Tag Archives: Tryon Summer Series

Four Weeks of FEI Competition and Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas at Tryon Summer Series

Photo: ©MegBanks/TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – March 25, 2016 – In a continued effort to increase competition opportunities for equestrian enthusiasts around the world, Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) is eager to bring international competition to the facility for the 2016 Tryon Summer Series, hosting four consecutive weeks of FEI competition, including three CSI 3* weeks and a CSI 4* competition. The Tryon Summer Series will begin on Wednesday, June 29, and conclude Sunday, July 24.

Following the inaugural campaign of FEI competition at TIEC in 2015, the facility will showcase the finest of equestrian sport in the foothills region of western North Carolina with the Tryon Summer Series, featuring four successive “Saturday Night Lights” FEI Grand Prix events for both riders and spectators.

The 2016 Tryon Summer Series will begin with Tryon Summer 1 on Wednesday, June 29, following the conclusion of the eight week Tryon Spring Series, which will host three weeks of FEI competition, including FEI CSI 3* and FEI CSI 5* competition. Tryon Summer 1 will commence with a FEI CSI 3* competition to kick off the four week summer series, offering a $34,000 1.45m class, $34,000 1.50m class, and a $127,000 Grand Prix CSI 3*. The inaugural Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas will take place on Friday, July 1, under the lights in the George Morris Arena.

The Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas will highlight more than 20 equestrian relay teams, composed of amateur and professional riders, supported by corporate sponsors, competing to raise funds and awareness for approved local charities in the western Carolina community and region.

The general public is encouraged to join the festivities and cheer on their favorite equestrian relay teams, who will be dressed in accordance with this year’s overarching theme of superheroes. For more information and inquiries regarding participation and sponsorship for the Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas, please contact GCC@tryon.com or fill out an inquiry form here.

Tryon Summer 2 is set to offer a second FEI CSI 3* week, hosting three classes for international competitors including a $34,000 1.45 class, $34,000 1.50m class, and $127,000 Grand Prix. The FEI CSI 4* week of the Tryon Summer Series will begin on Wednesday, July 13, during Tryon Summer 3, offering two $34,000 1.45m classes, a $34,000 1.50m class, and a $210,000 Grand Prix.

Tryon Summer 4, featuring a FEI CSI 3*, will conclude the 2016 Tryon Summer Series, beginning Wednesday, July 20, and continuing through Sunday, July 24, hosting a $34,000 1.45m class, $34,000 1.50m class, and a $127,000 Grand Prix.

International competition will resume at the venue in early August with the return of the Tryon August Series, spanning four weeks and featuring a FEI CSI 3* beginning Wednesday, August 10, and concluding Sunday, August 14, during Tryon August 1. The FEI CSI 3* week will offer a $34,000 1.45m, $34,000 1.50m, and $127,000 Grand Prix class.

About Tryon International Equestrian Center

The Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) is destined to become one of the premier equestrian destinations in the world. The facility opened in June 2014 with initial supporting amenities including 10 riding arenas, 850 permanent stalls, a covered riding arena and fitness center. Future expansion includes a sports complex, condominiums, two hotels, sporting clay course, vendor and retail village, as well as an 18-hole golf course plus a full calendar of national and internationally recognized competitions, featuring numerous disciplines of equestrian sport. It is a spring, summer and fall haven for equestrian competitors and enthusiasts. For more information, call 828-863-1000 or visit www.tryon.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.

Schuyler Riley Impresses Again in $127k Grand Prix CSI 3* aboard Q-7 at in Tryon

Schuyler Riley and Q-7. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – July 18, 2015 – In an impressive feat, Schuyler Riley (USA) added another grand prix win to her resume at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) for the third week in a row in the $127,000 Grand Prix CSI 3*. Riley, this time aboard Q-7, mastered the track and bested the jump-off round with a time of 50.627 seconds. Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Casper followed in second, crossing the timers in 51.649 seconds, while Richie Moloney (IRL) aboard Call Me Number One finished in third place with a time of 53.351 seconds. The Tryon Summer Series concludes tomorrow, July 19, highlighted by the $15,000 Under 25 Grand Prix beginning at 8am in the George Morris Arena.

With tonight’s win, Riley became the most winning rider in the history of TIEC, accumulating more than $150,000 in prize money throughout the four weeks of the Tryon Summer Series. With two horses entered in the $127,000 Grand Prix CSI 3*, there was a good chance she could prevail again, but Riley was even more surprised with her winning finish, as it was aboard the horse she didn’t expect to win on.

“I thought there would be about ten clear and I have to say, Manuel [Esparza] has done a brilliant job designing the courses this week. I have absolutely loved riding them because they’re very difficult but you don’t feel like you’re going to get into too much trouble,” she explained. “They’re great for younger horses and give great confidence building rounds to both horse and rider. When you do it right on his courses, you get rewarded. I didn’t think Q was going to step up the way he did and I’m so proud and couldn’t have asked for more of an effort from him tonight.”

Riley has recently been working with second-place finisher, Sharn Wordley, with Q-7 specifically. Wordley rode “Q” several times for Riley as the duo tried to fine-tune the 2006 Bayer gelding’s (Que Sera x Peggy) steering in the ring.

