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Nicole Bellissimo & Casino top 1.45m Sunday Classic CSI2* to conclude Tryon Summer III

Monday, 02 July 2018
CSI2* Tryon Summer III 2018

Photo (c) Sportfot. Nicole Bellissimo and Casino. Photo (c) Sportfot.

Competition concluded on Sunday, July 1, at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), with a swift victory for Nicole Bellissimo (USA) and Casino. The duo rounded out a successful week by finishing first in the $35,000 1.45m Sunday Classic CSI 2*, crossing through the jump-off timers in 42.762 seconds. Second place honors went to Tracy Magness (USA) and John Bartko's 2008 Belgian Warmblood mare, Intenz Van HD (Elvis Ter Putte x Nabab de Reve), completing their fast-track round in 46.075 seconds, while third place was awarded to Samuel Parot (CHI) and his own Atlantis, a 2003 Zangersheide gelding (Andiamo x Royal Bravour L), after achieving a time of 78.95 seconds in the first round.

The win was the second podium placing of the week for Bellissimo and the Bellissimo LLC's 2007 Holsteiner (Cassini II x Carano), as the 24-year-old also guided the stallion to a second-place award in Friday's Tryon Resort $5,000 1.40m Speed Stake CSI 2* class. Of her mount, she explained: "I got him at the end of his nine-year-old year, and he was doing the high-jumper classes out in California. We slowly moved up, I've ridden him in several CSI 2*'s at this point, and he's just been a really excellent horse for me. He's exceptionally careful, and I always have to think a little bit more when it comes to time allowed with him, but he's gotten quicker about that."

The first-place result also happened to be the pair's second blue ribbon of the Tryon Summer Series, with both victories taking place on the Derby Field at TIEC. "The grass is really fantastic," said Bellissimo. "I think that the most important thing that you can say about a grass field, is that you can't feel that you're riding on grass. Not once, during either of the weeks, did I feel him slip out there. He jumped really solid rounds. Sometimes when they're on grass, as they leave the ground they may slip, but with the security of this field, it's like you're riding in a sand ring."

The partnership between the two has grown over the past few years, and getting to know the stallion has given Bellissimo an appreciation for his minimal antics. "He is a stallion," she elaborated, "so he can be a bit fresh on the ground. But he has an amazing groom, Alex Mullen, and she does an incredible job with him. However, for the most part he's pretty sweet, and really isn't too bad. He's just a really special horse."

Bellissimo plans to give Casino some time off over the next week, and then will return to the show ring ready to tackle the Tryon Summer V CSI 2* competition. She concluded, "He'll get his break, and then we will come back for week five and hope for the same result then!"


Source: Press release from Tryon // Photo (c) Sportfot. 

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