At the midway point of the 2021 Tryon Spring Series, it has already been a record-breaking season at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC). Tryon Spring 3, highlighting World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) Week, featured a double USHJA Hunter Derby day with national and international competition, as well as USEF Premier and Jumper Level 4 competition nearly double in entry numbers from prior years. From handy rounds to thrilling jump-offs with nail-biting conclusions, the final week of national competition before FEI Jumping returns to the venue was full of special moments. Read below to view highlights from Tryon Spring 3.

Kelli Cruciotti-VanderVeen (Wellington, FL) and Hadja van Orshof gave fans the only double-clear round of the night to win the $30,000 Cleghorn Gun Club Grand Prix at TIEC, stopping the jump-off timers in 49.231 seconds. Gavin Harley (Wellington, FL) was runner-up with one rail down in the jump-off, riding the E2 Show Jumpers’ entry, Very Chic du Tillard, the 2009 Selle Francais gelding (Diamant de Semilly x Jumping Queen), to a time of 40.334 seconds. Schuyler Riley (Wellington, FL) piloted Robin de Ponthual, the 2005 Selle Francais gelding (Elf d’Or x Calypso d’Herbiers) owned by Katherine Gallagher, to a clear first round with just one time fault on a time of 81.187 seconds to claim third. Top Canadian in this class was Sean Jobin with Darius, who were 8th.

Cruciotti-VanderVeen and her own 2007 Belgian Warmblood mare (Cabrio van de Heffinck x Victory van Orshof) have been winners at TIEC and beyond, but this win in particular was special for the pair because it was “Hadja’s” first win back after rehabilitating from an injury that could have been career-ending, she revealed:

“It’s a very emotional win for me because this horse had a year and a half off for basically a career-ending injury that nobody thought she could come back from, and this is her first Grand Prix win since coming back, so it’s very emotional,” Cruciotti-VanderVeen revealed. “It came full circle, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m so blessed by everyone who put in so much effort and never gave up on her.”

Winning is in the Cards for Tomas Yofre and Cardora in $25,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake

The only pair to go double-clear after two rounds of competition in the $25,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake, Tomas Yofre (Lexington, KY) and Cardora produced a winning time of 39.064. Christina Webb (Raleigh, NC) and FVF Sailor Man, the Fox View Farm entry and 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Popeye K x Baby Grande), dropped one rail and finished the course in a time of 38.279 for reserve, while third place went to Ramiro Quintana (Wellington, FL) and Castana LS La Silla, the 2009 La Silla mare (Quintero x Ratina Z), after their four-fault, 41.777-second run. For Canada, Samantha Rice and Ringwood Zebo placed 4th, while Sean Jobin and Darius were 5th.

The Catsy Cruz (MEX) designed course challenged 34 entries in the first round, with only four duos returning for the jump-off round. While Yofre and the 2010 Holsteiner mare (Caretino x Tamara V) owned by Stellium Sport Horses LLC have only been paired together for a few months, they are already clicking as a team, he shared.

“She is amazing. I’ve had her for four months, and she’s done very well, so I’m happy.” The trailblazers for both the first and second rounds of competition, Yofre reported that his plan was to focus on the technical difficulty of the track while keeping the time in mind. “I was the first to go in, and it was technically difficult. I had a plan, and I just stuck to the plan and it worked out. The times were very close.”

Tryon Spring 3/WCHR Hunter Highlights:

Nora H. Zimmett (Decatur, GA) and her own Lively Z earned champion honors in the Adult-Amateur Hunter 36-49 Division, with reserve honors named to Alexandra Beyrer (Setauket, NY) aboard Caytano for New England Farm.

The Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” Hunter Combined Division named Isabel Harbour (Alpharetta, GA) and Fitz champion on the week for IMH Equine, LLC, and Kelli Gibson (Milton, GA) claimed reserve aboard Tycoon for Kellington LLC.

The Coca-Cola® High Performance Hunter 4’ Division was topped by Greg Crolick (Clarkston, MI) aboard Jon Cotton’s Testify, while Michael Britt-Leon earned reserve on the week with Kelly Sims’ Private I.

Beaverwood’s Foxberry was crowned champion of the Children’s Pony Hunter Division with Katherine Mercer (Wellington, FL) in the irons for TLP LLC, and Margaret Harris (Pike Road, AL) rode her own Northwind Country Squirrel to reserve.

The Green Hunter 3’ Division congratulated Colin Syquia (Wellington, FL) and Wherewithal for their champion efforts on behalf of Christina Mohr, while Lindsay Ayres (Knoxville, TN) piloted Riddikulous to reserve for Molly Welborn.

Isabelle Ehman (Milton, GA) and Katherine Paul’s Kudos were named champions of the Ride Every Stride USHJA Hunter 2’9” Division, with reserve awarded to Austin Cumming (Madison, GA) and Stephanie Treadaway’s Call You Mine.

For full results from the $25,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake, click here.
For full results from the $30,000 Cleghorn Gun Club Grand Prix, click here.

Tryon Spring Series competition continues through Sunday, June 13, with the return of FEI Jumping to the venue starting Tryon Spring 4. Traditional “Saturday Night Lights” activities will resume monthly in June, with more information to come.