“It’s really funny because I went to Sharn earlier in the spring in Kentucky because I was having so much trouble with the steering. He couldn’t figure it out and acted like he always knew where we were going, which he clearly didn’t. He always tries to pick a direction and 50% of the time it’s the wrong direction,” she laughed. “Sharn got on him and did a little exercise with him to help with the steering and I do it religiously now. He’s just gotten better and better. Sharn has helped me so much with this horse and I can’t thank him enough.”

The flashy chestnut has been slower to progress than his barn sister Dobra De Porceyo, whom Riley won the two previous grand prix classes with at TIEC. In an effort to help him gain confidence, Riley was sure not to push him too far too fast, letting him naturally rise to the top.

“I didn’t want to put him into another grand prix until I felt like he was ready and he was ready to go this week, which is why I decided that I would give him a shot,” she said. “He jumped so well in the Welcome on Thursday. It was all about the rideability and he was just straight as an arrow, so I decided that it was time to step him up.”

Sharn Wordley and Casper
Sharn Wordley and Casper

Wordley was hot on the heels of Riley, who also piloted two-time champion Dobra De Porceyo into the ten-horse jump-off, finishing the class in seventh place. Riley knew the class would be fast and the competition would be accurate, but Q-7 truly delivered, answering all of the questions on the course with ease.

“I had the fortunate position of going after Sharn today in the order, which was huge, because I think if it was reversed, he would have caught me and taken the win,” she noted.

Even though both chestnuts in Riley’s Wolfstone Stables seem similar in stature and attitude, they couldn’t be more different. Dobra is the cool, calm and collected sister, while Q, the silly brother, manifests his nerves internally, making them unique, but in the best ways, according to Riley.

“He’s very different from Dobra. I’ve had both of them for almost the same time, but they’re just two completely different rides. He’s been a little bit slower to develop than her. He’s a bit quirky and has his own mind. Q worries a lot more than she does,” she explained. “He really started coming into his own at Angelstone in Canada last fall. He was always good, but the steering was always an issue. His first real 1.50m class was in Miami this past spring and it was a lot to ask of him at that point. Today he showed me that he is absolutely everything we thought he was and there’s so much potential for him. I feel like we’ve only tapped into the surface of what’s there.”

“He’s a type of horse that I just didn’t know as well and it was about gaining confidence in the ring with him,” noted Riley. “He’s always had endless scope and sometimes it’s hard to believe because he’s barely 16 hands.”

As for her tremendous success at TIEC this season, Riley gushed thanks to her team and their efforts to help get both horses to this point. There are plans to return to the venue in the fall to try and continue her streak.

“We will definitely be back in full force here in October for the fall FEI weeks. The horses are so comfortable and quiet. They’re getting experience I couldn’t give to them anywhere else,” Riley commented. “It feels like heaven for me right now. Three weeks in a row is unbelievable considering three weeks ago, it was the first grand prix I had won in three years. It all came together at the right moment. The footing is perfect here, great course designing, just an incredible place to bring young horses.

“The energy here is amazing and the atmosphere is something that you can’t get anywhere else. I think that they’re both true championship quality horses and the more they have exposure to classes like this with competition like this, the better they will be in the future. They’re both just nine and have a lot more to come,” added Riley.

Also in fantastic form was caretaker and head groom, Jesus Pimentel, who has accompanied Riley into the winner’s circle for the past three weeks as part of the new Groom’s Initiative Award enacted by Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of the Tryon Equestrian Partners.

“I think it’s so amazing that Mark has initiated this new award. I’m so happy for Jesus and it’s amazing because they work so hard day in and day out. He loves his horses and I’m so proud of him. He’s taken impeccable care of both of them for a long time and they shine because of him,” Riley noted.

As for Pimentel, he was just as thrilled with Q’s win tonight as he was for Dobra’s previous two. “Q is very sensitive and he internalizes things very quickly. You have to let him know what’s going on and go slowly because he’s the type of horse that you have to be patient with,” said Pimentel. “He just stepped up to this level and I couldn’t be more proud of the way he tried his heart out tonight. They’re both incredible horses and I’m so lucky to have the honor to work with both of them.”

Competition at TIEC continues tomorrow with an array of Junior and Amateur jumper classes in the George Morris Arena, including the highlight $15,000 Under 25 Grand Prix beginning at 8am. TIEC will host with the August Series, starting on August 6, offering four weeks of hunter and jumper competition. 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.

Candice King and Cuchica Top $10,000 Horseware Ireland Open Jumper 1.45m at Tryon Summer 4

Candice King and Cuchica. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Kelsi Okun Captures First Career Derby Win in $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Mill Spring, NC – July 17, 2015 – With a rest from FEI competition today, Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) was abuzz with Open, Junior, and Amateur jumper divisions throughout the day in the George H. Morris Arena at Tryon Stadium. Candice King of Wellington, FL and Cuchica, owned by Wyndmont Inc., topped the $10,000 Open Jumper 1.45m presented by Horseware Ireland. Kimberly Prince of Hume, VA and RMF Fara van de Maltahoeve finished in second with a time of 40.916 seconds and Richie Moloney of Wellington, FL collected third place aboard Ypaja Yando with a time of 42.774 seconds. FEI competition continues tomorrow at TIEC with the $127,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* beginning at 8pm. Gates will open to the public at 6pm.

