Mill Spring, NC – Equis Boutique made a spring, summer and fall home at Tryon International Equestrian Center this year, and delivered their coveted “Best Presented Horse Award” to Heather Caristo-Williams as Fall competition got underway last week. Caristo-Williams jogged three horses in the FEI Horse Inspection, but it was Qui Vive Des Songes Z, a nine-year-old Zangersheide stallion (Quaprice Z x Larnaque) owned by Holly and Ralph Caristo, who impressed the ground jury.
Caristo-Williams and Qui Vive Des Songes Z, a mount she has piloted since his seven-year-old year, are focused on moving up into international grand prix ranks in the coming months and boasted two top-20 placings in the $34,000 FEI 1.50m Suncast® Welcome and $127,000 Suncast® Grand Prix FEI CSI3* at Tryon Fall 5.
This is the biggest show he's done so far and he felt right at home in the under-the-lights atmosphere. Tryon is really great about attracting a huge crowd for these night classes, so it was a special opportunity for us to expose him to that,” said Caristo-Williams. “After how he handled this show, I feel really good about how he will handle the bigger classes in Florida. It's just a matter of slowly bringing him along so he stays confident.”
Qui Vive Des Songes Z headed south after his successes in Tryon and will have the next two months to prepare for the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL, with the rest of Caristo-Williams' team of horses. “Our goal for this winter is for him to step up and support my other upper-level horse, Evening Star,” said Caristo-Williams, who also won the $34,000 FEI 1.45m Speed Stake, presented by Horseware Ireland, aboard Wistful last week in Tryon.
Equis Boutique is a luxury shopping experience for the discerning equestrian and offers the most convenient and luxurious choice for top equestrian brands to dress the horse and rider. Featured brands include Parlanti, Manfredi, Anna Scarpati, Kingsland Equestrian, Kentucky Horsewear, Dy’on, specialty imported bits, as well as Official FEI and Just World International merchandise. Continuing their dedication to excellence in all areas of horse sport, Equis Boutique has devoted their presence at North American horse shows to enhancing the importance and prestige of the FEI Horse Inspection.
Caristo-Williams' award recognized the overall turnout of both her and her horse after evaluation against 78 FEI horses by the Tryon International Equestrian Center FEI Ground Jury. She and Qui Vive Des Songes Z were presented with a commemorative silver plate, as well as assorted products from Equis partner brands for the honor.
The jog is a prestigious part of the weekend and I feel like sometimes it's taken for granted, so it's great to bring some importance back to being well presented. It's a big deal to do an international show and have your horse presented properly,” said Caristo-Williams. “At the Pan American Games, Olympics and Nations Cup competitions the jog feels like a real event, and I'm grateful to the generosity of Equis for bringing that feeling back to more international shows.”
The “Equis Best Presented Award” was a family affair for Caristo-Williams and she gave credit to her husband and fellow Glenview Stables team member, Jesse Williams, for preparing her horses for the FEI Horse Inspection.
Equis Boutique was founded in 2014 by FEI judges Elena Couttenye and Cesar Hirsch. In addition to creating a mobile, one-stop shopping opportunity for high-end international riding apparel within the American market, they created the Equis Boutique “Best Presented Horse Award”, which has been given at nearly ten horse shows across the U.S. so far this year. But, for Hirsch, Tryon's fall contenders were the most competitive yet.
“We saw multiple riders jogging multiple horses, all immaculately presented, and it made the job of the judges a very difficult one,” he said. “Word that there is a special award for the horse inspection is spreading and we are starting to see riders, grooms and owners pay special attention to how their horses leave the barn for the jog, which is exactly what we hoped would happen when we started presenting this award.”
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