After covering a series of Spring shows on the blog that concluded with Upperville, I returned to Florida and time flew by as I anticipated heading back up to Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina for two weeks. Tryon is currently on their fourth and final week of their initial summer series and I attended their Summer 2 & 3 shows. It was during the first few days of Week 2 when I said while driving home after a long (and really fun) show day, “I could use AT LEAST four more weeks of this place.” And then the next day Tryon announced that they added four more dates to form a nationally-rated August Series, including one FEI date with a CSI3* $127,000 Grand Prix. Endless summer.
I’m also excited because the Tryon posts that I have planned coming up on the blog not only include separate Scenes posts for both weeks, but also a post with updates made to the facility since I last shared a tour in the Spring. The venue is growing so quickly that there was even a new ring added to the show schedule (Ring 6) for Summer 2 that wasn’t there the week prior for Summer 1. If you’re thinking of making plans for Tryon for the August dates (and fingers crossed I’ll meet more of you there then), I’ll also be sharing details on a local business dedicated to finding you the perfect accommodations while you’re in town showing, which I was incredibly lucky to experience first hand on this past visit. Imagine all of the details taken care of so that you can focus on showing and spending time with family and friends. And speaking of details, Tryon once again blew me away with how they’ve thought of everything a spectator, competitor, and even non-horse person could want out of a horse show, which I’m excited to share with you, starting with these Scenes from Tryon Summer 2.
I arrived on Thursday after driving up from Wellington, and my first day attending was bright and early for the USHJA National Hunter Derby on Friday morning. I was a little tired after the 10 hour drive, but so excited to be back on the show grounds.
Alan Korotkin’s Castlewood crew had a strong showing in the Derby, lead by Olivia Notman and Samantha Shinn (pictured).
One of the jumps in the Hunter ring had rails made out of real wood planks, which was very authentic hunt vibe-y.
I wasn’t the only one tired after an early morning.
Daniel Geitner had very impressive rounds and took home 1st place. He was probably one of the busiest riders between all of the hunter rings during the two weeks I was at Tryon.
Steve Heineke watching his rider Jane Olson Fisher in between his own rounds. One of his horses in the Derby was named Swag, which is kind of awesome.
Samantha Shinn’s Quintos Z was being very friendly in the schooling ring.
Carlos Aramburo’s Unikat placed 3rd in the Derby, but probably 1st in cuteness.
Hana Bieling and World’s Fair are poised as they enter the ring for their turn on course. Hana and I share the same hometown of Naples, FL.
Carlos Amaburo sizing up the course. He took home 2nd and 6th.
Olivia Notman and Aaron share a sweet moment after their 8th place finish. Olivia started riding Aaron only a few months ago at the end of WEF and they are already having a blast in the big eq and the occasional Derby.
Heritage Farm’s Emily Perez had a successful run in the equitation during Tryon Summer 1 & 2, winning the Maclay and USEF Talent Search (twice), and finishing 2nd in the Medal and WIHS Overall.
Riley Newsome was sky high in the Medium Jr/AO class.
Keely McIntosh riding Eddy Money to a 2nd place in the Mediums on Saturday.
This golf cart was decked out for the 4th of July, which was on the Saturday of Summer 2.
Newstead riders Mary Elizabeth Cordia and Eliza Fauntleroy painted their faces for the 4th before collectively taking 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th in the Children’s Jumpers.
Their groom also happily obliged to painting his face. When I asked him about it, we concluded that it wasn’t a coincidence that this happened while their head trainer was out of town for the weekend.
At the in-gate. Feeling all of the feelings.
Sophie Simpson and Abbey Road taking the tight turns to a 2nd place finish in the Low Classic jump off.
Top trainer Andre Dignelli and his Heritage Farm group were a fixture atop the leaderboards during Summer 1 & 2.
Daisy Farish of Versailles, KY guiding Pioneer to a 2nd place finish in the USEF Talent Search.
Coco Fath, a talented junior rider who also trains with Andre Dignelli, competed in the jumpers, equitation, and hunters.
There was an Adequan circle of doom in the George Morris Arena at one point.
Alex Granato and Mullaghdrin Rado pop over the water effortlessly.
Catching the mountain views mid jump-off.
This cute little dog was hanging out at the in-gate gazebo and walking along the ledge, never coming close to falling, despite my worries.