King and Cuchica, a 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Nintender x Luchica), laid down an early clear round, going second in the order and secured a double clear performance with their time of 40.852 seconds in the jump-off, which proved to be uncatchable.

“I’ve been riding him for six weeks now and he just moved up to this height about a week ago for his first 1.45m class and I’m so pleased with how he handled it today,” said King. “Manuel [Esparza] builds very well and I knew that it was going to be a strong ride. He doesn’t always need to build the biggest courses because they’re always strong solid courses.”

After forming a partnership over the past few weeks, King is thrilled with the way Cuchica has held his own in the bigger classes and is confident the gelding will continue to progress and improve, ultimately campaigning through the highest levels of grand prix competition.

“I knew I was going to have to be there for him throughout the course because I don’t want to put him in a bad situation at eight years old. He’s so honest I think he has everything you look for in a big time horse,” she explained. “I’m really excited for him and he just checks all of the boxes. When I walked it, I knew that I needed to be on my game.”

“I feel really comfortable with him and I was quite excited to go in there show him off. He’s incredibly talented and he has a very bright future,” she added.

King made a bold inside turn in the jump-off, which was untested by any competitor before she took to the ring. The risk was rewarded, as the turn helped to shave seconds of the clock and clinch the win.

“When I walked it with Michael [Dorman], we walked the turn and it seemed very doable. When I got to the in gate and saw it, it seemed like it may run a little tight and I didn’t want to over face him,” she explained. “Nobody was doing it and I asked around and didn’t get an overwhelming response about going for it and when I went in, my first goal was to go clean and then he just felt so great that I knew that I could take the shot. He answered the question and was right there with me. It felt really exciting for a nice young horse to step up in a class and moment like that.”

King also placed second in the $2,500 USHJA Hunter Derby aboard All the Talk, owned by Mershad Stables, LLC, earlier in the morning. In her first hunter derby since 2008, King rode two beautiful rounds, which landed her just half a point outside of the winning position.

Kelsi Okun Captures First Career Derby Win in $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Kelsi Okun, 17, of Mclean, VA, captured her first hunter derby victory in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby at Tryon Summer 4. Okun, aboard her own Consigliere, a 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Landlord x Famine De Thurin), scored an 85 in the first round and returned to the Reynolds Family Ring receiving an 86 in the second round, for a total score of 171. Candice King and All the Talk received a total score of 170.5 and Missy Yoder aboard Too Much Fun collected third, receiving a 169.5.

Kelsi Okun and Consigliere
Kelsi Okun and Consigliere

Okun was ecstatic to finish the class victorious, as the duo placed eighth in last week’s $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby and felt they had put in two improved rounds today.

“This was my horse’s first neck ribbon ever and it just feels so special. He’s come such a long way since when we got him almost three and a half years ago,” she said. “It’s just an unreal feeling and I’m so excited for him to have gotten to this point.”

“The course was really straightforward and it made me focus on being accurate and showing off his derby stride, which I would say is a real highlight in his movement. I wanted give him the best ride possible because he’s a really cool horse and in the handy I just tried to be as neat as possible,” she continued.

The duo entered the handy round of competition in the third place position and Okun knew she would need to ride an accurate and smooth round to make up their four point deficit.

“I knew that there was a significant amount of points we needed to get to the lead and two people in front of me, so I needed to try and keep it as tight as possible if I wanted a chance to win it,” she explained. “This is the first year we’ve been really competitive because he had an injury that kept him out last year, which was disappointing, but he’s just been incredible so far this season.”

Okun’s ultimate goal is competing in a USHJA International Hunter Derby and has her sights set on it with Consigliere in the near future. “This is a really good step for us in that direction to get some experience and he’s just a sweet horse and wants to please. He’s built to do derbies and we wanted to make sure that we took advantage of everything the facility has to offer during our time here.”

Competition at TIEC continues tomorrow with the highlight $127,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* with gates opening to the public at 6pm and the competition beginning at 8pm. TIEC will also host an antique car show alongside the competition, which is open to the public. For more information about TIEC and for 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.

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.

Schuyler Riley and Dobra De Porceyo Capture Third Win in Three Weeks at Tryon

Schuyler Riley and Dobra De Porceyo. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – July 15, 2015 – Schuyler Riley (USA) and Dobra De Porceyo have dominated at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) over the past few weeks, picking up another win today on the first day of FEI competition at Tryon Summer 4, the final week of the Tryon Summer Series. Riley and Dobra De Porceyo added another win to their ongoing streak in the $34,000 1.50m FEI Classic with a time of 63.76 in the only FEI speed class of the week. Brian Walker (CAN) and Tamara 296 followed in second, finishing in 64.4 seconds with Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Casper rounded out the top three, crossing the timers in 69.71 seconds. The Tryon Summer Series continues through Sunday, July 19.

Riley and Dobra De Porceyo topped both the $127,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3* during Tryon Summer 2 and the $210,000 Asheville Regional Airport Grand Prix CSI 4* last week at Tryon Summer 3. The 2006 CDE mare (Action Breaker x Sanne) has made a statement at TIEC with her strong and consistent performances at the top level of the sport.

