Mill Spring, NC- Hayley Waters of Sparr, FL, took the top prize in the $3,500 NAL Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic besting the class of 23 entries. Waters and Carthesino Z finished the first track in 78.314 seconds and completed the jump-off nearly three seconds faster than the second place finishers, Madeline Thatcher aboard Skilliane De Varnel, crossing the timers in 30.628 seconds.
"He's a really quick horse, and he turns really well in the ring. I know I can ask him for the tight turns, and he's super careful all the way around," commented Waters. "I trust him at the jumps, and he's confident in the ring, so I felt like he did a really great job for me today."
The course had several tight inside turns that made riders work hard to finish clear and within the time allowed. Waters looked to take the risky turns, but knew that Carthesino Z would stay with her throughout the course. "I definitely thought the inside turn to the last fence was going to be hard. I didn't know if it was going to be faster to go inside or right around, but when I was riding and saw it, it was right there so I just took a chance and went for it and he handled it brilliantly," she said.
Carthesino Z packs a lot of punch for his smaller and more compact frame. He can turn on a dime and made the 1.20m course look easy. Waters, who has been riding the gelding for a little bit over a year, has been impressed with his ability to step up to the plate and is looking to move him towards the High Amateur classes over the summer.
"He's just the cutest thing I've ever seen. We started him mostly in the Lows and then we moved him to the Mediums when we were in Ocala this winter, so this is his first week back from his vacation after the winter season," commented Waters. "I'm hoping to move him up to the Highs pretty soon at some point this summer."
Waters competed two horses in the $50,000 Tryon Grand Prix held last night, May 16, under the lights in the George H. Morris Stadium. She piloted both mounts around the large Guilherme Jorge (BRA) with no jumping faults, adding only time penalties to both rounds. The numerous opportunities TIEC offers have made it a successful stop in her seasonal schedule this year.
"We came to TIEC last fall, and we decided that it was a place we wanted to continue competing at. The atmosphere is perfect and everything is so beautiful. The footing is also just top notch. Overall it's a great show," she said. "I've been able to gain valuable experience here, and we're hoping to come back in July after we do Devon and Upperville later in the month."
Madeline Thatcher of West Bluffdale, UT, finished the class in second and third place. She rode to second aboard Skilliane De Varnel in 33.352 seconds and Dolce Vita to third in 33.943 seconds.
For more information on TIEC and a full list of results, please visit www.tryon.com.