Mill Spring, NC - Andrew Ramsay (USA) and Cocq A Doddle earned the victory in tonight's $86,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix CSI 2*, stopping the timers in an impressive 35.819 seconds at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), in the final international grand prix of the 2017 Tryon Summer Series.
Following closely behind was Marilyn Little (USA) and Clearwater with a time of 36.343 seconds to earn second place honors, while Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and her trusted mount, Bull Run's Faustino De Tili, took home the third place position with a time of 36.565 seconds.
The anticipated highlight class of the week at TIEC boasted 54 total entries, and saw sixteen of those return to test their abilities around the jump-off track set by Martin Otto (GER), who was the evening's course designer. Ramsay had two horses qualified for the jump-off, the other being California 62, who finished in the fifth place position.
Ramsay had the advantage of riding the jump-off course twice, although both of his mounts are quite different. Ramsay elaborated, saying, "It was nice to have two horses to jump-off and have an idea of the track and how it rides, although they are two very different horses. I went third in the jump off with California 62, and she is naturally competitive and fast. We just wanted a solid round. I was thrilled with her. Then Cocq A Doodle came in and I think this jump off suited her a little more."
Ramsay added that Cocq A Doodle, better known in the barn as 'Doodles', is was an appropriate name for the mare saying, "She came with the name and it really fits her personality. She's a fun mare and she is full of opinions. When things work out , it is almost like we are 'doodling' about the course. The more I stay out of her way, the better she jumps. It is an amazing feeling."
Cocq A Doddle, a 2007 Belgian Warmblood mare (Tolan R x Niagara) owned by The Doodle Group, and Ramsay have been partnered for the past year and a half, securing multiple top placing's across the country before landing the big win at TIEC tonight.
"We have spent the past year just developing her and moving her up and she has been fantastic," he commented. "Doddle is a very explosive horse and she has a lot of power. After the first three fences in the jump-off tonight, I kind of got a shot of adrenaline like 'I'm on it! I'm on it!' and it keeps you going," Ramsey added with a laugh.
"Heading to the last fence she just picked up a full gallop and luckily she backed herself up and it worked out for us tonight," he concluded.
Ramsay is excited about the future with the talented mare, with plans to stay in the FEI classes for the rest of the summer, commenting quickly, "We will see where she decides to take us!"
The week marked Ramsay's final time competing at TIEC this summer and he elaborated on the convenience of the facility as a whole and his happiness with the victory tonight.
"This is my first few weeks here and it is a great facility. The layout is very efficient. You aren't trekking all over the place to get to the rings. We have 33 horses here, so it works well being able to get to all of the rings nicely."
Ramsay concluded, saying, "I was told I could not leave TIEC without a win! The class tonight was really a blast. The jump-off was entertaining when the lead kept changing hands, and I am glad I could have the result I did with Doodles. I am thrilled. Hopefully there will be more to come and we will keep at it."
Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) earned the FEI Leading Lady Jumper Rider Award presented by Meg Atkinston of Town & Country Realtors in recognition of her performances in international competition throughout the week.
To learn more about Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), please visit www.tryon.com.