“She’s such a pleasure to ride and it makes it fun. She’s a really smart horse and always tries her hardest. She never gives less than 100%,” said Riley. “She’s a chestnut mare, so she has a little bit of attitude but at the end of the day she really wants to work with you.”

The class of seventeen entries tested Manuel Esparza’s (MEX) course, familiarizing their horses with the George H. Morris Arena before the coming week of competition. Riley planned to give Dobra an educational and easy ride in the first class of the week, but the mare perked up throughout the round and secured her third win in three weeks at the venue.

Riley and Dobra De Porceyo have competed in just over 20 FEI competitions together and the pair has steadily improved their finishes over the past year. As the mare’s confidence and talent continues to grow, Riley believes that she will be ready to tackle some of the biggest tracks in the world within the coming year.

“Her stride is enormous for such a small petite horse. I know that I can leave out a lot because she always manages to get there easily when I ask her,” she commented. “Our plan was to really go over her after last week and see how she was feeling. We jumped her today so that she would have more time to recover before Saturday,” she explained. “She tells me every day. She’s very clear with what she wants and how she feels.”

Brian Walker and Tamara 296
Brian Walker and Tamara 296

The track saw four combinations go clear, but Riley and Dobra stopped the timers a second faster than Walker and Tamara 296, who went late in the order but couldn’t catch the leading duo’s time. Esparza will continue to design the courses in the George H. Morris Arena for the rest of the week and Riley is looking forward to the final week of FEI competition at TIEC and perhaps collecting her third grand prix win with Dobra this weekend in the $127,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* beginning at 8pm on Saturday, July 18. Gates will open to the public at 6pm.

For a full list of results and a weekly class schedule, 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.

Kyle Timm and Platinum Score First FEI Win in $34,000 1.50m FEI Challenge at TIEC

Kyle Timm and Platinum. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – July 12, 2015 – Kyle Timm (CAN) and Platinum, owned by Apex Equestrian Center, secured a win in the $34,000 1.50m Challenge FEI at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), finishing the class as the only clear round out of thirteen entries. Timm and Platinum dashed through the course in 71.86 seconds to secure their first FEI victory at TIEC this year. Sarah Segal (USA) and Cantara 59 followed in second with four faults and a time of 74.01 seconds. Darragh Kerins (IRL) aboard Thunder D’Amaury finished in third, also collecting four faults and stopping the timers in 77.56 seconds. Competition at TIEC begins again Wednesday, July 15, with the final week of the Tryon Summer Series hosting FEI CSI 3* competition. The Tryon Summer Series will conclude on July 19.

Timm and Platinum captured a big win in the final FEI class of the week during Tryon Summer 3, cruising through the course designed by Ana Catalina Cruz Harris (MEX). They crossed the finish line as the only clear trip of the morning, preventing a jump-off round and sealing the win with a one-and-done round.

“It was a difficult class this morning. I think we all thought it would be easier after last night, but it was more or less last night’s class going the opposite direction, which I think was even harder,” said Timm. “This was the class we had aimed her for this week and she totally performed. We did the speed class early on and she jumped fantastic there and really carried it over to today. She’s a very good horse.”

Platinum has had a consistent season so far with Timm, who has had the ride on the 2005 Irish Sport Horse mare (Simply Javlin x Ballybregagh Band of Gold) since she was six years old. The duo has grown together and Platinum has come into her own after taking a few months off during the season last year.

“She’s placed in almost every grand prix we’ve done with her this year and she’s really hitting her stride. We always knew that she was going to be a great horse and it just took her a little bit of time to mature and figure it all out,” commented Timm. “She’s been unbelievable and whenever you think the horse can’t do anymore, she does. She’s probably one of the best horses I’ve had so far in my career.”

Sarah Segal and Cantara 59
Sarah Segal and Cantara 59

Without over-facing the mare, but keeping her at the top of her game, Timm is very careful in choosing which classes Platinum will contest. The duo will set their sights on the August Series at Tryon after spending a few weeks in Kentucky at the end of July.

“Right now I’m really focused on finding the classes where she can be the most competitive and have a good time. She’s the most fun out of all of the horses I’m riding right now and I want her to do well. Every time I get on her I know she’s going to try her absolute hardest and always aim to jump a clear round. She just has the heart,” he said.

Timm competed two horses in the FEI this week, Platinum and Calida 55, a newer mount he acquired this past spring. Timm chose to compete Calida 55 in the $210,000 Asheville Grand Prix CSI 4* last night, but was disappointed with his ride, motivating him to produce two strong rounds with both horses today. Calida 55 collected fifth place, finishing with eight faults in 74.68 seconds.

“The course last night was super, but I just couldn’t find that rhythm, which was disappointing and I felt like I let her down. It really lit a fire underneath me to do well today and give them both educational and strong rides,” explained Timm. “I was trying to think of how to make today a better day and it worked out great. I stayed really positive and tried to focus on giving both of them the best rides possible.”

Timm is based in nearby Raleigh, NC at Apex Equestrian Center, only a three-hour drive to TIEC, which he and his clients have frequented during the Tryon Spring and Summer Series. According to Timm, the growth of TIEC is helping to expand his business, as young equestrians are hoping to relocate within driving distance to the rapidly expanding facility.

