Darragh Kerins (Wellington, FL) took the top call and the yellow rosette in Saturday’s $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC), clearing the short course timers with Skara Glen’s Para Bellum in 38.607 seconds and also piloting Carlos JD Z, the 2009 Zangersheide gelding (Canturo x Baloubet) owned by NRG Farm LLC, to third on a time of 42.011 seconds. Brian Murphy (Berryville, VA) and Denison Park Combat, the 2008 Warmblood gelding (Clinton H x Weinzuber) owned by Allyson & Andrew Lamb, scored second place with their 39.409 second jump-off performance.
Concluding the Tryon Fall Series with a strong showing in the week’s highlight class, Kerins qualified both his rides in the jump-off after successfully navigating the Skip Bailey (Loxahatchee, FL) course design, which tested 15 pairs. Five pairs returned for the jump-off round, where Kerins utilized his position as last in the order of go to pull the lead from Murphy and Denison Park Combat, who had conquered the $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake earlier in the week.
Kerins and the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Singulord Joter x Labor’s VDL Indorado) owned by Hampton Farms LLC, Patricia Hurter and Skara Glen Stables, have been paired together for just over a year, he relayed, and “he’s really come into his own this summer. This is actually the second Grand Prix that he’s won here this season. He’s been off for the last couple of weeks, so this was a great class to do before he shows next week.”
Meanwhile, for Kerins’ top mount Carlos JD Z, it’s been a laid back summer, and Kerins is just bringing him back into competition. “Carlos JD Z is my top horse, and he didn’t get to do much here all summer. This is only his third or fourth class back, and I’m delighted with the way he went.”
Kerins was first to go in the speed phase with Carlos JD Z, and “thought it was quick enough” for the win, he admitted. “Then, when I saw Brian go and take three seconds off my time, I didn’t know what to think! I did have the advantage as I was last to go on Para Bellum, but I had to take risks. It worked out!”
Ending his time at Tryon International Equestrian Center on a high note, Kerins commented that his family has found the venue to be a safe and comfortable home base for the last five months. “My family and I love the place. We’ve been here five months! We had a great time all summer and fall. Tryon has done a great job managing COVID-19, so we’ve felt very safe here as a family. We just love the place, and hope to be back next year!”
Brian Murphy Makes Easy Work of $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake with Denison Park Combat
Brian Murphy (Berryville, VA) and Denison Park Combat clicked in just their second show together to top the $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC), stopping the jump-off timers in 38.216 seconds with one rail. Also pulling a rail and claiming second, Taylor Granat (Bolingbrook, IL) and Escada 289, the 2012 Holsteiner mare (Clearway x Coriano) owned by Windridge Farm LLC, halted the clock at 43.064 seconds. Rounding out the podium on their first-round, four-fault score, Grace Long (The Plains, VA) rode Happiness VD Hazel Hof, the 2012 Belgian Warmblood mare (Falaise de Muze x Ursina) owned by G&T Equestrian to a time of 73.75 seconds and the final podium spot.
One of 12 trips to tour the Skip Bailey (Loxahatchee, FL) course design, Murphy and Granat were the only two horse-and-rider combos to go clear in the first round, both pulling rails in the speed test. While his main goal was to go double-clear, Murphy admitted that the win was a nice alternative result:
“Honestly, I was just trying to go double clear. I didn’t get to see anyone go before me, but I had a plan. I didn’t want to do anything too silly. I’m very proud of him, and hopefully we’ll jump clear later in the week. I’ve had him for two months and this is my second horse show with him; Scott Keach found him for me in Australia, and so far, he’s been a pleasure.”
Murphy and wife Sarah are both equestrians and like to utilize TIEC for two different disciplines, he shared. “We came here during the summer with some of our Event horses because we’re coming back for the four-star [Tryon International Three-Day Event] in two weeks. We brought some more Event horses this week, too,” he explained. “It’s been a funny year, so we haven’t shown a lot. It’s good [sharing the sport together], but it’s difficult. We’re constantly running around the country to different events, whether it be Show Jumping or Eventing.”
Despite a delay in the schedule due to the effects of Hurricane Zeta, Murphy emphasized that the footing weathered the downpour easily. “The course was really nice. We had to do a late start, so it was much harder with the shadows, but it was good. The footing was perfect … I couldn’t believe how good it was. We’ve had a deluge of rain here, and the footing was absolutely perfect. We’ve had crazy weather today and it’s really windy, so kudos to everybody for pushing it [this class] back.”
Murphy concluded, “We love coming here. We always stay in a cabin or rent a house. The food is fantastic. The only disappointing thing this time is that I don’t get to go and play golf because it’s too wet! We love coming here, and can’t wait to come back in two weeks for the [Tryon International Three-Day Event].”
Lauren Palko (Marietta, GA) was named champion aboard her own Beloved in the Pre-Adult Hunter 2’6” division while Leigh Raymer (Columbus, NC) and her own After Hours were named reserve champion.
In the USHJA Hunter 3’ division, Alexandra Dow (Matthews, NC) and Pemberly, owned by Patricia Hines, earned champion status with Lilly Caslin (Charlotte, NC) and her own Narnia earning reserve champion.
Lydia Nelson (Madison Heights, VA) and Dianne Randolph’s Hidden Springs Last Dance were declared champions of the Foothills Child/Adult Hunter 2’ division. In reserve were Emily Hengstmann (Taylors, SC) and her own Cosmos.
In the ProElite Children’s/Adult-Amateur Jumper 1.10m, Ava Sandner (Elmhurst, IL) and Ti Amor B Z took home champion honors for Windridge Farm LLC. Lanie Nash (Taylorsville, GA) and her own Vindicator earned reserve champion honors.
Lois Cooper (Clinton, SC) piloted her own Nyota ODF to win the champion title of the .90 Non-Pro Jumper division and Rachel Hall (Daleville, VA) and I Hate Math, owned by Mane Top Stables, landed reserve champion.
The Tenda 1.10 Jumper division saw Emeline Gilbert (Statesville, NC) named champion with her own Herr Winzig while Shawna Swanson (Waxhaw, NC) earned tied with herself for reserve champion aboard two of her own mounts, Zarino Blue and Concertino de Mies.
For full results from the $25,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix, click here.