Mill Spring, NC - Candice King of Wellington, FL, and Wyndmont Inc.'s Valinski S took home top honors in the $25,000 Suncast® 1.45m Welcome Stake today at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). This was the largest purse offered in the Suncast® Welcome Stake series so far this season and the class of 29 entries was one of the biggest classes the division has seen in the Tryon Spring Series. Tryon Spring 6 will continue with competition through Sunday, May 24, and the Tryon Spring Series will conclude on Sunday, June 7. The highlight class of the week, the second "Saturday Night Lights" event will take place Saturday, May 23, and will showcase the $75,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix beginning at 6:30pm.
King and Valinski S rode a methodical and clean round in 68.828 seconds to move them forward to the 13-horse jump-off round. The jump-off did not see a double clear trip till nearly halfway through the order of go. The pressure was on, as King and her first mount, Zephyr, ran into trouble at the end of their ride, which led to elimination. King and Valinski S are beginning a very new partnership, as this is only the duo's third class together.
"That class was a lot of fun. It's only our third class together and honestly my third time ever sitting on him. Michael Dorman and Ronnie Beard asked me last week to help them out with him and Michael has been riding him in the days in between classes and in the morning. He has been doing an excellent job with him and it shows," said King.
King and Valinksi S bested a class of competitive riders preparing for the $75,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix on Saturday. King and Valinski S will contest their second "Saturday Night Lights" competition of the season, looking to improve upon their fourth place finish last weekend.
"It's my third course on him and I couldn't be happier. I was double clean and we were fourth on Saturday night in the Grand Prix, so I was just thrilled," she continued. "To go double clear again today is great and the horse is so talented. I'm looking forward to this weekend on him."
The course, designed by Florencio Hernandez (MEX), proved difficult as rails were pulled throughout the course. King piloted both of her mounts through the first round of competition to the jump-off.
"I think Florencio did a beautiful job. I've jumped many courses of his and I think he's very good at building a good course for what the competition is and it's always strong enough but safe," she said. " I walked it and there were some good questions and it was definitely strong enough for what the competitors were and you definitely had to ride."
King will base herself at TIEC for the remainder of the summer and is looking forward to the many opportunities the facility has to offer riders and competitors of all levels.
"I lived in the Carolinas for a long time and loved it and we've always enjoyed being here. The people are great and it is just horse country. They've done a phenomenal job with this facility, you can't knock anything," commented King. "From the stabling to accessibility for the riders and the footing for the horses, all of the details are here so it's been really exciting to be able to call this facility home."
Final Results for $25,000 Suncast® 1.45m Welcome Stake:
1. Valinski S, 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Nijinski x Rockina
Candice King, Wyndmont, Inc.: 0/0/45.299
2. Bahrain 8, Zangersheide gelding by Balougran Z x Goldfee 295
Daniel Damen, Seth Vallhonrat: 0/0/46.122
3. Binkie, 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Larino x Whisper B
David Blake, Pine Hollow Farm: 0/0/47.078
4. Osiris, 1996 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Polydox x Zanette
Gemma Paternoster, Julia Harrison-Lee: 0/0/53.285
5. Kenwood, 2003 Oldenburg gelding by Kannan x Gertie
Daniel Geitner, The Kenwood Syndicate: 0/4/43.563
6. Basje, 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Larino x Valencia
Harold Chopping, Kenrda Bullington: 0/4/43.942
7. Bull Run's Eternal, 2003 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Toulon x Corry
Kristen Vanerveen, Bull Run Jumpers One, LLC: 0/4/44.604
8. Calida 55, 2004 Oldenburg mare by Converter x Landgraefin
Kyle Timm, Apex Equestrian Center: 0/4/44.783