“We have so many great schools in Raleigh and we’re seeing a lot of riders, who originally hadn’t planned to bring their horses to college, asking if we have space in our program because they feel like they can manage competing and school with TIEC being so close,” remarked Timm. “It’s growing the sport because it offers riders a chance to compete year round and at an incredible venue. We feel really lucky that we are so close and the venue offers something educational for all of our horses.”

For a full list of results and a weekly class schedule, 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.

Schuyler Riley & Dobra De Porceyo Win $210k Asheville Regional Airport G.P. CSI 4* at Tryon

Schuyler Riley and Dobra De Porceyo. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – July 12, 2015 – A large crowd of spectators filled the stands to witness the $210,000 Asheville Regional Airport Grand Prix CSI 4* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) on a beautiful summer evening in Mill Spring, NC. Schuyler Riley (USA) captured another big international win, adding back-to-back victories in the “Saturday Night Lights” Series aboard nine-year-old Dobra De Porceyo. The duo crossed the timers in 39.009 seconds as the first pair to test the track in the four-horse jump-off. Kimberly Prince (USA) and RMF Bella Baloubet finished in second with a time of 39.967 seconds and Scott Keach (AUS) riding Fedor, rounded out the top three, adding four faults and crossing through the finish in 38.475 seconds.

Riley and Dobra De Porceyo were the first clear round of the night, testing a technical track designed by Ana Catalina Cruz Harris (MEX), who has set a difficult week of courses for FEI riders at TIEC. Riley contested this week’s class coming off a win in the $127,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 3* held last Saturday, July 4, aboard “Dobra”. The victory was Riley’s first grand prix win in almost three years.

“It almost feels like disbelief, but in a sense not really, because I know she can always do it. She’s such a great horse and is just amazing. Every time I walk a course, I come out of the ring knowing she can do it. I haven’t had that feeling in a very long time,” said Riley. “She’s such a pleasure to ride and it’s fun. She enjoys the sport and just gets it. She knows she’s supposed to jump and not hit them and go fast in the second round. It makes my job easy.”

The petite chestnut mare may not have the same size advantage as some of her fellow competitors, but has the heart and personality of a champion. Her unconventionally large stride and hunger for the spotlight have made her a true powerhouse in the ring in just her first season at the grand prix level.

“She absolutely loves the crowd. It really gets her blood up and I like it too. It makes it more exciting and feels like real sport,” remarked Riley. “That’s something that I think Mark [Bellissimo] has done an excellent job with, getting the stands filled at night. For a nine-year-old to be able to come to an atmosphere like this, under the lights, at night, with a huge crowd; she’ll never be able to gain that experience anywhere else in the U.S.”

Riley narrowed in on a plan of attack before heading into the George H. Morris Arena, knowing the course was difficult and the time allowed could be troublesome. “I thought it was tough and the time allowed seemed tight, but because Dobra is so fast, it’s not really a problem so I tried not to worry about it. I really enjoy riding her courses because they’re technical, but you can ride them. If you’re communicating well with your horse, you can make it happen.”

Riley and Dobra De Porceyo are coming into their own on the international stage, but at one point, Riley wasn’t sure that would be a possibility with the mare’s lack of trust in people and fiery demeanor.

“Before I bought her she was supposedly throwing people off and after I got her I completely understood why because she tried to get me off quite a few times. It took a while to earn her trust, but once I had it, I knew she would do anything for me,” she explained. “Everyone always talks about how I feed her treats in the ring and she’s very food motivated so it’s a great reward for her. She looks forward to that. She enjoys this sport and it’s easy for her to do this physically. Its playtime and that’s how I know that I’ve earned her trust.”

Kimberly Prince and RMF Bella Baloubet
Kimberly Prince and RMF Bella Baloubet

Not only did Riley pick up another grand prix win, but groom of seven years, Jesus Pimentel, was awarded with the new Groom’s Initiative Award for the second week in a row, earning another $500. Pimentel is never far from Dobra’s side and takes an incredible amount of pride in providing the mare with the absolute best care possible, according Riley.

“Jesus loves his horses more than anything. As soon as he started taking care of her she just came into her own. She feels really well loved and appreciated by him. She wants to work with you and he does an amazing job of fostering that,” she commented. “He doesn’t spoil them but he gives them all of the right attention. He’s meticulous with everything he does and I never have to worry about what he’s doing. We have an incredible working relationship. I completely trust him with her care.”

Pimentel beamed watching “Dobra” take her second victory lap in two weeks at TIEC and said he always knew the mare had the talent to win at the top.

“She did what she always does tonight. She was perfect and she always tries her best. It was a big highlight to see her be the first horse clear on course. I know she’s not afraid to go top ten in the order because she likes setting the pace,” said Pimentel. “We’re very close and I always make sure that I give her treats throughout the day because I know she enjoys it and always asks for them. The one thing she hates is dogs, including my dog Pirate, which can be very funny. She pins her ears at them and acts like a diva. She’s the princess of the barn and she knows it.

“I have a very special relationship with her and to win this award two weeks in a row is very meaningful to me because I put my heart and soul into caring for her. She’s saying thank you by winning these classes and I’m so proud of her,” he continued.

For a full list of results and a weekly class schedule, 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.

