During the two weeks I spent at Tryon Summer in July, I occasionally flipped over to video mode to capture a few of my favorite faces and moments. Now, with August flying by and and indoors looming, I made this video to re-live a little of the summer fun I had at Tryon, tan-lines not included. Can’t wait to return in the fall and see you guys there.
Back in May, I traveled to the Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina for their Spring 7 show and wrote a post giving a tour of the beautiful facility. I recently returned for two weeks of the summer series in July and there were many very exciting new additions to the property. If you haven’t read the original Tour of Tryon International Equestrian Center post, I recommend starting there to see the impressive barns, rings, and layout of the property. In this post, I’ll be sharing the updates to the facility that have happened since my last visit in May (and there are some GOOD ones, so keep reading…)
Unlike in the Spring when I only had the chance to experience Tryon for one week (see that post here), this summer I was able to stay for two weeks and experience double the number of fun moments throughout the bustling Tryon Summer series. If you missed it, here are the scenes from Tryon Summer 2. After Tryon Summer 3, I drove to Lexington, KY for the North American Junior & Young Rider Championships (hence the slight delay on this post!), and there was a loooong train of cars traveling from NC to KY along with me on Monday the 13th. I counted at least five horse trailers within the first hour. I think it’s great that so many barns were at Tryon during the weeks prior in order to prepare for the championship, and the competitiveness of the classes during Tryon Summer could also speak for itself. But in between the hustle of the show day and a busy summer season, there were plenty of little moments to be captured, memories to be made, and faces to meet…
Thursday morning’s $34,000 Welcome Stake featured a course that was causing all sorts of trouble for the 34 entries. Alison Robitaille, 20th in the order, was the first to go clear aboard Cassinja. No one else seemed to be able to conquer the course, with six other riders missing the cut by only one time fault. Enter David Blake and Binkie, winners of the Tryon Summer 1 Grand Prix and last to go in the order. David guided Binkie to a smooth clear round to force a jump off at the last minute, and gained the advantage as the second rider to go. Alison went for it in the jump off but had a rail down, setting up David’s steady clear round for the win.
Schuyler Riley has been busy bolstering her already impressive show jumping resume, winning a stunning three straight FEI Grand Prix classes at the Tryon Summer Series. I watched her win the first two in person, and they were some of the most emotional and thrilling victories I have seen.
Schuyler has been involved in big victories and with special horses in the past, but there is one strange footnote to her career that I discovered during a recent Google search.
“schuyler riley borat”? What?
I think I received my first, “Can you recommend a place to stay?” e-mail before I ever even stepped foot on the Tryon show grounds for the first time this past spring. With significant interest in the summer series that just concluded, four new dates added in August, and an AA-rated fall series, I have received a lot of questions from riders and their families ready to make plans. Tryon International Equestrian Center is in the process of building a beautiful resort on the property, but until its completion there are limited accommodations available, especially during the popular summer and fall series. And with the summer show season up and down the east coast in full swing, which can mean weeks and months at a time spent on the road (I’m personally going on Week 4), I’m a firm believer that accommodations while traveling should feel as much like home as possible after a long show day, and as much like a vacation as possible on every off day. One way to experience luxury and feel like you are truly having a vacation in the mountains on your next trip to TIEC is through a fantastic local company called Tryon Retreats.
I was very excited to visit the Kentucky Horse Park to cover the North American Junior and Young Riders Championships (coverage of Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 here), but I might have been even more excited when I found out that Breyerfest would be happening at the Horse Park at the same time. Breyerfest is an annual convention devoted to all things Breyer–a specific and awesome brand of model horses which are an iconic part of nearly every horse lover’s childhood. I collected Breyer horses when I was younger and still have them all saved at my mom’s house in large tupperware at the top of a closet (if anyone is interested in some circa 1998 Breyers with their original boxes, let me know.) Breyerfest goes on for three days of non-stop fun, and I can’t wait to share with you just a little bit of it. Let me also say, as a disclaimer for the hardcore fans that might find this post through the #Breyerfest hashtag on Instagram, I apologize in advance if I don’t have all of the Breyer terminology 100% correct. Bill Clinton was still in office when I got my last Breyer. However, at the height of my Breyer collecting years ago I would browse eBay for custom painted models and I was also a member of the official Breyer Collectors Club, so yes, it was pretty fun to attend my first ever Breyerfest while in my 20’s. Finally.
Saturday marked the final day of competition in the individual championships for show jumping at NAJYRC. The competition featured two rounds that determined the winners of the junior and young rider division, with the top 12 riders after the first round returning for the second. This final day contributed to the test of endurance the event provides, marking the 4th and 5th rounds in four days for these horses at the highest jump height.
The junior division did not have much movement at the top in today’s competition—the top three riders going in to today all remained in their positions. Sophie Simpson and Juan Pablo Gaspar Albanez both had rails down but maintained their overall brilliance for the weekend to capture the bronze and silver medals. Vivian Yowan continued her remarkable show posting two more clear rounds today, knocking no rails down for all five rounds over the past four days. It was a tremendously impressive display by her and her horse Vornado Van Den Hoendrik.
Here are a few sights from the two rounds of the junior competition.
I’m currently at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park covering the show jumping competition. If you didn’t see it, here’s my recap of Day 1. Day 2 was the team competition in which riders were divided by the zones of their home state. The NAJYRC Championship is one of the few major events that gives junior and young riders the opportunity to ride on a team as they would in the Nation’s Cup or the Olympics and the hope is that’s exactly where we’ll see them in years to come.
To start, here’s a zone map of the states:
The competition also included teams from Canada, Mexico North and Mexico South. Some riders that didn’t have enough other riders from their zone at the event to make a team of three were put on other zone’s teams. The riders’ rounds also factored in to their qualification for the individual championship which will be held Saturday.
Today each rider completed two full rounds, and the best three scores for each round were used for the final team scores. The team with the lowest number of faults among these three best scores won. Here’s how the day played out:
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.