Mimi Gochman (Wellington, FL) and Gigi’s Girl BH sliced their way to a win in the $25,000 ProElite Grand Prix at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC), stopping the jump-off timers in 29.27 seconds. Gavin Harley (Wellington, FL) and Corbawido PS, the Wolfstone Stables & Sales Inc.-owned 2012 Oldenburg gelding (Cornet’s Balou x Annette), charged to second on a time of 29.352 seconds, while Katherine Dash (Washington, WA) completed the podium in the irons with HH Casey Jones, the 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Clinton I x Chicca) owned by Play the Game LLC, clearing the short course in 31.877 seconds.
Thirty-nine pairs tested the Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) first round, with only six riders returning for the jump-off challenge. Gochman was able to take several fences at a severe angle, slicing her way through a tightly-built course with the 2008 Dutch Warmblood mare (Vingino x Zaline) owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC.
“I wanted to go for it.” she said of her jump-off performance. “There were six of us and it was my last class of the week. She felt great! My first round was smooth enough that I felt confident. I just wanted to go for it and try my best.” Gochman emphasized, “The footing is amazing! It’s been raining all weekend and it’s still perfect.”
A former mount of McLain Ward, Gigi’s Girl has been Gochman’s ride for “about a year and a half,” she shared. “She’s one of the most scopey horses, and has the biggest stride and heart. She tries her best all the time. She saved my butt today in the jump-off,” Gochman admitted. “I was a little off in the seven, and she just jumped out of the in-and-out with all of her might. It was really fun! She’s also really sweet at home. She likes to cuddle in the stall and she’ll follow you around.”
Having competed in the Medium Junior Jumpers prior to the National Standard Grand Prix, Gochman said she was surprised to find the course familiar, albeit reversed:
“The course was nice. I did the Medium Junior Jumpers earlier, and it was the same course, but backwards. It was kind of interesting to see how the lines would ride. Some of them were the same, and some were different! It was nice because I kind of knew the lines, but since they were in a different direction it made it more challenging.”
Beyond her success in Tryon Fall 4 this week, Gochman also secured an eighth place finish in the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Finals and her team collected a silver medal in the Neue Schule/USEF Prix des States Team Championship. “My week has been super busy, but really good,” Gochman elaborated. “I was eighth in the Medal Finals this morning which was super fun. I also did Prix des States and my team rose up for silver which was amazing. That class is always a blast! I also won the Medium Classic earlier on my other horse. It’s been an amazing week.
“I love it here,” Gochman concluded. “The food is amazing! Sometimes when we’re here really late, it’s nice to be able to just go and walk to dinner. The rings are huge, which is super nice. Tons of big riders come, so it keeps it competitive. I think the horses love it because they get to stay in big, airy stalls. It worked out really well with COVID, too. Everyone is wearing a mask and everything is spaced. I’m having a great time!”
Liza Boyd and Ferrari Cruise to $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Win
Liza Boyd (Camden, SC) and Ferrari claimed the win in Friday’s $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at Tryon International Hunter Derby, adding a handy round score of 202 to a 181 first-round result in order to receive 383 points total. With 379 points to earn second, Victoria Colvin (Loxahatchee, FL) guided William Lyles’ Avatar Z, the 2012 Zangersheide stallion (Arko III x Chang Lee van Berken Broeck), to a handy round score of 204, while Danielle Torano (Wellington, FL) achieved the podium with Faldo II, Jimmy Torano’s 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Baltic VDL x Rienaldine), after producing a total score of 378.5 over the Lewis Pack (USA) course design.
From placing in Grand Prix competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) to scoring big in the Grand Hunter Ring at TIEC, Boyd revealed that the 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Thunder van de Zuutehoeve x Sipora) is actually very new to the Hunters, and was purchased for a client sight-unseen as a Junior Hunter prospect.
“Ferrari is amazing. He just became a Hunter right after COVID-19 hit. At the end of WEF, he got a ribbon in a Grand Prix with Ilan Bluman. After that, Michael Morrissey and his wife, Lourdes, bought him and turned him into a Hunter.” After a few national derbies under his belt, “my brother, Hardin Towell, saw him and tried him. We actually bought him for our client sight-unseen. It was a little scary! He actually just came up to me and said, ‘Finally, you listen to me!’ He’s the one who told us to buy him. It’s fun because it’s a family affair. Even though my brother is a Jumper, he loves the Hunters and sells a lot of top Hunters.”
In the future, Boyd explained, Ferrari will be a Junior Hunter mount for owner Mary Caroline Nolan, and she’s only made slight adjustments to his training since taking over the reins. The biggest change she’s made, she admitted, has to do with equipment for both herself and Ferrari:
“I have to give all of the credit to Lourdes and Michael Morressy,” she emphasized. “They really spent the time with him during COVID-19 and were methodical about transitioning him. The only thing I changed from what Lourdes did was put Brunello’s bit on him. It may be lucky! I get a little superstitious, so I wanted to use his bit.” Tack wasn’t the only thing that might’ve brought her some luck, Boyd mused. “I actually just started being sponsored by Charles Ancona, and today was the first day I used their new shadbelly. It’s always a little bit nerve wracking riding in something new, and it proved to be very lucky!”
