Tryon August 1: Derby Debuts and Mini Prix Magic

Aug 15, 2022 - 3:28 PM

Claire Blakewell and Dillandra are Dominant in $15,000 Tryon Resort Mini Prix


$2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby Presented by Meg and Damian Fine Homes & Equestrian Properties Goes to Shelby Davis and Commendable


Ashley Conkle Catch Rides $1,000 Open 2’6” Hunter Derby Win

For Immediate Release

Sarah Madden for TIEC

Mill Spring, NC – August 15, 2022 – Claire Blakewell (Wellington, FL) and Dillandra claimed a win in the $15,000 Tryon Resort Mini Prix at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC), navigating the jump-off track in 35.271 seconds. In second place, Madison Kondracki (Deland, FL) rode ESH Karishma, her own 2015 Dutch Warmblood mare (Bacardi II VDL x Ulalien), to a time of 36.66 seconds over the short course. Taylor Land (Atlanta, GA) and Falco V made a long-awaited return to Tryon Stadium, with the Pinetree Farms Inc. 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Bustique x Watina V) claiming third in 36.73 seconds.

TAUGSUNBB70191Claire Blakewell and Dillandra
©Bailey Beck for TIEC

Blakewell and the 2008 Dutch Warmblood mare (Zapatero VDL x Willandra) owned by Bully Lane, LLC navigated the Skip Bailey (Wellington, FL) course design after driving up for just the day from Aiken, she revealed.

TA1FRINS66090Madison Kondracki and ESH Karishma
©Bailey Beck for TIEC

“He’s a winner!” she said of her winning mount, who she got right before the pandemic and has been winning with ever since. “I woke up at 3AM this morning to come up from Aiken. We’re based out of Wellington and travel a little bit,” Blakewell said.

TA1FRINS66081Taylor Land and Falco V
©Bailey Beck for TIEC

The course was good; it wasn’t too big, but it was technical enough,” she analyzed. “The course designer gave me some options to take a shot in certain places, and my horse is unreal fast, so it was her day.”

TAUGSUNBB70230Claire Blakewell and Dillandra in their presentation ceremony.
©Bailey Beck for TIEC

Despite a quick day trip to TIEC, Blakewell praised the venue, saying “every time I’ve been here has been good. It’s awesome here!”

For full results from the $15,000 Tryon Resort Mini Prix, click here.

$2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby Presented by Meg and Damian Fine Homes & Equestrian Properties Goes to Shelby Davis and Commendable

August 13, 2022 – Shelby Davis (Greensboro, GA) rode Commendable to a score of 173 points over two rounds and the win in Saturday’s $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby presented by Meg and Damian Fine Homes & Equestrian Properties. Reserve honors were named to Dawson Amick (Marvin, NC) and Ocorden, the 2009 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Ocordo x Argentina) owned by Peggy McElveen, after their 169.5 point performance. Stephen Pack (Columbus, NC) rode Jupiler DC to third, scoring 161 points with the 2014 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Action Breaker x Zsa Zsa) owned by KS Sport Horses, LLC.

TA1SATNS68233Shelby Davis and Commendable
©Natalie Suto for TIEC

Seventeen entries traversed the Dean Rheinheimer (Sheridan, IN) course design, with the top twelve returning for the handy round. Davis and the 2008 Danish Warmblood gelding (Carmague x Tabita) owned by Annalise Reed were consistent across two rounds with a really nice first and last jump in particular, she reported.

TA1SATNS68223Dawson Amick and Ocorden
©Natalie Suto for TIEC

“Both of my rounds went really well. My first jump, entering the ring and going straight to the outside oxer, worked out super well for me. That made me nervous, to pick up the canter and go straight to an oxer on the outside line. And I’d have to say that the last jump, I was coming to it and I saw it three strides out, and I was like ‘oh, that was the jump.’ And it made me super happy.

TA1SATNS68136Stephen Pack and Juliper DC
©Natalie Suto for TIEC

“This is my last junior year, so I was so glad that I was able to put in two consistent rounds, she shared. “It just made me super happy that I was able to finish up in polish everything that I’ve been working on for my last junior year.”

