Mill Spring, NC - Samuel Parot (CHI) and Atlantis jumped to the top of the leaderboard in the $86,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix CSI 2* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), marking the first "Saturday Night Lights" victory of the 2017 show season.
The duo finished the two-horse jump-off with a time of 47.851 seconds for the win, ahead of Leslie Howard (USA) and Gentille van Spieveld, who were the only other combination to advance to the jump-off. Howard and Gentille van Spieveld finished the short track in 50.042 seconds, while Ignacio Maurin (ARG) and Thriller P collected third place, as the fastest combination in the class with a time fault and completing the first round track in 90.79 seconds.
Parot and his talented mount Atlantis secured an early spot in the jump-off round and were only matched by veteran U.S. rider Leslie Howard and Gentille van Spieveld. Thirty-four combinations contested the course designed by Richard Jeffery (GBR). Three pairs collected a single time fault as they navigated the track, while majority of the class finished with four faults or more spread throughout the technical course.
"This track was tough. It was very technical," said Parot. "My horse has a lot of experience, but it made you work for a clear round. I thought you had to shorten and lengthen your horse a lot and those adjustments caused many people to have rails."
The established pair of Parot and Atlantis, a 2003 Zangersheide gelding (Andiamo x Royal Bravour L) owned by Parot, have competed around the globe and are mainstays at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) during the winter circuit, as well as at TIEC during FEI weeks in the summer and fall over the past few years. The duo have picked up a number of quality wins together and today Parot proved once again why he and Atlantis remain one of the toughest combinations to beat.
"He's just a fast horse, so fast," he commented. "We know each other well and it makes it better to have a good round. I know when to ask for more and when to ask to slow down. Today was difficult, but he handled it well. I'm very happy with the win and we love to show here. We have good results and the horses really enjoy it."
The pair earned several top place finishes in international competition at the venue in 2016 and Parot is looking forward to continuing his success with Atlantis, as well as developing a relationship with his newer mount, Dazzle White, who also competed in the class this evening.
"Atlantis is very good. He knows his job. Dazzle White is a newer and younger horse for me, but is also very talented. We're working on rideability. He is very careful and has a lot of scope. I think he is the horse that I would like to try and take to the FEI World Equestrian Games™ here next year."
Parot and team will now head further west to continue on with their season before contesting elite competition at Spruce Meadows ahead of their return to TIEC later this season.
"This is a good win for us," continued Parot. "It is good for us to do well here so that we are set up well for the rest of our season. Atlantis and I have a good friendship with each other so winning these classes always feels good. He is a great horse and I am looking forward to the rest of the year."
Brianne Goutal (USA) was honored with the FEI Leading Lady Rider Awarded presented by real estate agent and broker Meg Atkinson for amassing the most points of any female rider in FEI competition this week. The Absorbine FEI Groom's Award was presented to Russell Rodriguez,who is the full-time groom of Atlantis. The Absorbine FEI Groom's Award recognizes the hard work, dedication, and commitment of FEI grooms to their horses, who perform at the highest levels of the show jumping discipline.
Competition continues tomorrow at TIEC, concluding Tryon May I, with classes beginning at 8:00 a.m. and continuing through the afternoon in the George H. Morris Arena and surrounding rings. To learn more about TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com.