Angel Karolyi and Venus Take Home Top Honors in $34,000 Suncast® 1.45 FEI Welcome

Angel Karolyi and Venus (Photo: ©BarryKosterPhotography)
Angel Karolyi and Venus (Photo: ©BarryKosterPhotography)

Mill Spring, NC - The second day of FEI competition continued at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) with the $34,00 Suncast® 1.45m FEI Welcome. Venezuela's Angel Karolyi collected a big win aboard 2002 Dutch Warmblood mare, Venus, owned by Raylyn Farms. The duo bested a six-horse jump-off, tripping the timers in 40.341 seconds to secure Karolyi's first FEI win at TIEC this season. Kaitlin Campbell (USA) aboard veteran mount Rocky W followed in second, finishing in 41.021 seconds. Liubov Kochetova (RUS) and Balou Du Reventon rounded out the top three with a time of 41.893 seconds.

The class saw 40 combinations test the course designed by Hector Loyola (PRI), who will continue to serve as the FEI course designer in the George H. Morris Arena in the Tryon Stadium for the remainder of Tryon Summer 2 competition. Karolyi and Venus have performed very well at TIEC and finally clinched a victory that was seemingly long overdue.

Kaitlin Campbell and Rocky W (Photo: ©BarryKosterPhotography)
Kaitlin Campbell and Rocky W (Photo: ©BarryKosterPhotography)

"Today's track definitely seemed difficult when I walked it this morning. There were turns right out of the corners to the triple bar and triple combination and I thought both questions would be pretty testing," said Karolyi. "The open water line was also tight, so overall I thought it was a great course for the class." "There were more clear rounds than I expected and I thought from the beginning of the class that the jump-off would be really quick and fast," he remarked. "There were a couple turns that I didn't see people trying and I took a big risk to the last inside turn and that helped. I saw a line that most of the people I had talked with didn't think was there, but I found it on course and just needed to ride it very accurately to make it happen, so I went for it."

Karolyi and Venus have had spectacular spring and summer seasons at TIEC, racking up several top five finishes and consistently qualifying for jump-off rounds in many of their classes together. The mare really tries according to Karolyi, which is what makes her so special in the ring. "She's a super horse. She always tries her hardest. She's very scopey and I think we've gotten a little unlucky in terms of actually pulling out a win. She was really good here in the spring," he continued. "We made some adjustments after watching my videos on her and she's handled them really well. She placed fifth last week in the big Grand Prix and fifth in the FEI Speed last week too."

Angel Karolyi and Venus in their presentation ceremony with Lauren Tisbo of Suncast® (Photo: ©BarryKosterPhotography)
Angel Karolyi and Venus in their presentation ceremony with Lauren Tisbo of Suncast® (Photo: ©BarryKosterPhotography)

The mare continues to thrive under Karolyi's guidance and the duo seems to always be in the mix during all of their classes. Venus has an impressive competition background, as both Kent Farrington and Marilyn Little were instrumental in giving the mare top international experience before Karolyi took over the ride last year. "I'm really happy for her that we were able to win this class. She is always working so hard for me and she deserves this win. I know she's always right there at the top and I think this win is exactly what we needed," he noted.

A familiar face around the venue with an impressive and seemingly ever-growing string of horses competing, TIEC has provided an opportunity for Karolyi to compete at the highest levels of the sport, while also helping to bring some of his new mounts into the spotlight. "Mark Bellissimo and the partners have done an incredible job developing this facility and I think it's going to continue building on the success it has already seen so far this year," he commented. "The venue is going to bring a lot of big events here in the future and I'm looking forward to watching it unfold."

Final Results for $34,000 Suncast® 1.45m FEI Welcome

1. VENUS, 2002 Dutch Warmblood mare by Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve x Pascha W ANGEL KAROLYI (VEN), Raylyn Farms: 0/0/40.341

2. ROCKY W, 1998 Dutch Warmblood stallion by Libero H x Mona Liza KAITLIN CAMPBELL (USA), Kaitlin Campbell: 0/0/41.021

3. BALOU DU REVENTON, 2006 Oldenburg stallion by Cornet Obolensky x Georgia LIUBOV KOCHETOVA (RUS), Liubov Kochetova: 0/0/41.893

4. BALOUMINA DU RY, 2003 Oldenburg Springpferd mare by Balou Du Rouet x Drosselfee BRITTNI RAFLOWITZ (USA), ESI Show Jumpers, Inc: 0/0/42.267

5. ALLURE G, 2005 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Oxfort x Ulette HECTOR FLORENTINO (DOM), Hector Florentino: 0/0/43.035

6. CORINO, 2004 Holsteiner gelding by Clearway x Ohara SHARN WORDLEY (NZL), Sharn Wordley: 0/0/45.946

7. PALOUBET, 2001 Selle Francais gelding by Baloubet Du Rouet x Darling De Gamet WILTON PORTER (USA), Sleepy P. Ranch, LLC: 0/4/42.186

8. ENTRE NOUS, 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Conan Z x Topia Van De Padenborre LAUREN TISBO (USA), Tequestrian, LLC: 0/4/42.186

The $127,000 Ariat® Grand Prix will begin at 8pm on Saturday, July 4, with an array of family fun and entertainment beginning between 5pm-6pm.

For a full list of results and weekly schedule, please visit