Tryon, NC - With over 40 years experience training horses and riders, Ronnie Beard of Wyndmont Inc. is no stranger to success in the show ring. The top trainer spent his spring season at Tryon with a lineup of talented horses, bringing home several blue ribbons in the jumper ring over the course of six weeks.
Michael Dorman, who is Beard's partner at Wyndmont Inc., delivered countless successful rounds earning top finishes across the divisions. During week three, Dorman piloted Cas to a third place finish in the Adequan 1.30m Open Jumpers, following with a blue ribbon on Zephyr and second place on IV Ever in the Adequan 1.40m Open Jumpers.
"The facility, the courses and the course designers were excellent," commented Dorman. "I think it was all very positive. They're really learning and having a lot of new experiences; it's just a great experience. The young horses get to jump in the main ring, which is a lot more galloping and a lot more challenges to take on.
The next day, Dorman came back to sweep the top three spots in the Adequan 1.30 m Open Jumpers on Zaldorado, Cas and Elixir ST. In the 1.40m Open Jumpers, Dorman collected another blue ribbon on Valinski S, finishing fourth with IV Ever and sixth with Cuchica. Later on, Dorman earned the third place spot in the $10,000 Suncast Welcome Stake.
Finishing out the week, Dorman rode Zaldorado to the blue in the Adequan 1.30m Open Jumpers, finishing second to himself on Cas and fifth with Elixir ST. In the 1.40m Open Jumpers, Dorman had another one-two finish on IV Ever and Cuchica.
During the show's fourth week, Dorman had top finishes in both the 1.30m and 1.40m Adequan Open Jumper classes, finishing first with Zaldorado in the 1.30m and first and third with Valinski S and Elixer ST in the 1.40m.
As week five got underway, Candace King took the reins while Dorman recovered from a small injury, piloting Zaldorado to fourth and Cuchica to fifth in the Adequan 1.30m Open Jumpers. In the Nutrena 1.40m Open Jumpers, King finished second on IV Ever. Later in the day, King returned with Valinski S in the $15,000 Suncast Welcome Stake, collecting four faults in the jump-off for a seventh-place finish. However, two days later, King returned with the bay gelding to capture fourth place with a double clear in the $50,000 Grand Prix.
"Valinski S is a real character," said Dorman. "He's a little impatient on the flat; he really just wants to jump. He loves jumping. He's all for it. He likes to have a little pace, because he's so careful he likes to have you to keep your leg on him. He's 100 percent willing, and as long as you direct him for what's coming up, he's going to give it 100 percent effort. He doesn't have any tricks; he doesn't try not to perform. He really enjoys it."
Dorman added, "Valinski jumps extremely careful, and I didn't want to not be able to help him along the way over the Grand Prix courses, so it worked out great, having Candice keep him going, having him ready for me to get back on."
A week six rolled around, the action stared heating up for Wyndmont Inc. as King adjusted to Beard's horses. In the $25,000 Suncast Welcome Stake, King and Valinski S bested the field, going double clear to earn the blue ribbon. The pair returned two days later in the $75,000 Horsewear Ireland Grand Prix, being one of only two horse-and-rider combinations to advance to the jump-off. Despite only being King's third ride on Valinski S, the duo completed the jump off in a blazing 50.705 seconds to seize the victory, marking the end of a very successful week at Tryon.
"Valinski is really genuine," smiled King. "I think he and I really suit one another, and I was very comfortable right from the first class I did with him. Michael was very informative about details of what to know and what he needed, so I felt like we both kind of just clicked right away and worked well together." King continued, "I felt very honored that they asked me to step in and help them. The horses that they had me ride were lovely, and they're all very talented; they're all winners, so for me to walk right from the warm-up area to the ring and I didn't know them, I felt like they really helped me from the ground to let me know what the horses were about. It was very rewarding and exciting to have the success that I did in the past few weeks with them."
In the, 1.40m Open Jumper, Lincoln Russell rode Zaldorado to second, with King and Zephyr hot on their heels for the third-place finish. The next day, Dorman earned fourth with IV Ever in the Adequan 1.30m and third with IV Ever in the 1.40m. Christi Israel and Cracky Z went double clear in the High Junior/Amateur Owner Jumpers, taking home the blue ribbon. Israel finished fifth with Clousseau in the same class. In the 7-Year-Old Jumpers, Israel rode Darinda to a second-place finish, missing the lead by two tenths of a second.
During the final week, Dorman and King went head-to-head in the Nutrena 1.40m Open Jumpers, with Dorman and IV Ever capturing second and third going to King and Cuchica. Two days later, Dorman returned with IV Ever to finish fourth in the Nutrena 1.40m Open Jumpers. Israel returned with Darinda in the 7-Year-Old Jumpers, going double clear to capture the top spot.
"Christi Irael has some young horses that have started at the lower levels and have moved up almost two divisions, so that's exciting," concluded Dorman. "I am excited, and now that I feel back in shape from my fall, I'm looking forward to getting Zephyr back in the Grad Prix. It'll be fun. We're having a great time and we love the beautiful facility here; the horses seem to be happy to jump well."
Wydnmont Inc. will continue to compete at the Tryon Horse Shows through June and July. To learn more about Ronnie Beard, Michael Dorman and Wydnmont Inc., please visit http://wyndmont.com.