Mill Spring, NC -Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) hosted the third dressage competition of the year this past weekend, which began on Saturday, August 13, and continued through Sunday, August 14, in preparation for the second FEI CDI 3* presented by Adequan®, which will be hosted at the venue the second weekend of September, opening on Thursday, September 8, and concluding Sunday, September 11.
Competition began on Saturday, August 13, and continued through the end of day Sunday, serving as a qualifying competition for the 2016 Great American/USDF Regional Championships, the USDF/Dover Adult Program, and Col Bengt Ljungquist Memorial Championships.
The competition featured nearly 100 entries and included top performances from Christopher Hickey of Wellington, FL, who championed each of the seven classes in which he was entered and earned five scores above the 70% mark. Kaitlin Blythe of Rougemont, NC, and Fine Diamond MF recorded the highest score of the weekend, receiving a 76.591% in the USEF Training Level 3 Test, while Doug Payne of Aiken, SC, competed mounts in both the jumper and dressage competitions, which ran simultaneously for the first time in facility history, piloting Finale to a first place finish in the USEF First Level Test with a score of 73.704%.
The second international dressage competition of the 2016 season is set to follow the inaugural FEI CDI 3* hosted at the venue in late April, which featured top riders from the United States and Canada, including Canadian rider, Megan Lane, who was selected to represent her home nation of Canada at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as well as Ashley Holzer (CAN), a former Olympian, who competed at the 1988, 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympic Games. Holzer finished a banner week at the venue, taking top honors in the FEI Grand Prix and the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle aboard Dressed In Black.
"This is my first time here and honestly I had no words. I was absolutely blown away. I'm going to make sure that we are here, year after year, with all of my horses," commented Lane, when speaking about the opportunities available at the facility. "This is an incredible venue and it's just amazing. You can bring your top level FEI horses here and also school some of the greener horses as the same time. It really fits everything you could ever want in a competition facility."
As TIEC continues to expand and cultivate an enthusiastic atmosphere surrounding the sport of dressage, the second CDI 3* of the season will offer exhibitors the opportunity to contest international competition at the state-of-the-art facility in the foothills region of the Carolinas, as many horse and rider combinations will begin their final preparations before the fall championship season.
"We were very pleased with the turnout and response to the first CDI in April and we're expecting these shows to continue building in size and stature," said Thomas Baur, Director of International Dressage at TIEC. "The venue is amazing. It's one of the best I've ever seen. The layout is very manageable and everything is quite close. I really think it's incredible. It's an amazing place."
The first CDI hosted in April 2016 saw a tremendous performance from Ashley Holzer and Dressed In Black, a 2005 Westphalian stallion (Dreseann x Silvano) owned by Holzer and Diane Fellows, as the pair took both the FEI Grand Prix CDI 3* presented by Adequan® and the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3* presented by Adequan®. The pair earned a 70.320% in the Grand Prix before taking the Grand Prix Freestyle with a score of 71.502%.
"I have to say, just wow. This is unbelievable. I will be here with a lot of horses, for sure for many years to come. This is going to grow the sport in unbelievable ways," added Holzer.
Alongside the FEI CDI 3* presented by Adequan®, the venue will also welcome the first championship caliber competition for the sport of eventing in the week prior to the start of the FEI CDI 3*, as the Nutrena® USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover are set to begin Wednesday, August 31, and continue through Sunday, September 4.
For more information on TIEC please visit www.tryon.com