Nicole Shahinian-Simpson and Akuna Mattata Shine in $137,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3*

Jul 4, 2020 - 11:30 PM

For Immediate Release

Mill Spring, NC – July 4, 2020 – Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) and Akuna Mattata dominated the $137,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3* with a 37.002-second jump-off round in Tryon Stadium at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) as part of Tryon Summer 4 competition. Leslie Burr-Howard (USA) and Donna Speciale, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood mare (Cavalier x Concorde) owned by Laure Sudreau-Rippe & Peter Howard, grabbed second place with a time of 38.631 seconds, while Lorcan Gallagher (IRL) and VDL Cartello, a 2007 Holsteiner stallion (Cartani x Lord) owned by Heathman Farm LLC, rounded out the podium after their four-fault, 36.077 second performance.

Oscar Soberon (USA) tested 38 horse-and-ride pairs on his first-round track, with seven pairs qualifying for the jump-off contest. Shahinian-Simpson and “Nahla,” the 2008 Holsteiner mare (Quinar x Landwind II) owned by Carol Rosenstein and Silver Raven Farms, were one of two double-clears on the night, taking the victory in what is only Nahla’s second show back after recovering from major surgery to repair guttural pouch mycosis via two nitinol plugs placed in Akuna Mattata’s internal carotid artery.

543_9611Nicole Shahinian-Simpson and Akuna Mattata

“She had a fungus in her artery, so she had to have a life-[saving] surgery. This is her second show back, and we’re so lucky to have her,” Shahinian-Simpson said. “She really is in good form, and is a true fighter. It was really dicey and we were very fortunate to catch it, as the condition could have [caused her to] bleed out at any time.”

543_9381Leslie Burr-Howard and Donna Speciale

Shahinian-Simpson has known Nahla, who is actually a triplet via embryo transfer, since birth, “so we’ve really grown together,” she explained. “She’s really come into herself. She’s so quick across the ground, and has this turbo stride. She can leave one or two out. She’s really clever. From the get-go, she’s always looked for the jumps. She’s very competitive. She’s a triplet, and her sister is the same way. They were born to compete!

543_9550Lorcan Gallagher and VDL Cartello

“We were one of the first to compete here when TIEC opened,” Shahinian-Simpson noted. “It’s always nice to come back! The new footing [in Tryon Stadium] is great. I’m all for it! Last year, we did the Fall Series here. It’s a great venue, and we’re lucky that we get to show at this time. Everyone’s doing a great job during these trying times,” she concluded. “It’s the new normal, whatever that may be, and everyone has put in a great effort to keep us going.”

543_9617Nicole Shahinian-Simpson and Akuna Mattata in their presentation ceremony.

Full results: $137,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3*
Horse Name, Year Breed gender (Sire x Dam Sire)
Rider (COUNTRY), Owner: Faults/Faults/Time

1. Akuna Mattata, 2008 Holsteiner mare (Quinar x Landwind II)
Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA), Carol Rosenstein and Silver Raven Farms: 0/0/37.002

2. Donna Speciale, 2008 Dutch Warmblood mare (Cavalier x Concorde)
Leslie Burr-Howard (USA), Laure Sudreau-Rippe & Peter Howard: 0/0/38.631

3. VDL Cartello, 2007 Holsteiner stallion (Cartani x Lord)
Lorcan Gallagher (IRL), Heathman Farm LLC: 0/4/36.077

4. F. Brightwood Lynz, 2010 Dutch Warmblood stallion (Spartacus x Quattro)
Ilan Bluman (COL), Jake Hall: 0/4/36.884

5. Rocksy Music, 2008 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ars Vivendi x Diamond Serpent)
Richie Moloney (IRL), Equinimity LLC: 0/4/37.037

6. Dez’ Ooktoff, 2008 Dutch Warmblood stallion (Colandro x Lys Rouge)
Roberto Teran Tafur (COL), Roberto Teran Tafur: 0/4/37.367

7. Keoki, 2009 Holsteiner gelding (Catoki x Cassini I)
David Blake (IRL), David Blake & Gwendolyn Dvorkin: 0/4/46.415

8. Kirschwasser SCF, 2010 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Amaretto D’arco x Nabab De Reve)
Freddie Vasquez (PUR), G6 Holdings & Freddie Vazquez: 1/80.39

8. My Way, 2010 Oldenburger stallion (Mylord Carthago x Cassini II)
Luiz Francisco De Azevedo (BRA) Hest Investment Fund Limited: 1/80.39

10. Amex Z, 2009 Zangersheide mare (Andiamo Z x Landaris)
Todd Minikus (USA), Bit By Bit Group: 4/74.15

11. Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili, 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Berlin x Darco)
Kristen VanderVeen (USA), Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC: 4/75.11

12. Blue Movie, 2006 Anglo-European Warmblood mare (Chacco Blue x Pilot)
Rowan Willis (AUS), Rowan Willis: 4/75.57

For full results from the $137,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3*, click here.

Tryon Summer 4 concludes Sunday, July 5 and the Tryon Summer Series continues through July 19. While the entire Tryon Summer Series is currently closed to spectators per USEF guidelines, highlight classes – including all FEI competition – are streamed online for free at

Photo credit ©Sportfot. Competitors can sign up for weekly packages at These photos may only be used once in relation to this press release with proper credit. Contact with questions.



Social Bar

Join Mailing List

Join Mailing List For Tryon Resort

Shopping Cart

Most Popular

Rider Spotlight

Like Box

Like Box

Like Box