Mill Spring, NC - The $34,000 FEI Tryon Speed Stake boasted a large class of international veteran talent, but young Charlotte, NC, based Alise Oken (USA) made easy work of the class aboard her own Kaid Du Ry to collect her first win at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Competition at Tryon Spring 7 continues through the week, highlighting the $127,000 Kingsland Grand Prix on Saturday, May 30, beginning at 7pm and the $25,000 Grand Prix on Sunday with competition starting at 2:15pm.
Oken and Kaid Du Ry saved time wherever they could around course, opting to take the fastest routes and tightest turns. The class of 24 entries saw nine double clear trips, with the top four being separated by less than a second. The duo flew through the timers at 60.08 seconds to take a dominant win. Oken, a student of Laura Kraut (USA), stepped up to the plate and rode a gutsy round, which ultimately secured the win for the duo.
"The course was a stout 1.45m I thought. There were some good stride options but with my horse, he has a smaller stride so I couldn't take advantage necessarily and needed to find other ways to make it the most efficient round possible," said Oken. "I really added in a few places but he's so fast in the air that I was able to make up for some of that. Overall, I thought it was a great course. I decided to do the open water line because I felt like that was the fastest way to go and he handled that really well."
This is Oken's first week of competition at TIEC and she could not be happier with the short commute from her home in Charlotte, NC, to the facility. She will spend the next two weeks at TIEC and will return for part of the Tryon Summer Series before traveling to Europe to catch up with trainer Laura Kraut.
"I'm so happy to be here in Tryon, this is incredibly convenient for us since we're from Charlotte, NC. The facility is shaping up to be something amazing. We couldn't be happier to be here and be a part of this week," said Oken. "I decided to stay in the U.S. for the first part of the summer because there are so many shows offering new FEI classes now. It's a great opportunity for me to stay here and get ranking points before heading to Europe."
Oken and Kaid Du Ry have been together for four years, but the 17-year-old Selle Francais gelding is still a fire-cracker in the ring and has the heart of a four-year-old according to Oken, who has created a strong bond with the gelding in their tenure together.
"He's amazing. He makes my job so easy, I barely do anything when we go in the ring. He walked right in there and just did his job today. I haven't jumped him since Kentucky last week and he was a star today," she said.
The duo have rocked around some big tracks in their time together and Kaid Du Ry knows when he needs to put his game face on according to Oken. Besting a class of seasoned competitors is a highlight for Oken, who is working to earn herself a spot representing the United States in international competition.
"He knows his job and that's what makes him so easy. In the ring he's always spicy for me because he gets excited and that's what makes him tick. When we flat though, that's a different story," she smiled. "We're looking forward to the next few weeks here and then I'll head to Europe with my horses. We're focusing on the big open jumper classes and being consistent in the Grand Prix. I'm really trying to work on my ranking points and also to keep my horses fit and happy because that's when you get the good results."
Final Results for $34,000 FEI Tryon Speed Stake:
1. KAID DU RY, 1998 Selle Francais gelding by Brett Saint Clair x Candy Des Champs
ALISE OKEN (USA), Alise Oken: 0/60.08
2. FLAMINGO K, 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion by Diamant De Semilly x Cilia Van Den Bisschop
RICHIE MOLONEY (IRL), Equinimity LLC: 0/61.53
3. CASPER, 2006 Oldenburg gelding by Contender x Falubet
SHARN WORDLEY (NZL), Sky Group: 0/62.00
4. WINGS, 1998 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Lexicon x Jersey
ANGEL KAROLYI (VEN), Mclain Ward: 0/62.03
5. VENTURO 9, 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion by Canturo x Venise De Reve
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm, LLC: 0/62.15
6. CYRANEIKY, 2003 Oldenburg Springpferd mare by Cheenook x Walderra
JUAN PABLO GNECCO (COL), OnlyJumpers.com: 0/64.47
7. WANNICK WH, 2003 Dutch Warmblood stallion by Heartbreaker x Elseroodnoot
CHRISTINE MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble: 0/65.94
8. BALOU DU REVENTON, 2006 Oldenburg stallion by Comet Obolensky x Georgia
LIUBOV KOCHETOVA (RUS), Liubov Kochetova: 0/66.59
For more information on TIEC and a full schedule, please visit www.tryon.com.