Mill Spring, NC- Lucas Porter has been a force at Tryon International Equestrian Center this week, collecting several top finishes in both the jumper and equitation rings. Finishing his first week of competition at TIEC, Porter collected second place in the $25,000 Tryon Grand Prix after winning the ASPCA Medal Maclay earlier in the day. Porter rode Sleepy P Ranch, LLC's Punch to victory in the Maclay and piloted Sleepy P Ranch's Doma Sue to a second place finish in the Grand Prix.
"I got Doma Sue from David Blake last August and I competed her in the High Junior classes in Wellington and just started making the move to Grand Prix in the past few months. This is my first really great result on her at this level so I'm really pleased with how it went," commented Porter. "I thought the course was great for the number of starters and I thought there were a perfect amount of clears and I was fortunate to come towards the end in the jump-off. I wanted to put in a really tidy clear and she did."
Porter and his equitation mount Punch gathered wins in the ASPCA Maclay and the USEF Pessoa Hunt Seat Medal during Tryon Week 7. Punch has been an important horse in Porter's young career, as he has helped him to better his position and give him experience in the equitation and hunter rings.
"He's really a hybrid. He used to be a jumper and then my trainer and I thought that we needed to work on my position so he started to do some of the equitation and he's turned out to be a perfect horse for it," said Porter. "He's slow tempered and he has a big stride, which has made him ideal in those classes."
When Porter is competing, it is all hands on deck to ensure that he gets to each of his rings on-time, as he has a number of horses entered in classes throughout the grounds. Today was no different, as he hopped off of his ride in the Junior/Amateur Owner Medium Classic and headed straight to the equitation ring for the ASPCA Maclay and the USEF Pessoa Hunt Seat Medal.
"I rode the Maclay first and was able to use that to an advantage in the USEF Pessoa Hunt Seat Medal because I already knew the lines and the striding in between the jumps and I tried to do the same thing in both," he commented. "He was perfect just like Doma and everything worked out perfectly today, in the Grand Prix and in both of those classes."
The Porters and the Sleepy P Ranch team will continue competing at TIEC through Tryon Spring 8 of the Spring Series and have been thoroughly impressed with the facility and competition.
"The facility here is unbelievable. The rings are huge and the barns are incredibly nice. I personally like the ample schooling rings, which allows you school your horses in a calm place if you want to get away from the rest of the show," commented Porter. "The weather here is perfect and we've all been really happy. I want to thank the Bellissimos for putting on this show and the sponsors for supporting these classes and to my sponsors for helping me get to where I am."
For more information on the competition and the events to come at TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com.