Tryon International Equestrian Center: Spring Photo Journal

In my first post about the Spring 7 show at Tryon International Equestrian Center, I wanted to give you a tour of the stunning grounds since many of you haven’t had a chance to visit yet. There was also a bustling show going on during Tryon Spring 7, the first FEI sanctioned show at Tryon. Here are some of the sights and scenes that happened during the week! Scenes from the Saturday Night Lights Grand Prix were so plentiful that I put them in their own post, which can be viewed here. And for even more day-to-day Tryon photos, I also posted daily on Instagram.

Things start bright and early at Tryon–or in this morning’s case, early and foggy.

The sun tries to break through as the show grounds await the first rides of the day.


Riders take a break from schooling to survey the action.

You can tell Tryon is a new facility because most of the wooden fences are entirely devoid of any pony bite marks.

Andre Mershad soars in the Jr/AO Jumpers early in the week.

Paige Bellissimo and De Beers competing in the Jr/AO Jumpers.

Flashing a smile during the flat class.

Checking out the course from the saddle….and showing off some awesome bows.

Watching the class with rider friends and ponies.

A little girl brought some friends to the show with her to learn new tricks.

One stable’s ribbon collection that I couldn’t help but gawk at was Wayside Farm’s, who I stopped briefly to chat with. Even more amazingly, all of these ribbons are only from hunter classes and are from only a week and a half of showing. Wow.

The Sleepy P team prepares Lucas Porter to enter the Grand Prix ring.

It may be up in the mountains, but it can get hot during the middle of the day.


Sophie Simpson, pictured here flying high in the Classic, was a fixture atop the leaderboards over the weekend.

I noticed David and Izzy Biesel right away during the Small Pony Hunters. David is a Grand Prix rider and trainer from Ohio, and his daughter Izzy is fast becoming a star of the pony divisions.

David and Izzy discuss the course. At one point, while standing with Izzy and her pony Weebiscuit at the end-gate, David took off his hat and put it on Weebiscuit’s head. I was at the other side of the schooling ring and couldn’t get a picture, but hopefully he will do it again sometime soon.

David and Izzy Biesel doing their routine post-round hi-five.

David and Izzy celebrating after a successful round. They had a very intricate handshake/hi five worked out that would make any other rider/trainer combo jealous.

A family photo after Izzy’s great round. She would go on to win the Small Pony Hunter Classic. Winning runs in the family too, as David won the 2nd FEI Grand Prix during the Spring 8 show the next week. Wife and mom, Paige, also had 1st and 2nd place finishes in the A/O Hunters during Spring 7 & 8. There is something special to me about seeing an equestrian family that truly enjoys the sport and contributes to it in such a positive way.

That moment when your horse is very vocal about the results of the class.


The main room inside the Legends Club has a video of the action outside.

This picture of the VIP Legends Club is already outdated–a testament to the torrid pace of progress being set at Tryon. The front facing side has been finished and the Rolex clock tower unveiled.

Alise Oken also had a great week, placing first the $34k Speed Stake on Thursday, and winning again in the $34k Welcome Stake for Spring 8.

Course Designer Manuel Esperanza gave riders a water jump option in the Grand Prix ring that many riders used as a way to practice for upcoming summer shows.

Lucas Porter with the fist pump after his superb Jump Off in Sunday’s $25k Grand Prix that landed him in 2nd overall.

Grand Prix rider and trainer Juan Ortiz gives some last minute leadline coaching.

It’s never too early for bows.

Ice cream social on Saturday? Sign me up. They also had an exhibitor party on Friday with some extremely delicious food.

These two riders were enjoying some time on the lawn before the exhibitors party. They had just flown in and spent the day schooling in preparation for the pony divisions on Saturday and Sunday.

This lineup came from the 2’6″ Hopeful Hunter Undersaddle, where Zoie Cooke and her pony Georgia (short for Georgia on my Mind) pulled out the win over three much larger competitors.

Do you ever get that feeling like you’re being watched when you go over a jump?

Anxiously watching the video board to see if your jump off time will hold up while your horse just looks cute.

Talented jumper rider Alex Duval sporting her 3rd place ribbon in the Medium Classic.

Some of the best moments are waiting at the in-gate.

I saw smile after smile after each rider exited the Grand Prix ring, and the fun at Tryon is only just beginning.


Still counting the days until the Tryon summer shows begin? To pass the time, be sure to check out my other posts on Tryon in the ‘You Might Also Like’ section below! See you in July!

Update: The all new “Travel Guides” tab on the blog features guides of where to stay and what to do in various horse show towns across the U.S., and Tryon is up first! Click here to visit the all new Tryon Travel Guide for suggestions for accommodations, restaurants, and activities in the area. The page will be updated regularly.

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