On the final day of the successful Tryon Spring Series at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), Ali Wolff (USA) and John Wolff's Artemis secured a win in the $34,000 FEI Tryon 1.50m Challenge, finishing the jump-off in 42.012 seconds. Scott Keach (AUS) and Southern Cross Equestrian, LLC's Viriato followed in second, crossing the timers in 43.984 seconds. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run Inc.'s Bull Run's Eternal rounded out the top three, completing the jump-off in 44.025 seconds. The Tryon Spring Series hosted two weeks of FEI competition, the first two occasions on which international competition had been hosted at the facility. The Tryon Summer Series will begin on Wednesday, June 24, and will host four consecutive weeks of FEI competition at TIEC.
Artemis jumped beautifully throughout the class, adding another top place finish for Wolff, who has been incredibly consistent during her time at TIEC. A second place finish in last night's $210,000 Tryon Grand Prix for the Governor's Cup presented by Rolex was a true highlight for the 25-year-old Columbus, OH, native, as was her growing consistency in the international ring.
"Last night was just amazing. He really came together for me and it was too bad we missed out on that last fence, but today was just a little bit of redemption I think," smiled Wolff. "I was pretty tired this morning and was having a hard time waking myself up, but the second I got on her she felt amazing and she really inspired me."
The 2005 Anglo European mare (Chamberlain Z x Odette) has not been an easy ride for Wolff, but has taught her to be patient and careful in the ring. The pair has been together for nearly eight years, and Artemis is beginning to shine for Wolff.
"With her, you have to stay consistent and smooth. She gets very nervous and the more nervous you get, she feeds off that and gets a shorter stride and before you know it you're chasing her," she explained. "I always tell myself to just stay smooth with her. I had a time fault on my first ride in the class, and she's fast, but I wanted to stay careful."
Artemis joined the Wolff family like most of the other horses in her string, young and talented. The enjoyment of producing younger horses and bringing them up the ranks herself is something that she always looks for when adding to her team.
"We got her as a seven-year-old and have really built and grown from there. She can be difficult because she'll throw you for a loop. Some days she's really calm, and other days she's incredibly nervous," remarked Wolff. "Like I said, consistency is so important with her and if we keep going in and giving her the opportunity to jump a clear round, it is incredible for her confidence. I really like to buy them young and develop them a lot. We get most of them as six or seven year olds, and I think that's the fun part."
Wolff plans to travel to Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Canada, and Artemis will be a key component in her competition plans for the next several months. They will then head to Europe to contest Hickstead and Gijon before returning to the States later in the summer.
"She has the ability, the scope, the carefulness, really everything you look for. It's just about getting both of our minds together and on the same page now," she said. "I have a second horse to take with me to Europe, which is a great feeling. It's really a toss up now! I was going to take Brianda but Artemis also has what it takes, and I'm going to have a tough decision to make! This horse show, they just love it across the board. All of my horses have done so well here. We're definitely coming back."
As for Wolff herself, the goal remains the same, representing the United States in team competition. Her performances throughout the week have served as a testament to her continued and growing talent. Gaining international experience will be a key piece of Wolff's future success, and her competition schedule for the rest of the year was created with that in mind.
"My goal is to starting getting to the top and staying there. I feel like consistency is really my word right now. I've come in second the past couple of days, and I'm thrilled with those results because that is the definition of consistency," she said. "Right now, I'm focused on building up my points in FEI and trying to get higher on the leaderboard and in the rankings so that I can be in contention for a team, while still building up my young horses and string at the same time."
Final Results for $34,000 FEI Tryon 1.50m Challenge
1. ARTEMIS, 2005 Anglo European Sport Horse mare by Chamerlain Z x Odette ALI WOLFF (USA), John Wolff: 0/0/42.012
2. VIRIATO, 2005 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Riesling Du Monselet x Raissa Van De Wydendrift SCOTT KEACH (AUS), Southern Cross Equestrian, LLC: 0/0/43.984
3. BULL RUN'S ETERNAL, 2003 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Toulon x Toulon KRISTEN VANDERVEEN (USA), Bull Run Jumpers, Inc: 0/0/44.025
4. CYKLON 1083, 2001 Swedish Warmblood stallion by Cardento x Casandra SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm, LLC: 0/0/44.202
5. BALOU DU REVENTON, 2006 Oldenburg stallion by Cornet Obolensky x Georgia LIUBOV KOCHETOVA (RUS), Liubov Kochetova: 0/0/44.435
6. BIJZONDER, 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Acodetto x Unforgettable SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Sweet Oak Farm: 0/0/44.513
7. UITTERAARD, 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Numero Uno x Natosca MARK BLUMAN (COL), Stransky's Mission Farms, Inc.
8. Q-7, 2006 Bayer gelding by Que Sera x Peggy SCHUYLER RILEY (USA), Wolfstone Stables & Sales Inc: 0/4/46.15
Source: Press release from Tryon International Equestrian Center.
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