Boyd said she felt some pressure heading into the Handy round, and made some last-minute adjustments to her plan based on what she saw happening in the ring: “I always look at the Handy sort of like a jump-off, as far as who went before you, who went double-clear, and how fast they go,” she detailed.
“I changed my plan a little bit right before I walked in. I was going to not risk the high option at the last in-and-out, but then after Tori [Colvin] put such a nice round in, I had to go and do that. I was surprised at how much the horse followed my eye and trusted me, because it’s such a new partnership. I think with all those years with different riders, he really comes off of your aids and is so good on the flat,” she analyzed. “That’s what we need for the Hunters: they have to be rideable, capable, and brave. Clearly, he’s quite brave from all of his Jumper miles. I think he’s found his calling in life! I have to thank the Nolans for giving me the time to produce him and get him ready to be a Junior Hunter.”
Boyd, who has been sticking to regional show venues for safety in uncertain times, reported that she has gained a new appreciation for flatwork and switching up her routine between shows. “I’d say a positive thing about COVID is I’ve gotten better with my flatwork. Because of that, my horses are more rideable and mentally, they’re happier. They’ve done a lot of trail rides and a lot of flatwork, so it’s been good going back to basics. If anything, I’ve learned through COVID that you have to stay on top of your flatwork. Horse shows can kind of get in the way of that. You really have to go back and reset both you and your horse’s flatwork.”
Brian Moggre and Nikita Jolie Jump to Win $6,000 Speed Stake CSI 3*
Brian Moggre (USA) and Nikita Jolie swept through the timers in a time of 61.52 seconds to claim the $6,000 Speed Stake CSI 3* on Friday, dominating a class of 31 entries. In second place, Alberto Michan (ISR) and Loribri, the Antonette Leviste/Yngen Properties, Inc. entry and 2009 Norwegian Warmblood mare (Kingsland SM x Primas), cleared the course in 64.13 seconds, while Gonzalo Guevara (COL) piloted Valentine Car to third on a time of 65.41 seconds with the 2009 Warmblood gelding (Son of Juan Car x Galiani CH) for Fernando Cardenas. Erynn Ballard was top Canadian in 10th place with Ronja.
Moggre’s success with the 2010 Oldenburg mare (Numero Uno x Ladalco) owned by Ashland Farms came after a top-ten placing in Wednesday’s $37,000 EquiSafe Global Power & Speed Stake CSI 3*, and Moggre also collected a fifth place finish in Thursday’s $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3* with MTM Vivre le Reve before topping Friday’s marquis international competition.
“I thought it was a very nice course for this class,” he recapped of the Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) course design. “There were nice turns to make up some time in some places, but it was not too difficult. It looked like a lot of clear rounds with speed being the determining factor, which is good. I was super happy with how my horse was, and it was a great course for her, so I quite liked it.”
Despite tough competition, Moggre credited his mount for her ability to handle curveballs on course, like losing a shoe:
“I think I was quite quick turning back to fence five, and then again to seven,” he analyzed. “In the last line, actually, we pulled a shoe and took a stutter step, so I wasn’t really sure where I was in the line, but we went for it, and she scoped out really nicely over that oxer and was amazing. She’s now done for the week, and will show again next week.”
Moggre offered in conclusion, “I think Tryon is great; my horses love it here. The fall weather is nice, and it’s just not the worst place to finish out the year on a positive note! I have a great horse and a great team! I’m very appreciative of that.”
Victoria Colvin (Loxahatchee, FL) and Game Night topped the Foothills Hunter 2’9” Division for Jan Seawell, and Colin Syquia (Wellington, FL) claimed reserve riding the Chilmark Farm LLC entry, Mr. President.
Michael Dennehy (Littleton, CO) received the champion rosette for his performance aboard Jennifer Hodgson’s Pierre in the High Performance Hunter 4’ Division, while Christina Fisher (Alpharetta, GA) walked away with reserve in the irons with her own Levland.
The Main Street Insurance Large Junior Hunter 3’6” 15 & Under Division named Kat Fuqua (Atlanta, GA) and her own Grand Remo as champion, with reserve awarded to Grace Debney (Hampden, MA) aboard David Raposa Sales LLC’s Highlighter.
Teddy Vlock (Branford, CT) and Cristobar jumped to champion honors in the High Junior/Amateur 1.40m Jumper Division for Vlock Show Stables LLC, while Grace Debney collected another reserve, this time with Temple Equestrian LLC’s Zarina De Vidau.
The ProElite 1.10m Children’s Jumper Division saw Leigh Nanda (Wilmette, IL) claim champion on the week with her own mount El Casper, and reserve belonged to Parker Peacock (Winston Salem, NC) riding Arobase Des Champs for Burkhard Metzger.
Alexandra Vespico (Robesonia, PA) and Sophie Transou’s Ino V Bareelhof were champions in the Farmpaint 1.15m Jumper Division, while Jaafar Reza Quovase (Dearborn, MI) secured reserve aboard Caron Stucky’s Uranus 112.
For full results from the $25,000 ProElite Grand Prix, click here.
For full results from the $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, click here.
For full results from the $6,000 Speed Stake CSI 3*, click here.