Twenty [One] of Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort’s
2020 Iconic Moments
To say it was an unusual year for all of us is an understatement. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an absolutely iconic year of equestrian sport and family fun at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC)! As strange as a season without spectators felt, the virtual connection and support throughout the equestrian and Carolinas community was strong all year! We are recapping 20 iconic moments from 2020 below, and hope you’ll join us in celebrating the love of the horse that prevails even in the strangest of times. Which of the 20 was your favorite?
Ultimate Jump-Off Tournament Brings Virtual Grand Prix Action to Lockdown
With competitions on pause for nearly three months, TIEC was able to bring virtual bracket-style Grand prix competition to the forefront with the generous support of our sponsors. It was a fierce competition as fans voted for their favorite winning horse-and-rider pairs, with Taylor Land and Get Go taking home the inaugural Ultimate Jump-Off Tournament presented by Coca-Cola® title.
Ultra-Competition Arena Unveiled in Tryon Stadium
Taking advantage of a quiet property meant that the Tryon Stadium received a significant facelift, unveiled as one of just two ultra-competition arenas in the world and fully engineered to be the best competition footing possible in any conditions. The footing received rave reviews all season from TIEC competitors and you can read more about the science and installation of the new surface here.
Marion Gefaell and Home Run Bound Win $10,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby
In arguably one of the cutest wins of 2020, Marion Gefaell and Home Run Bound wowed the judges to take home the $10,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby title during TIEC’s Annual Pony Spectacular week. Ponies took over Tryon Stadium, giving our sport’s tiniest competitors the spotlight and showcasing their skills. Read more about Marion, her pony, and her win here.
Most Family Members in One Class: The Kerins Family
Three members of the Kerins Family – Darragh, wife Sarah, and son Daniel Kerins – each contested the $15,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake in Tryon Stadium, dominating the Jumper ring all week as a family during Tryon August 1 competition. They are the first family at TIEC to have three members competing in the same class. You can learn more about their strong presence here.
Blue Ridge Mountain Horse Trials presented by EquiSafe Global See Record Entries Welcoming BN-Advanced
The second annual Blue Ridge Mountain Horse Trials presented by EquiSafe Global saw a significant increase in entries totaling nearly 350 for the horse trials offering all levels Beginner Novice through Advanced. All levels contested the Cross-Country phase at the famed White Oak Cross-Country Course, the same utilized for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) and with courses also designed by WEG course designer Captain Mark Phillips. Click here to read more about the signature fall event at TIEC.
Largest Dressage Show (and Most Shows per Season) at TIEC to Date
Nearly 200 entries entered Fall Dressage 1&2 at TIEC, which resulted in domination by Julio Mendoza Loor and Rosali. The weekend hosted two of eight Dressage competitions held at the venue, expanding on previous years’ offerings. The 2021 schedule is still to come. Learn more about Dressage at TIEC by visiting Tryon.com/Dressage.
ProElite Tryon CDE Hosts ADS North American Preliminary and Intermediate Championships
After the Katydid CDE was unable to run in the spring as planned, it was the ProElite Tryon CDE that brought the sport of Driving back to the venue in the fall for the first time since WEG, also hosting the ADS North American Preliminary and Intermediate Championships. Competitors and their single, pairs, or team entries contested three phases, including Marathon on the same course used for WEG. Learn more about the inaugural Tryon CDE here, and stay tuned to Tryon.com/Driving for future dates as posted.
Tryon Fall 3 Hat Trick for Adam Prudent and Baloutinue
Adam Prudent and Baloutinue claimed not one, not two, but THREE consecutive international wins throughout Tryon Fall 3 competition, topping the $10,000 EquiSafe Global Power & Speed Stake CSI 2*, the $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 2*, and the $73,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix CSI 2*. Prudent shared that he was focusing on teaching his promising young mount how to be competitive in speed tests, with more information about his successful week at the venue available here.
Neue Schule/USEF Junior Jumper Championships, Platinum Performance USEF Talent Search Finals-East, and Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal National Championship hosted at TIEC
With horse shows canceled left and right across the country in 2020, some prestigious events were in danger of cancellation due to the inability to host competition safely at venues across the country. TIEC partnered with the USEF to make the following championships and finals possible in 2020: the Platinum Performance USEF Talent Search Finals – East, the 2020 Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal National Championship, and the Neue Schule/USEF Junior Jumper Championships. Hosted over two weekends at TIEC, utilizing existing safety precautions and outdoor and covered competition spaces, these finals saw the nation’s top junior riders shine in Hunter, Jumper and Equitation competitions. All competition was streamed live via the USEF Network.
Largest Class Held at TIEC to Date: 106 Entries are No Match for Sydney Shulman and Villamoura
Sydney Shulman and Villamoura emerged as the victors in TIEC’s largest single class hosted to date, challenging a stunning 106 entries in the $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3* during Tryon Fall 4. Not only that, but Shulman was the only rider to qualify two mounts for the jump-off, which saw 19 pairs return for the speed test. Read more about her record-breaking win here.
The Carolina Pumpkin Spelltacular presented by Ingles Brings 5,000 Pumpkins and Halloween Characters to Life
Bringing live entertainment and the magic of fall colors and lights to families without compromising safety, the inaugural Carolina Pumpkin Spelltacular presented by Ingles featured more than 5,000 unique, hand-carved jack-o-lanterns throughout a drive-through hollow at TIEC. Along the way, participants encountered beloved characters from the Sanderson sisters to Frankenstein, Jack Sparrow, and more – bringing live theater to a time of social distancing and isolation. Furthermore, MARS Equestrian donated 5,000 bags of candy, individually packaged for a safe alternative to trick-or-treating. The Carolina Pumpkin Spelltacular will return in 2021 and more information will be available here.
