Games with Pablo Barrios, and today he was the fastest horse in the $20,000 Bluegrass Classic with Mark Bluman of Colombia. The pair outraced a starting field of 38 competitors during the speed event with a blazing clear round three seconds ahead of the closest finisher.

“LaGran is a very fast horse,” smiled Bluman after his victory. “He’s been fast all his life. He was the fastest horse in the WEG in 2010 with my mate Pablo. He’s just fast. I went for it the whole way around, and it worked out well.”

Twelve competitors bested Richard Jeffery’s track, but it was Bluman who was the quickest over the course, breaking the beam at 69.989 seconds under rainy skies. Emanuel Andrade tried to catch him aboard Hollow Creek Farm’s Fananka A, but their time of 72.704 seconds would only hold up for second. Pablo Barrios set the time to beat early in the class with Romeo, finishing in 73.979 seconds, which would eventually claim fourth, while Barrios’ second mount Crossfire 10 slipped into third with a time of 73.775 seconds.

Andrade was pleased with his mount’s efforts, saying, “I think she’s amazing. I got her two months ago, and I’ve only shown her three times. She’s really a winner, and I think she’s going to be a good one. She’s a big, old fashioned horse with a big stride, and I thought the course was really good for her today.”

Emanuel Andrade and Fananka A
Emanuel Andrade and Fananka A

The course proved to be the best for Bluman though. “LaGran is actually better on the left lead, so every left turn that we made I would go a little inside,” he explained. “I have to be careful on the right because he twists a little, but to the left I really went inside.”

The pair is just getting back in a rhythm after some issues toward the end of the Winter Equestrian Festival. “I had a few problems with him in Florida after the Nations Cup,” admitted Bluman. “I was riding him in a way that he doesn’t like. I was trying to collect him and make him round, and he doesn’t like that. He just wants to go fast. He wants you to leave him alone and let him go.”

Bluman took over the ride of the 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding two years ago after Pablo Barrios and G & C Farm parted ways. “I started working for Gustavo [Mirabal] and got the ride on LaGran,” he noted. “When Gustavo and I parted ways, he gave me the horse as a gift, and it was a very nice gift. It’s a great horse with lots of experience.”

The 23-year-old is continuing to further his career, aiming LaGran for the Central American Games in November. “I think WEG would be too much for him,” admitted Bluman. “He was good in this class, so next week I am going to aim him toward it again. We’ll stay in the 1.45m classes, and then maybe this summer move him up to the grand prix.”

Bluman will be based in Kentucky throughout the summer and is excited to have the opportunity to continue to show at the Kentucky Horse Park. “The venue is amazing,” he said. “It pours rain, and the footing is great. The horses love it here. This is the place to come in the summer if you are staying the States.”

Later tonight, the hunter riders will take over the Rolex Stadium during the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby, which gets underway at 5 p.m., immediately followed by the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. The weekend concludes tomorrow with the $75,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix at 4p.m. in the Rolex Stadium, but the riders will return to the Kentucky Horse Park for the Kentucky Spring Classic, scheduled for May 14-18, 2014.

To learn more about the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Phelps Media Group, Inc.
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Mark Bluman Scores Third Welcome Stake Victory at Vermont Summer Festival

Mark Bluman and G&C Blue won the $10,000 Theory Welcome Stake. Photo by David Mullinix Photography.

East Dorset, Vermont — Colombian rider Mark Bluman was in the winner’s circle yet again on Thursday, August 8, after topping the $10,000 Theory Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT.  The win marked Bluman’s third $10,000 Welcome Stake victory of the circuit after winning during week one with G&C Lagran and week five with G&C Blue.

Having earned victory in the $10,000 Theory Welcome Stake with G&C Blue, Bluman nearly took second place as well with G&C Lagran, a 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding, but was ultimately overtaken by fellow Colombian Manuel Torres aboard Fidelina. Last to go, Torres outpaced Bluman and G&C Lagran, but could not catch Bluman’s blazing double clear round with G&C Blue.  Bluman and the 10-year-old gelding had set the time to beat at 28.79 seconds early on in the order to top the 30-horse starting field.

Course designer Eric Hasbrouck set a jump-off track full of tight rollback turns that proved challenging for many riders, but Bluman executed an impressively efficient track that made him impossible to beat.

“It wasn’t a big course, but it was technical,” said Bluman.  “In the jump off course, I did six strides from one to two and everyone else did seven.  I did seven strides to the last jump and everybody did eight.  It turned out well for me and the horse jumped really well.”

Bluman was honored to be competing alongside Torres, a five-time Olympian who Bluman, 22, looks up to as a young rider.

“I’ve always admired Manuel because he’s the Colombian athlete that has gone to the most Olympic Games in the history of Colombia,” said Bluman.  “He has done five Olympic Games.  He’s a person to admire.  He’s very talented.”

This was the second week in a row that Bluman has beaten Torres, and the up-and-coming rider recognized that he was in very good company at the Vermont Summer Festival.

“It feels nice to win, and not just against him,” commented Bluman.  “The rest of the people here are really good.  There are a lot of talented riders and trainers here.”

Finishing in the top three with two of his mounts pushed Bluman to the top of the $10,000 Sir Ruly, Inc., Open Jumper Award standings.  A day earlier, fellow grand prix competitor Jimmy Torano had jokingly told Bluman that he would have to be nearly flawless to overtake Penny Brennan in the standings.

“Jimmy is always joking around,” Bluman smiled.  “He was telling me, ‘You’re going to have to be really good!’  We have been chasing that rider bonus and thinking about if I can catch Penny.  I did perfect and she had an unlucky day.”

He continued, “It’s a really nice feeling to win again, and especially to win again with Blue.  To win three out of the four $10,000 Welcome Stakes that I did is an awesome feeling and I’m really glad that today turned out so well.”

Bluman has regularly juggled three starkly different mounts in each welcome stake and grand prix class he has done in Vermont.  In addition to G&C Blue and G&C Lagran, both owned by Gustavo Mirabal of G&C Farms, he is also getting acquainted with G&C Carla, a horse he began showing for his brother, Ilan Bluman, at the beginning of the Vermont Summer Festival.  Bluman admitted the three horses are all very different rides, but felt mastering the trio has been an asset to his riding.

“They are all really different,” he said.  “Lagran is a very sensitive horse.  Blue is slower and you need to push him a lot.  Carla is a new ride for me, so we’re getting to know each other still.  They’re very different from one another, but that’s what makes you a good rider.”

The Vermont Summer Festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary in its current Manchester location, offers more than $750,000 in prize money, making it the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont.

The first five Saturdays of the Vermont Summer Festival feature a $30,000 Grand Prix.  The $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix will be held during the sixth and final week on Saturday, August 10.  The weekly $10,000 Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, is held each Thursday.  The hugely popular $5,000 3’3” Hunter Derby is also held each Thursday for the first five weeks, with week six featuring the $15,000 Hunter Derby.

The Vermont Summer Festival is a proud member event of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL).  For more information about the Vermont Summer Festival, please e-mail info@vt-summerfestival.com or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.

Contact:  Jennifer Ward
Starting Gate Communications
Cell: (613) 292-5439