Mill Spring, NC - Tracy Fenney (USA) and MTM Farm's MTM Reve Du Paradis leaped to the top of the leaderboard in the $86,000 MD Barnmaster Grand Prix CSI 2* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), dominating the first "Saturday Night Lights" victory of the 2017 Tryon Fall Series presented by Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.
Competition continues at the venue with two CSI 3* and a CSI 5* week, which will conclude on Sunday, October 29.
Fenney and the 2005 Selle Francais gelding (Crown Z x Kaline De Semilly) completed the five-horse jump-off with a time of 48.39 seconds for the victory ahead of Santiago Lambre (MEX) and his own Doloris, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood mare (Harley VDL x Colinda D), who stopped jump-off timers in 48.77 seconds.
Third place honors went to Richie Moloney (IRL) piloting Rocksy Music, a 2008 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ars Vivendi x Krafty Kate) owned by Equinimity LLC, finishing the short track in 49.02 seconds.
"I was a little bit tired tonight because I've been running back and forth between here and the Capital Challenge, doing the hunters and jumpers, so I'm kind of worn down, but tonight perked it up a lot," she laughed. "I kind of planned on adding [strides] one or two places, but he got on a nice pace and I ended up staying on that."
A large group of 39 entries tested the Richard Jeffery (GBR) designed course, and the top three finishers of the night were the only pairs to go double clear around the CSI 2* track. Fenney, who improved her second place finish in this week's $35,000 Suncast® Commercial Welcome Stake CSI 2*, claimed top honors tonight by less than four-tenths of a second.
MTM Reve Du Paradis has been a dependable ride for Fenney since the day she bought him three years ago, she noted. "It's kind of a funny story how I got him. I tried him on a Thursday, vetted him on Friday, paid for him on Saturday and that night we won a Grand Prix. He's a really cool horse."
Describing the course, Fenney commented, "I thought the course looked really nice, very doable with a careful horse. He loves to go work and jump, and is gung-ho to do it all. My husband is not here and he's my security blanket, so it's a little hard without him here, but my horse is great."
"I'm planning on staying here for the fall," said Fenney. "I love Tryon. This is the best facility. I love that all these people come out, even with the live stream running. It's so nice to have a big crowd to ride for," she concluded.
Ishmael Gonzalez, groom of MTM Reve Du Paradis, was presented with the Absorbine FEI Grooms Award, honoring his dedicated care to the evening's winning mount. The Absorbine FEI Grooms Award recognizes top grooms for their hard work commitment to the winning Grand Prix mounts at Tryon International Equestrian Center.
Click here to view results for the $86,000 MD Barnmaster Grand Prix CSI 2*.
Tryon Fall III concludes today, Sunday, October 8, with the $35,000 Horseware® Ireland 1.45m Classic and the $10,000 High Junior/Amateur Owner Classic. For more information on TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com.