Richie Moloney Takes Top Honors for Second Time at Tryon Summer 3

Richie Moloney and Alsvid. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Kira Kerkorian Tops $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix; Josh Dolan Pilots Amara to $5,000 USHJA Hunter Derby Win

Mill Spring, NC – July 10, 2015 – Competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) continued today with the $34,000 1.45m Speed Stake FEI in the George H. Morris Arena in Tryon Stadium, capping another win for Richie Moloney (IRL) and Alsvid, making it two in a row for the duo. Moloney and Alsvid crossed the timers with a speedy clear round in 58.52 seconds. Sharn Wordley (NZL) aboard Popstar Lozonais followed behind, with a time of 64.83 seconds. Lauren Tisbo (USA) and Shamira Semilly rounded out the top three, finishing fault free in 66.45 seconds. Competition continues at TIEC tomorrow with the highlight $210,000 Asheville Regional Airport Grand Prix FEI CSI 4* beginning at 8pm. TIEC will also host “Saturday Night Lights” Beach Bash starting at 6pm. The Tryon Summer Series will conclude on July, 19.

Moloney and Alsvid have had a banner week at TIEC, winning both of their contested FEI classes so far at Tryon Summer 3. The experienced pair made easy work of the difficult Ana Catalina Harris (MEX) designed course, which only saw three double clear rounds out of 17 entries.

“When I was going into the ring, there was only one other clear round so I think if there had been more clear I would have even pushed it more and left out a few more strides, but I went as quick as I could while playing it a bit safe and it worked out in my favor,” explained Moloney.

Today marked the third FEI win for the Irish this week and when asked, Moloney smiled, saying he hopes they can keep their consistency moving into tomorrow night for the biggest class of the week, the $210,000 Asheville Regional Airport Grand Prix.

“This is very good for us and we’re having a great week. I’m hopeful that we’ll keep it up for the next two days. David and I both have pretty good records on Saturday nights so far and I’m expecting a great class tomorrow night,” he noted.

Alsvid is a consistent and experienced mount for Moloney, proving himself time and time again on the international stage. Moloney explained on Wednesday after his win, that the 2001 Hanoverian gelding (Escudo I x Adonca) enjoys the faster speed classes and always performs well.

“He felt spot on today and he’s gone so well this week. He really felt like himself today and I think it’s great that he’s been able to come out twice and win both of his classes,” commented Moloney. “We’ll do the 1.50m class on Sunday and then he’ll get some time off. He’s a great horse for me and I want to make sure that he gets a well-deserved rest after this week.”

“I’m looking forward to the rest of the season, especially with him. I know I can always count on him to do his best and come through in the ring. With what we have on the schedule, he should be very competitive for the rest of the season. He’s a great ride and deserves these wins this week.”

Kira Kerkorian Tops $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix

Kira Kerkorian of Sagaponack, NY added another top finish at TIEC this week, improving on her second place finish in the $10,000 Under 25 Welcome Classic on Wednesday, by championing the first $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix of the Tryon Summer Series today aboard Nightfire 25. Kerkorian set a fast pace in the jump-off, which couldn’t be matched after going third in the order of the ten-horse jump-off, stopping the clock in 36.936 seconds. Wilton Porter of Bartonsville, TX finished in second and third, riding Delinquent JX to a time of 37.465 seconds then piloting Patriot across the timers in 38.873 seconds respectively.

Kira Kerkorian and Nightfire 25
Kira Kerkorian and Nightfire 25

“This is my first Under 25 win and he’s one of my new horses, which makes it that much more special. I thought the course was really well done and there were some places that you really had to work. The plank was really spookey and it felt like a really smooth course but difficult too,” commented Kerkorian. “My game plan didn’t change too much from when we walked it to when I went actually went into the ring. We watched Wilton go and I knew that I was going to have to pull out all of the stops to beat him.”

Kerkorian, who trains with Nicole Simpson of Simpson Show Jumping, has steadily improved and her hard work continues to pay off in the ring. She placed second in the $10,000 Under 25 Welcome aboard Cassi, barely getting nudged out of top honors at the end of the class by Haley Gassel and Quite Dark 2.

“He really helped me out a lot today. I needed to be a little bit quicker after some of my landings but we have a great sense of trust and I knew that he would stay with me,” she explained. “I sprinted for the last fence and he was just amazing and so responsive the entire round. We bought him from Lynne Little here in Tryon last August and have been working to create some consistency. We did the Young Rider classes during the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) this past winter and he’s really stepped up every time we ask something of him.”

Piloting two talented horses around the big tracks, Kerkorian is looking to stay atop the leaderboard for the rest of the 2015 season. “We’re going to keep doing the High Juniors and then we’ll start heading towards some of the smaller grand prixs in Kentucky. I’m so excited with how everything is going and how well my horses are handling everything.”

Kerkorian has plans to take her second mount, Cassi, to the Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) presented by Gotham North at the end of the month in Lexington, KY.

“I would love to do really well at Young Riders this year on the big team and see how well we can finish. I’ve always wanted to qualify for the Prix des States for Zone 2 and want to help earn a team gold there. After that we’re going to start focusing on qualifying for indoors, which is always a really exciting time in the year. I’m just so happy with today and it is the highlight of the season so far!”

