Record Number of Starters On Opening Day of The Fork at Tryon

Sunday, April 4, 2021
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The Fork at TIEC presented by Nutrena® kicked off with more than 600 scored rides in one day after two phases of competition, sending ten divisions through the White Oak Cross-Country Course and testing six divisions in Show Jumping competition in Tryon Stadium. With more than 300 entries, the fourth running of the event is the biggest ever held at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC), and competition continues through Sunday, April 4. The Fork at TIEC presented by Nutrena® is closed to spectators per USEF guidelines for COVID-19. For live scoring and competition information, check

Photo - Tamie Smith and Mai Baum (©Shannon Brinkman Photography)

All Cross-Country courses for The Fork at TIEC presented by Nutrena® have been crafted by Captain Mark Phillips (GBR), while Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) created the Show Jumping courses testing competitors in Tryon Stadium. All divisions started their day with Dressage before challenging the Show Jumping or Cross-Country phases, with the third phases to be completed by all competitors on Sunday. 

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum Lead ProElite® CCI 4*-S Division Ahead of Cross-Country

Boyd Martin
Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg (Photo: ©Shannon Brinkman Photography)

Tamie Smith (USA) and Mai Baum, the 2006 German Sport Horse gelding (Loredano x Rike) owned by Alexandra Ahearn, Ellen Ahearn and Eric Markell, laid down an impressive 20.4 in Dressage and finished Show Jumping on a score of 21.2 for a comfortable lead in the ProElite® CCI 4*-S Division. In reserve heading into the Cross-Country test, Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg, the 2007 Trakehner gelding (Windfall *PG* x Buddenbrock) owned by Christine, Thomas IV and Tommie Turner, carry a score of 23.7 after their clear jumping round under the lights in Tryon Stadium. Rounding out the podium after two phases and improving from fourth, Doug Payne (USA) and Vandiver, the 2004 Trakehner gelding (Windfall 2 x Mystic Replica XX) owned by Debi Crowley and Doug and Jessica Payne, will contest Cross-Country on a score of 25.7.

About her noteworthy Dressage score, Smith mused that while “like any competitor, you can always find places where you can improve, but he’s just super consistent. The things we’re improving are very miniscule, really. I was really pleased with him. He’s such a professional in the sandbox.”

While Smith herself has competed at TIEC before, Mai Baum is a Tryon first-timer, but wasn’t phased by the atmosphere in Tryon Stadium, she reported. “I wouldn’t have been in a stadium like that with him before, and he’s never been here to Tryon. The atmosphere in the stadium is quite electric, and he’s a careful horse, so sometimes that can work against you, but he was super confident and felt great.”

New Exciting Environment

A confident ride in a new, exciting environment was exactly what Smith was hoping to get from her experience before heading to contest the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, she revealed. “I thought that it would be a good idea to come to Tryon to get the electric, big arena atmosphere, because that’s how Kentucky is going to be. I wanted to get a read on the horses leading up to Kentucky, so I’m just really pleased with how he handled it, and he’s super rideable and confident,” Smith detailed.

“It’s awesome being here,” Smith concluded. “Everything is just so well run and organized. [Competing at Tryon] is a really good prep for any kind of big time championship because it gives you that big atmosphere feel. The show jumping was a proper show jumping track, and technical. It’s so nice to come to these kinds of venues and have everything up to standard and be able to test our horses and figure out where we have to make improvements. We’re lucky to have this place.” 

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

The Fork at TIEC presented by Nutrena® continues tomorrow, Sunday April 4th. No spectators are permitted per USEF policies for COVID-19. Competition information is available at, including live scoring, the event program and more.