Karl Cook’s $137,000 MD Barnmaster Grand Prix CSI 3* Win: Watch It to Believe It!
A daring gallop to the final fence, leaving out a stride to boldly take over the lead from Kent Farrington by nearly a second? Yep, Karl Cook and Caillou did it. The duo bested an ultra-competitive Tryon Fall 5 class featuring 50 entries, and you can watch their winning ride and also read Cook’s own recap here.
David O’Brien Sweeps all Divisions in Developing Jumper Series Finals presented by Spy Coast Farm
The annual Developing Jumper Series Finals presented by Spy Coast Farm showcase top talent from young horses annually, providing up-and-coming equine athletes a spotlight and highlighting American bred sport horses in particular. In 2020, Spy Coast Farm-bred horses swept all three divisions, piloted by David O’Brien. Read what both he and Spy Coast Farm owner and Tryon Equestrian Partner Lisa Lourie had to say about the iconic sweep here.
Washington International Horse Show Finals Hosted at TIEC
With Washington International Horse Show Equitation, Hunter and Jumper Finals relocated to TIEC for 2020, there was much to be celebrated throughout the week across all divisions of the prestigious event. Preventing the Finals from being canceled entirely, TIEC hosted the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals, WIHS Equitation Finals, WIHS Adult and Children’s Jumper Championship, as well as the WIHS Adult and Children’s Hunter Championship. Learn more about the 2020 Washington International Horse Show at TIEC here.
A Third Win for Todd Minikus in $214,000 WIHS President’s Cup Grand Prix CSI 4* presented by MARS Equestrian™
Todd Minikus claimed his career third Washington International Horse Show President’s Cup Grand Prix win in the $214,000 WIHS President’s Cup Grand Prix CSI 4* presented by MARS Equestrian, hosted at TIEC for the first time in history due to COVID-19 cancellations. Minikus and Amex Z swiped the win by just three-tenths of a second ahead of Karl Cook and Caillou, while the class also saw a historic tie for third between Beat Mändli and Lillie Keenan. Learn more about the marquis class of the 2020 Washington International Horse Show here.
USEF Para-Dressage National Championship Welcomes First CDI/CPEDI Competition to TIEC Indoor Complex
Once again, TIEC was honored to host the Adequan®/USEF Para-Dressage National Championships, this time in the Indoor Complex as part of the first Dressage competition hosted indoors at TIEC. Hosted alongside CDIW competition, a weekend of CPEDI competition named Rebecca Hart and El Corona Texel the 2020 Champions, earning a total composite score of 77.029% in Grade III, with the Reserve Championship awarded to Sydney Collier, who scored a 76.147% with All In One in the Grade I division. Learn more and read comments from Hart and Collier here.
Nutrena® Young Horse Show Finals presented by Spy Coast Farm Host Record Entries
A record 130 entries gathered at TIEC for the Nutrena® Young Horse Show Finals presented by Spy Coast Farm, showcasing the future of American-bred sporthorses, ranging from yearlings to five years old. From in-hand and liberty classes to jump-chute, under saddle and over fences competition, the young equine athletes were evaluated over four days in a safe and educational environment intended to support and promote American sport horse breeders across many breeds and disciplines. Learn more about the Young Horse Show Finals and view results here.
Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg are BUCKEYE™ Nutrition USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Champions; MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event Handles Flooding for World-Class Event
From a miraculous recovery of the White Oak Course following heavy rains earlier in the week to absolutely gorgeous game-day weather in time to host the only CCI 4*-L Eventing Competition on the East Coast this year, the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event and the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship were memorable in all aspects, from weather and logistics to world-class competition and a nail-biting conclusion resulting in a win for Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg. Recap the National Championship coverage and learn more here.
2020 Tom Bass Seminar for Diversity in Equestrian Sport Goes Virtual from TIEC
First hosted at TIEC in 2019, the 2020 edition of the Tom Bass Seminar for Diversity in Equestrian Sport broadcast live via Zoom on Saturday, November 14th and enjoyed record participation from around the world. Moderated from TIEC by Melvin Cox, organizer and founder, the seminar included four unique discussion panels tackling issues of diversity domestically and abroad, in youth riders, and in the media. The seminar is available for replay and more information can be found here.
Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland presented by Ingles brings Drive-Thru Lights and LIVE Performances to TIEC for Safe Holiday Celebrations
The Tryon Resort favorite holiday attraction, the Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland presented by Ingles, once again returned to TIEC beginning November 20, 2020, and featured hundreds of thousands of dancing lights set to music on the radio. From the safety and comfort of personal vehicles, guests were delighted by a two-miles drive-through light show including LIVE performances from the Grinch, Santa and his elves, a live nativity, and other beloved characters featured each weekend. The light show continues through January 3, 2021, featuring a Frozen theme on select dates, and more information is available at www.Tryon.com/Winterfest.
…Plus, one more for good luck: With a shortened yet jam-packed competition season hosted without spectators due to USEF safety policies, 2020 became the year of the live stream as Tryon Resort worked to bring equestrian sport to as many people as possible despite attendance limitations. The result: you can catch 97 FREE live streams posted at www.Tryon.com/streaming, featuring all competitions hosted at TIEC June-November.