Commendable is a horse that Davis is leasing through the remainder of the year, but will be staying home while she starts college at the University of Tennessee at Martin and competes on the Division One Equestrian Team. The duo will be reunited for Maclay Regionals, Capital Challenge, “and then, depending on whatever happens there, we’ll either go to NHS Medal Finals or ASPCA Maclay Finals, but I’m excited to have him through the end of the year.”

TA1SATNS68326Shelby Davis and Commendable in their presentation ceremony.
©Natalie Suto for TIEC

For Davis, Tryon August 1 was the last time she’ll be able to show at TIEC for a while, but she raved about her final show before school starts: “I always love it here; it’s so pretty. I’m sad that I’ll be going off to college and not be able to show here until next summer, but I’m glad that I was able to finish out my last show as a junior that way and with such a nice facility and nice company. [The TIEC staff] are always so amazing.”

For full results from the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby Presented by Meg and Damian Fine Homes & Equestrian Properties, click here.

Ashley Conkle Catch Rides $1,000 Open 2’6” Hunter Derby Win

August 14, 2022 – Ashley Conkle (Wellford, SC) and Cape Bay Farm’s Rafael Di Cantero brought home the win in Sunday’s $1,000 Open 2’6” Hunter Derby, earning a total of 150 points over two rounds despite the fact that it was the 2017 Belgian Warmblood (Alicante x Nanou Di Cantero) gelding’s first derby ever. Conkle’s student Vanna Carroll (Campobello, SC) and Mikado DC, the 2012 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Breemeersen Crescendo x Dalida van de Zuuthoeve) owned by Stock ‘Em LLC, produced a pair of 74s to receive reserve honors and 148 points. Marguerite Bryan (Clemson, SC) and Christine Schuett’s Pal (breeding unknown) rode to a score of 146 for third place.

TAUGSUNNS69952Ashley Conkle and Rafael Di Cantero
©Natalie Suto for TIEC

Conkle was given an unexpected opportunity to pilot Rafael Di Cantero in his first derby by Chris Alfano and Joy Janouskovec, she shared. “I’m super proud of him. He is a baby and this is his first derby! I’ve ridden him maybe four times,” she revealed.

TAUGSUNNS69934Vanna Carroll and Mikado DC
©Natalie Suto for TIEC

“He had a couple little green mistakes here and there, but I was beyond proud of him. He walked right in, held his own, was champion throughout the week… I mean, I can’t really ask much more of him. I think that was his first rollback he’s ever done in a ring and possibly his first bending line. For him to walk out of there with a blue ribbon was super exciting.”

TAUGSUNNS69917Marguerite Bryan and Pal
©Natalie Suto for TIEC

With the goal of a positive educational experience, Conkle tried to be handy while also giving her mount a chance to assess each jump before he got to them. “We wanted to give him a fair shot and be handy, but also give him a presentation to the jump, and not just turn and surprise him,” she elaborated. “We could have been a little bit handier here and there, but he took it all like a champion, and like he’s done it his entire life.”

TAUGSUNNS70020Ashley Conkle and Rafael Di Cantero in their presentation ceremony.
©Natalie Suto for TIEC

Conkle and her clients alike found success throughout Tryon August 1 competition, and she concluded that the personalized touch for prizes and presentations was especially appreciated. “We’ve had phenomenal weather this week, and the footing is amazing. They’ve done such a great job with the prizes and the presentations, too. That’s definitely some of the owners’ favorite part. We love Tryon, we’re always happy to come back, and we can’t wait until the fall series!”

For full results from the $1,000 Open 2’6” Hunter Derby, click here.

To view all division results from Tryon August 1, click here.

The 2022 TIEC competition season continues next with the USEF/American Vaulting Association National Championships hosted August 19-21. Competition is free and open to the public to attend, with live streaming available. Learn more at

The Night in the Country Carolinas Music Festival (August 25-27) and inaugural Earl Scruggs Music Festival (September 2-4) will take place at the venue before the 2022 fall competition season kicks off September 16. Passes to both music festivals are still available, with one-day and weekend tickets available. To learn more about fall competition information, visit

Photos ©TIEC (Bailey Beck and Natalie Suto as noted). These photos may only be used once, in relation to this press release. TIEC Photography serves as the official photographer and competitors may view and purchase photos, as well as submit advance photography requests at With questions, contact

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