Mill Spring, NC - Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) offered a day of rest from FEI competition today, but that did not stop top international talent from taking to the George H. Morris Stadium in the $5,000 1.45m Challenge. Mark Bluman (COL) and Stransky's Mission Farms, Inc.'s Uitteraard finished atop the class of 16 entries, crossing the timers in the jump-off round at 33.289 seconds. Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Ashland Stable's Uppie De Lis finished second with a time of 34.262 seconds, and Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Spy Coast Farm, LLC's Beluga placed third in 35.459 seconds. Competition continues tomorrow with the largest class of the week being the showcase $127,000 Kingsland FEI CSI 3* Grand Prix. The grand prix begins at 7pm with doors opening to the general public at 5pm.
Bluman, who began riding for the Stransky family at Stranky's Mission Farms this year, has enjoyed a very successful start to the summer season with top placings aboard several horses, including a top-ten finish in the $34,000 Suncast® FEI Tryon Welcome at TIEC this week. Stransky' Misision Farms is currently building a summer base in Tryon and Bluman is looking forward to spending his time at TIEC during the summer months.
"I was here last fall and the expansion is unbelievable. I love this place and our horses love this place. I don't ever have to leave the show. I stay in one of the cabins and can be with my horses at the barn in two minutes," said Bluman. "It's so quiet and peaceful. It's really unbelievable. I'm really happy to be here and they're doing a great job. I'm also so thankful to Lily Stransky and Stransky's Mission Farms for giving me this opportunity, and to Step-by-Step Foundation who I also ride for. It's nice to win for them."
Uitteraard, a 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding, has an extensive FEI record, competing in competitive international classes throughout his career. Bluman has enjoyed riding the experienced gelding, as he always delivers in the ring.
"This has been a season to get to know my horses since I joined Lily Stransky and Stransky's Mission Farms earlier this year in Florida. The horses are great. The horse I'm riding is very experienced and has jumped 1.60m with other riders. He is the easiest horse," commented Bluman about Uitteraard. "He's just a sweetheart in the barn and a solid citizen. He does his job every time he goes in the ring and always tries his hardest."
The class saw seven clear trips move forward to the jump-off round, where Bluman was able to ride to the top of the class finishing one second faster than Wordley. He also finished fourth aboard Stranksy's Mission Farms, Inc.'s Copa Cabana.The course was designed by Anthony D'Ambrosio (USA), who has been the course designer for each of the FEI classes this week at TIEC.
"The course today was built great for the class and it was competitive. It's nice to have a class like this available alongside the FEI classes here this week," added Bluman. "There were several clear rounds which made the jump-off very fast and I was really pleased with both of my rounds."
Bluman is set to ride Stransky's Mission Farms, Inc.'s Califa LS in tomorrow night's $127,000 Kingsland FEI CSI 3* Grand Prix. The experience of competing under the lights with a large crowd is always a highlight for Bluman, who is looking forward to riding in the competitive class. He also is aiming his mount Califa LS at the Pan American Games, which will be held in Toronto, Canada in July.
"It's going to be a really competitive class. It is always nice to jump under the lights and there's a little bit more excitement. It's great to have people cheering and yelling for you during your round," concluded Bluman. "I'm really looking forward to staying here through the remainder of the season and I'm hoping that it allows me to qualify for the Pan American Games. That's my main goal right now."
Final Results for $5,000 1.45m Challenge:
1. UITTERAARD, 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Numero Uno x Natosca
MARK BLUMAN, Stransky's Mission Farms, Inc.: 0/0/33.289
2. UPPIE DE LIS, 2001 Dutch Riding Horse gelding by Andiamo x Lorraine
SHARN WORDLEY, Ashland Stables: 0/0/34.262
3. BELUGA, 2005 Swedish Warmblood mare by Cobra x Barracuda
SHANE SWEETNAM, Spy Coast Farm, LLC: 0/0/35.459
4. COPA CABANA, 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Cartano x Robijn
MARK BLUMAN, Stransky's Mission Farms, Inc.: 0/0/36.094
5. ACCORDANCE, 2001 Holsteiner gelding by Acord II x Hera XXIIX
KEELY MCINTOSH, Jenny Booth: 0/4/37.146
6. Q-7, 2006 Bayer gelding by Que Sera x Peggy
SCHUYLER RILEY, Wolfstone Stables & Sales Inc.: 0/4/39.752
7.GRAN CANYON VAN HD, 2006 Belgian Warmblood stallion by Cartani x Candy
SHARN WORDLEY, Ashland Stables: 0/32/64.176
8. WIRANTA Z, 2005 Zangersheide mare by Waranta x Tricolore
JONATHAN MCCREA, Candy Tribble: 4/76.979
For more information on TIEC and a full schedule, please visit www.tryon.com.