Mill Spring, NC - Eric Navet (FRA) and Catypso made a quick run up the leaderboard in the $35,000 1.50m Tryon Challenge CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) on the second day of FEI competition during the 2017 Tryon Summer Series.
Navet and Catypso clocked their jump-off finish in 38.209 seconds ahead of Hunter Holloway (USA) and VDL Bravo S, who were narrowly edged by Navet and finished in 38.485 seconds. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run's Testify rounded out the top three place finishers, adding four faults to their jump-off time of 36.926 seconds.
Navet and Catypso have had a whirlwind of a spring season together, earning top finishes across the country since the start of 2017. The pair amassed a list of solid performances on the West Coast, before gaining valuable experience in the FEI World Cup™ Finals Omaha 2017 in Omaha, NE, in the spring.
"He had a few good finishes last year, but has stepped into his own. He had a very successful season in Thermal, CA, this winter and finished in fifth in the million there," explained Navet. "We showed in Omaha, NE, for the FEI World Cup™ Finals and I thought that it was an incredible performance for lack of experience at that level."
The pair have only continued forward in good form after competition in the spring, as they collected a grand prix win in their first outing back in Lexington, KY, before capturing their first win at TIEC. The pair navigated the track set by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN), which only saw five combinations advance to the jump-off round.
"I think that the course was well-designed and very well-built. Michel, in my opinion, is one of the best course builders at the moment. The track was nice to ride all around," said Navet. "It was also subtle. I didn't look terribly difficult when you walked it, but I think that is how the best course builders shine."
"I didn't see Hunter's round so I didn't know how fast she was, but wanted to go into the ring and do our own thing. I didn't want to go too fast before the class on Saturday, but I was lucky cause it was very tight," he added.
Catypso, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding (Catoki x Calypso II) owned by Signe Ostby, has been a labor of love for Navet and business partner Karl Cook, as Cook purchased the gelding in December of his five-year-old season. Navet explained, "It has been a process to bring him along to this level. It's been about four years and he only started jumping the grand prix classes last fall. He needed to adjust to the system, but is flourishing and it's been a good journey."
The duo will head back to the West Coast after contesting this week's CSI 3* and next week's CSI 4* at the venue. Their East Coast tour has gone exceedingly well and Navet is hopeful for the future with Catypso.
"I'd like to do the grand prix next week as well. We'll go back to California after that to work with some of the younger horses and competing there through the summer and fall. My goal would be to have both Karl and I qualify for the FEI World Cup™ Finals next year in Paris. That's my hometown and it would be very special to compete there with Catypso," concluded Navet.
Competition continues at TIEC tomorrow featuring the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby on the Grass Complex at 8:00 a.m., ahead of the $6,000 1.40m Nutrena® Classic CSI 3* in the George H. Morris Arena at 2:00 p.m. For more information on TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com