Kerkorian was all smiles exiting the ring and even minutes after the class had ended, she was still unable to contain her excitement. “It feels so great to know that hard work matters. I’m so proud of my horses for the performances we’ve had this week and I’m hoping that we can only go up from here,” she smiled.

Josh Dolan Pilots Amara to Win in $5,000 USHJA Hunter Derby

Riding in fine form, Josh Dolan, of Wellington, FL, and Amara, owned by Sarah Tredennick, took the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby with a first round score of 92 and a second round score of 89, to a total of 181, beating Daniel Geitner of Aiken, SC and Sky Pilot, who finished with a total score of 176 for second place. Amy Nunnally of Charlottesville, VA and Cailler finished in third with a combined score of 165.

Amara, a 2005 Warmblood mare, has only competed in two hunter classes before their win today, making the story of her win even more impressive. Tredennick imported Amara from Europe where she had spent majority of her life as a broodmare. Amara tested the jumper ring with Dolan’s trainer Alex Granato, winning at in the 1.30m classes after only six months.

“She’s such a versatile mare and is incredibly smart. She’s taken everything that we’ve thrown at her with complete class and grace and continues to exceed expectations,” said Dolan. “With only six weeks of training, she came in and won her first derby at her second competition as a hunter. We were all very impressed.”

The mare handled the course beautifully and Josh was pleased with the number of options available throughout. J. P. Godard designed the derby course, which offered four high options in the second handy round, which Dolan used to his advantage.

“There were some areas throughout the course where you could make it difficult for the more experienced horses or simpler for some of the younger ones,” he explained. “I made sure to give her a consistent and thorough ride, which worked out really well. She was perfect.”

Dolan is looking to transition back to the hunter ring from the jumpers and Amara has given him a great opportunity to get back into the swing of things. With more competitive hunter competitions on the horizon, Dolan is hopeful that Amara will make a spectacular derby horse for someone in the near future.

“She’s got all of the scope in the world to go higher and she’ll be ready for the 3’6 classes next time out. I think she has the potential to be a real top derby horse, which is exciting considering this is only her first real year of training,” he commented. “She’s been a spectacular and I’m so thankful to Sarah Tredennick for giving me the opportunity to ride this class mare.”

Competition at TIEC continues tomorrow with the highlight $210,000 Asheville Regional Airport Grand Prix FEI CSI 4* beginning at 8pm. This will be the second CSI 4* Grand Prix hosted at TIEC so far this season. Gates will open to the public at 6pm. Parking and admission are free. Please visit www.tryon.com for more information. 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.

Blake and Binkie Keep Irish Win Streak Alive in $34,000 Suncast Welcome 1.50m FEI

David Blake and Binkie. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Haley Gassel and Quite Dark 2 Make Statement in $10,000 Under 25 Welcome Classic; Cathy Geitner Bests 3′ Pre-Green Division aboard Keepsake

Mill Spring, NC – July 9, 2015 – The luck of the Irish continued in the George H. Morris Arena at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), as David Blake (IRL) aboard Binkie, owned by Pine Hollow Farm, captured their third FEI win at TIEC this season. Blake piloted Binkie to the only double-clear round in the $34,000 Suncast® Classic 1.50m FEI, edging out Alison Robitaille (USA) and Cassinja, who dropped a rail in the jump-off, finishing in 39.84 seconds. Blake and Binkie crossed the timers in 45.38 seconds with a clear round in hand to secure the win. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Testify finished in third, with a single time fault in the first round of competition. Tryon Summer 2 continues through Sunday, July 12, with the entire Summer Series concluding on July 19.

Binkie and Blake have made their mark in the George H. Morris Arena at TIEC, collecting several wins and top finishes throughout the Tryon Spring and Summer Series, with a highlight win in the $127,000 Adequan® Grand Prix on June 27 during Tryon Summer 1.

Blake drew the last ride in the first round of competition on Thursday, a situation he has become accustomed too, also riding last in his win two weeks ago. With a tough track designed by Ana Catalina Harris (MEX), Blake was able to observe and find the best possible route to cross through the timers with no faults.

“I had a lot of time to watch and figure out the course today. I got a great draw in going last. I thought the end of the course was causing a lot of problems. Having a time fault or knocking the double down seemed to be the struggle, so I knew I needed to be careful, but also keep a close eye on the time,” he remarked. “It was hard to deliver both, which is where a lot of riders got caught. I decided to open up a bit on the backside of the course and I rode it so that the double was almost slowing down and that helped me with time and jumping through clean. It worked out really well.”

Blake explained that going last in the order has allowed him to give his 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Larino x Whisper B) several educational rides, but the position does give the rider a mental edge. Blake has proven he can overcome the pressure to ride consistent fault-free rounds in make-it-or-break-it circumstances.

“I was in the same scenario during the grand prix two weeks ago and it’s a nice position to be in, but also puts on a lot of pressure on to get the job done. I know he’s a great jumper and I never really worry about him pulling a rail. I absolutely trust him and feel confident that he can go around clean every time we get into the ring,” commented Blake.

The duo’s consistency has kept them atop the leaderboard in the larger FEI classes offered at TIEC amongst a slew of talented international names and Blake sees Binkie as a real contender at the top levels. His laid back personality and willingness to fight in the ring are all signs that the best is yet to come.

