Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) hosted its largest event of the spring season, packing the Tryon Stadium at the George H. Morris Arena with a crowd of more than 10,000 people. The stands were overflowing as visitors and guests from around the state flocked to Mill Spring, NC, to see the biggest Grand Prix the venue has hosted in its relatively short history. Richie Moloney (IRL) and Carrabis Z were the last to go in the jump-off and pulled off the win in a nail-bitingly intense atmosphere to seal the win in the $210,000 Tryon Grand Prix for the Governor's Cup presented by Rolex. The duo finished in 36.957 seconds in front of Ali Wolff (USA) and Casall who completed the jump-off track in 37.812 seconds. Charlie Jayne (USA) and Chill R Z finished in third, crossing the timers in 38.422 seconds.
Richie Moloney and Carrabis Z concluded the class with a large cheer from the crowd, racing to the last oxer of the Catalina Ana Cruz designed jump-off, barely nudging out Wolff for the win. Moloney, who was aware of the tight time coming into the round, was thrilled with Carrabis Z's performance.
"The first round was a bit careful and there were options on one or two lines that you needed to really be aware of," said Moloney. "It was a very well built course and seven clear rounds from the first round was a very good result. I didn't really have a plan going in other than to be as fast and careful as I could. I knew Charlie and Ali put in two very fast rounds and I had nothing to lose by going for it."
The class of 29 proved to bring their best to the biggest night in the facility's history. The impeccably designed course by Cruz created electric excitement throughout the crowd, especially in the jump-off as the riders had a quick turn to the left and then needed to maintain a full gallop to the last fence, a large Spy Coast Farm over.
"He's a really sensitive horse and sometimes the shorter distances can be difficult for him. This is the fastest he's ever gone for me," smiled Moloney. "The course suited him and the long gallop to the last fence really made it an exciting finish. He tries really hard and if he rubs a rail, he will not be anywhere close to the next fence."
The crowd jazzed the riders and continued to give encouragement throughout the rounds, an exciting event to witness, as many of the visitors had never been to a horse show before. The expansion and access the night provided to a public not accustomed to equestrian competition was what really impressed several of the riders.
"The crowd was incredible and as a rider, there isn't anything more thrilling than having the crowd cheer for you," said Moloney. "The atmosphere here was crazy. It felt like the crowd was really into it. It was a very cool event to be a part of considering it is really the first of its kind here."
Moloney was quick to thank his entire team who work tirelessly to ensure that he can have rides like that. In the grandstands were Moloney's owners and longtime supporters, the Mercers, who were on hand to watch his victory.
"It was great to have my owners here. They're great supporters of me and I'm so privileged to have these horses and they've given me a truly great opportunity," he remarked. "I'm so thankful to them and the rest of my team. There are so many people who work very hard behind the scenes for me and this wouldn't have been possible without them."
Moloney and his team will stay at TIEC for the upcoming Tryon Summer Series that will begin on June 24. With several top horses, Moloney will look to capitalize on the several weeks of FEI sanctioned competition at the venue in the coming summer months.
"We have several great horses here and it is nice not to have to ship them out and they can stay in one place and we can focus on competing. It's an incredible facility and we are so lucky to have access to it," commented Moloney. "There is a bright future here and I am very glad that we can say that we have been and will continue to be a part of it."
Ali Wolff and Charlie Jayne both rode superb rounds in the jump-off aboard Casall and Chill R Z respectively. Wolff and Casall seemed to have locked in the victory with a 37.812 before Moloney entered the ring as the last rider on course.
"I'm thrilled with this finish. I was hoping I had it, but Richie is so fast that I knew there was a chance he could catch me," said Wolff. "I don't have a fast horse to begin with and that was our maximum speed, but I couldn't be more happy with him. He cleared that last one on a really gutsy ride from me and I really felt that trust there on his part. He's just been on form."
Wolff felt the course was tricky enough that it would cause problems for combinations through the night and that there would only be a few clear rounds. The technical aspects of the course made it fair but respectable for the CSI 4* level.
"I thought it was going to be a really decent course. It asked several great questions here and there throughout, you know, going strides to careful strides and then two double verticals," explained Wolff. "It asked a lot of questions and emphasized carefulness and it was long so you couldn't lose your focus. It was a great class and I am so happy with my horse and our finish."
Jayne and Chill R Z were the first ride in the jump-off to hit the time before 38.50 seconds and seemed to have possibly completed the fastest round of the night before the last two riders contested the jump-off. Jayne, who has been competing at TIEC for the past two weeks, has been thrilled with the facility and the venue's commitment to continue providing opportunities for riders.
"This venue is spectacular and there is this saying that, 'If you build it, they will come' and I don't think that has ever proven more true than here in Tryon," said Jayne. "This facility has the best footing in the world and the plans for expansion will make this just overall world class and offers a truly bright future for our sport. The number of people we saw here today and the atmosphere was incredible. I've shown in a number of places around the world and this is by far the most horse-friendly and well executed show I've ever been too."
Competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center continues tomorrow with the $34,000 FEI Tryon 1.50m Challenge beginning at 1pm in the George H. Morris Stadium. For more information and a full list of results, please visit www.tryon.com.
Final Results for the $210,000 Tryon Grand Prix for the Governor's Cup presented by Rolex
1. CARRABIS Z, 2003 Zangersheide stallion by Canabis Z x Ma Pomme VD Zwarte Hoek RICHIE MOLONEY (IRL), Equinimity, LLC: 0/82.01/36.957
2. CASALL, 2005 Holsteiner gelding by Casall x F-Cecilia BB ALI WOLFF (USA), Blacklick Bend Farm: 0/86.23/37.812
3. CHILL R Z, 2003 Zangersheide stallion by Chellano Z x Nina R CHARLIE JAYNE (USA), Alex Jayne & Maura Thatcher: 0/81.54/38.422
4. BOO VAN HET KASTANJEHOF, 2001 Belgian Warmblood mare by Thunder Van De Zuuthoeve x Kacha VH Kastanjehof ANDREW WELLES (USA), Peter Welles: 0/78.82/38.637
5. DOBRA DE PORCEYO, 2006 Sport Horse of Spain by Action Breaker x Sanne SCHUYLER RILEY (USA), Wolfstone Stables & Sales Inc: 0/80.89/39.794
6. KISMET 50, 2001 Belgian Warmblood mare by Kannan x Famosa Z CANDICE KING (USA), Bellissimo LLC: 0/83.71/39.879
7. DULIEN VAN DE SMEETS, 2003 Belgian Warmblood mare by Thunder Van De Zuuthoeve JUAN ORTIZ (VEN), Synchronicity Group: 0/82.19/42.346
8. PALOUBET, 2001 Selle Francis gelding by Baloubet Du Rouet x Darling De Gamet WILTON PORTER (USA), Sleepy P Ranch, LLC: 4/76.99
Source: Press release from Tryon International Equestrian Center.
This photo has been added to your cart !Your shopping cart »