Multi-talented equestrians hanging out at the brand new Ring 6.
Jamie Buis is all smiles even before winning Friday’s Children’s Jumper class.
The log cabin backdrops are perfect.
Carly Dvorkin going all out in the jump off.
The crowd at Saturday Night Lights was very large despite it being a holiday and there being no fireworks due to the horses.
I took a picture standing awkwardly with my arm around the Tryon horse mascot but I’m posting this one instead.
I would like to watch each of the Grand Prix riders ride the mechanical bull before Saturday Night Lights.
Dragging the schooling area in anticipation of riders beginning to warm-up for the night’s events.
Considering myself warned.
Totally getting one of these unicorn tattoos next time.
As the riders began to warm-up, crowds gathered on the bridge above to preview the action.
The atmosphere at Saturday Night Lights for the 4th was fun and refreshing. American flags were given out and waved frequently as lively music played.
Spectators in the Legends Club pull out their phones to catch the skydivers in action.
The dramatic entrance with the American flag was accompanied by patriotic music and made the whole scene breath-taking.
Heritage rider Emily Perez rocked the National Anthem. I love seeing riders share their skills in and out of the ring.
The band for the evening, 20 Ride, a Zac Brown Tribute band, was fantastic and had the place rocking. I don’t know what the real Zac Brown Band actually looks like, so you could have told me these guys were them and I would have probably believed you. They sounded like the real deal and had the crowd very excited.
The main event began as the sun continued to set.
Tori Colvin debuted her new horse, Echo Von’t Spieveld, during Saturday Night Lights. This picture should leave very little doubt of their imminent success together.
The talented Brittni Raflowitz of ESI Show Jumpers has been a fixture at Tryon since their Spring shows and it was fun to watch her have another solid round in the Grand Prix.
Schuyler Riley is all smiles after going double clear in the jump off. She was the only American of 5 in the jump off, but pulled off the win much to the delight of the July 4th crowd. “American Woman” was played as she galloped around the ring fist pumping to the crowd.
The next day I was right back at the George Morris Arena for more jumper action.
So at this point I should address Victoria Colvin’s total dominance of Tryon Summer 2. She won:
- Three High Performance Hunter classes
- Five 3’6″ Junior Hunter classes (including the Classic)
- Performance Hunter 3’6″ (1st and 2nd)
- WIHS Overall (Hunter and Jumper)
- $10k 1.4m High Jr/AO Classic (1st and 2nd)
- $10k 1.45m Open Jumper Class
- $10k Under 25 Grand Prix
And she occasionally went over jumps with just one hand, like below.
Bettertimes gives Tori a loving nudge after their win in the U25.
View from the top.
When your horse knows you aren’t paying attention and cheeses for a picture.
Lucas Porter said he enjoyed riding at Tryon to prepare for the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in Lexington.
A familiar sight: Alex Duval and XM going for it in the Medium Classic jump off.
…and then winning it shortly after.
Jumper course design: Just add water.
Mary Elizabeth Cordia and Thrift Shop cleaned up in the Equitation rounds over the weekend, taking three 1sts in the Taylor Harris, Medal and Maclay. Mary Elizabeth was featured in my Junior Riders to Watch post.
Her groom, Valentine, was probably as excited and proud as anyone about it and wanted to make sure Thrift Shop was sporting his blue ribbon as they walked back to the barn together.
Mary Elizabeth’s mom, Liz, makes a habit of lifting her leg whenever Mary Elizabeth goes over the jump to “help” them out. This motion is usually accompanied by sound effects.
The Insta-famous Margot Lynne Hirsch visited Tryon and was dominating the hunter rings.
Tryon: Put your feet up and stay awhile.
As always, the Sunday ice cream social is a welcome treat during the hot summer months. My vanilla scoop with rainbow sprinkles literally didn’t stand a chance once it was handed to me.
So, how many horse shows have their own coloring book? This is an awesome idea. Fun bonus fact: the horse’s name on the cover is Neli.
The award for coolest schooling shirt goes to…
This is William Tell, an adorable pup who belongs to the Tucci by Newstar vendor at Tryon. If you are at Tryon, make sure you go meet him and get his opinion on any boots you try on.
And that just about wraps up Scenes from Week 1. Can’t wait to share the rest of my Tryon posts, coming very soon.
Thanks for reading.