“He’s been incredibly consistent for me since his first win at Spring 7. That was the first time that we really started to bring him out at this level. He’s young and I always have to remember that because I don’t want to overdo it,” he said. “We’re lucky that so far he hasn’t had to go very fast in the jump-off and that’s better for a young horse. He’s getting great experience and I’m thrilled with him so far this season.”

Giving Binkie time to recuperate from a string of stellar performances at Tryon Summer 1, Blake was impressed with the gelding’s efficiency and carefulness in the ring today. “He felt super. He had last week off and it’s great for him to come back now in the same good form he left with after his big win on Saturday night,” he said.

“The prize money here is as good as anywhere in the world and we’re in top form here,” added Blake. “The team and the horses are happy and I am truly grateful for the opportunity. I’m thankful to the Dvorkin family and the Pine Hollow Farm team for making these wins possible. It wouldn’t happen without them.”

Haley Gassel Makes Statement in $10,000 Under 25 Welcome Classic

Haley Gassel of Lenoir City, TN made a swift move up the leaderboard in the $10,000 Under 25 Welcome Classic aboard Quite Dark 2 owned by Westwind Equine Training Center, as the last rider on course in the class of 23 entries. Gassel and Quite Dark 2 tripped the timers in 33.743 seconds to edge out Kira Kerkorian of Sagaponack, NY and Cassi, who placed second in 33.864 seconds. Lucas Porter of Bartonsville, TX and Phineas finished in third place with a time of 34.24 seconds. The class was postponed from its scheduled Wednesday finish to Thursday morning as a result of inclement weather.

Haley Gassel and Quite Dark
Haley Gassel and Quite Dark

Gassel piloted Quite Dark 2 to victory in an immediate jump-off format. Gassel and “QD”, as she calls him around the barn, are coming off of a third-place finish in last week’s $15,000 Under 25 Grand Prix and captured their first TIEC win this season today.

“I thought it was very reasonable for a Welcome. I didn’t think it was too big for this early in the week and it was technical, which proved to be difficult. The time allowed was tight and usually I have time faults, so I was a bit nervous about that going in,” she explained. “It ended up working out great – you have to make these courses hard enough for this level of competition.”

Gassel’s massive 2005 Holsteiner gelding (Quality x Elegaz) has an aura about him in the ring and his confident attitude allows the duo to immediately find their stride in big-atmosphere arenas.

“He’s really strong and his size can be intimidating. He’s about 17.3 hands and has a very stocky build, but he is brave and always takes me to the jumps,” she explained. “I could miss or I could be spot on and I know he’s always going to get to the other side. He loves being in the spotlight and that’s why he excels in these types of classes.”

Gassel and Quite Dark 2 will be back looking to add to their top placings on Friday in the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix in the George H. Morris Arena. As the pair generates more buzz around the show grounds, Gassel is hoping that one day she will be able to represent the United States in team competition like a Nations Cup, as she represented Zone 4 at the 2014 Adequan® FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships and thoroughly enjoyed riding with a team.

“It was a great experience and QD really took it in stride. I loved the team competition atmosphere and would love to have the opportunity to do it again. We started off at 1.20m and have worked up from there pretty quickly. They’re big goals, but that’s part of the fun too, getting there and enjoying the process,” she smiled.

Cathy Geitner Bests 3′ Pre-Green Division aboard Keepsake

Cathy Geitner of Aiken, SC typically handles the day-to-day operations of Daniel Geitner Stables, letting her husband, Daniel Geitner, do the legwork in the ring, but today Cathy stole the show, championing the 3′ Pre-Green Hunters aboard 2009 Dutch Warmblood mare Keepsake. Daniel followed with Reserve Champion awards aboard Douglas.

“She’s just six and we imported her this spring. We’ve been taking it slow and doing a few shows here and there and some training at home,” said Geitner. “This is probably her third show in the U.S. and she really came into her own this week. She’s just the coolest little mare and was super today.”

The mare finished with blue ribbons in both over fences classes in yesterday’s portion of the division with Geitner piloting from the irons, also collecting a second place in the under saddle hack.

“She’s a super jumper and is so brave. She has a ton of scope and when I go in there I don’t worry about the jumps at all, it is more on keeping her focused and helping her learn what her job is in the ring,” she explained.

Keepsake has incredible natural ability and will make an excellent prospect for the future. Geitner is looking to move the mare to the First Year division when they return to Florida for the winter season.

“We’re bringing her out slowly and taking our time because she’s really nice and I think she is going to be amazing next year as a First Year,” remarked Geitner. “We’re being very picky about which shows we take her to and are keeping it completely positive for her. I’m really thrilled with the way she’s coming along.”

As for beating her husband, Geitner was all smiles and said it takes a very special horse to get her back in the ring and the little mare convinced her to give it a go.

“I really don’t compete that much. I like to focus on training and coaching our juniors and amateurs, but this mare is also small and fit me a little bit better than she would have fit Daniel,” she laughed. “We’re really excited for her future and I’m glad that I was able to really show her off here this week.”

Competition at TIEC continues tomorrow with the $34,000 1.45m FEI Speed Stake, $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, and the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix. For a full list of results and a weekly competition schedule, 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.