Doug Payne Dominates The Fork at TIEC While Also Sweeping Tryon Welcome 2 Competition

Monday, April 5, 2021
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Thrilling Finish

Sunday saw thrilling finishes across the board for The Fork at TIEC presented by Nutrena®, but none as definitive as Doug Payne (USA) topping the leaderboard in the ProElite® CCI4*-S Division, in addition to top-ten placings with Quantum Leap and Starr Witness, in fifth and eighth. In between rides and coaching across all divisions in Eventing, Payne was also winning in the Jumper rings as part of Tryon Welcome 2 competition, where he went two-for-two aboard Quintessence. Read more about Tryon Welcome 2 results here.

Photo - Doug Payne and Vandiver (©Shannon Brinkman Photography)

Sunday at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC) saw competitors contest Cross-Country and Show Jumping phases of The Fork at TIEC presented by Nutrena®, with upper levels challenging the Captain Mark Phillips (GBR) course design on the White Oak Cross-Country Course and Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) designing Show Jumping courses in Tryon Stadium. Read below to see results and interviews from all divisions. 
Doug Payne and Vandiver Claim ProElite® CCI 4*-S Win

Doug Payne (USA) and Vandiver, the 2004 Trakehner gelding (Windfall 2 x Mystic Replica XX) owned by Debi Crowley and Doug and Jessica Payne, were the only pair to avoid adding time faults to their score after Cross-Country, securing the win in the ProElite® CCI 4*-S Division on a score of 25.7. Payne also collected fifth place with Quantum Leap, the 2011 DSP gelding (Quite Capitol x Corporate Report) owned by Doug and Jessica Payne, on a score of 34.6, while Starr Witness, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood mare (Chello III VDL x Veneur) owned by Laurie H. McRee, Doug Payne, and Catherine Winter, scored 37.9 to grab eighth place. Holding steady all weekend at second place, Boyd Martin (USA) finished on a score of 28.1 for reserve with Tsetserleg, the 2007 Trakehner gelding (Windfall *PG* x Buddenbrock) owned by Christine, Thomas IV and Tommie Turner. Tamie Smith (USA) held onto the podium with Mai Baum, adding 7.2 to her score to finish with a 28.4 in third aboard the 2006 German Sport Horse gelding (Loredano x Rike) owned by Alexandra Ahearn, Ellen Ahearn and Eric Markell.

Let Them Flow

Boyd Martin
Second Place went to Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg (Photo: ©Shannon Brinkman Photography)

Payne, whose three CCI 4*-S mounts are all qualified for Tokyo should he get the chance to go, reported that his goal with each horse was to “let them flow and see what we could get done,” which resulted in top ten finishes. “Quinn [Vandiver] is the old man of the group, but he’s just getting better and better each year! He’s honestly easy and efficient – it’s not that I wasn’t trying to go fast, but he’s just a quick horse. He covers the ground and is easy on himself,” Payne explained. “Whereas, with Quantum [Leap], who was pretty close to the time, every once in a while needs to be set up a little more. He’s a five-star horse in the making, without a doubt.”

Starr Witness, Payne’s Pan-American Games mount, is aiming at a 4*-L run in Jersey unlike the others, who are aimed at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, he explained. “Clearly, she’s a classy horse as well. She just doesn’t have the base fitness that the other two do at the moment. Fitness is a little less urgent with her right now. We’ll see what we can do the rest of the season!”

Payne was one of numerous riders to take advantage of jump schooling opportunities under the lights in Tryon Stadium and Dressage test of choice schooling offerings. “I think it’s a great opportunity, and honestly, under-utilized,” Payne shared. “You seldom ever get a chance to ride in an atmosphere that’s provided here, so to do that in a schooling environment is awesome. Hopefully that continues, because it was super valuable.

“Only at Tryon could you jump and event in the same weekend easily,” Payne emphasized about his multidiscipline weekend. “The footing [on Cross-Country] was excellent, I thought. It’s super helpful that they pulled the little jumps off last night. I can’t say enough [about the team here.] Tryon has done an excellent job here, and we look forward to coming back as often as we can!” Payne concluded, “I’m really lucky to have this group of horses and the team behind us that makes it all happen. There’s certainly a lot going on, but it’s great.” 

Click here to view all division results from The Fork at TIEC presented by Nutrena®.

Competition continues at TIEC with the remaining half of the four-week Tryon Welcome Series, featuring Hunter, Jumper and Equitation competition. No spectators are currently permitted per USEF policies for COVID-19. Competition information is available at