Tryon Resort's 2019 Iconic Moments

Dec 31, 2019 - 4:06 PM

2019 has been a banner year for Tryon Resort and Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), with so much to look forward to in 2020. Read below to review some of our favorite iconic moments from the past year and see if your favorite memory from 2019 made the list!

TIEC Iconic Moments

Kristen VanderVeen

Kristen VanderVeen’s 30th FEI Win with Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili

Kristen VanderVeen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili returned to TIEC with a landmark win in the $36,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3* during Tryon Spring 4 competition, stopping the short-course timers in 38.71 seconds to claim their 30th FEI win together.

“It was a special win because it was his 30th FEI win since I’ve had him,” said VanderVeen. “We’ve been keeping an eye on it and trying to get to 30. My first 5* Grand Prix win was here, with him, too.”

Taylor Land Action

Taylor Land Sweeps the Entire Podium in $30,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix

Taylor Land (Atlanta, GA) landed an iconic win during Tryon August 1 in the $30,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix at TIEC as the venue’s first rider to ever claim first, second and third place in Grand Prix competition. Land topped the podium with Get Go, stopping the jump-off timers at 34.885 seconds. She also placed second and third aboard the Pinetree Farms Inc. entries, Liroy 30, a ten-year-old German Sporthorse (Levistano x King Kolibri), and Falco V, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Bustique x Montreux), clearing the short course in 35.081 seconds and 35.3 seconds, respectively.

“It’s crazy! I never thought that was going to happen, but it’s amazing,” Land confided of her iconic win. “I’m so glad he [Get Go] won it; he’s my baby.”

Trip of the Day 2

Trip of the Day Debuts at Tryon Spring 6 TR&HC Charity Horse Show

Each day throughout Tryon Spring 6 TR&HC Charity Horse Show competition, the rider with the highest-scoring Hunter round at TIEC received a $500 prize and special commemorative ribbon thanks to generous daily sponsors. Sunday’s Trip of the Day, presented by Two Rivers Hay, was awarded to Erin Floyd and Jerez Mail, owned by Michaela Kennedy, with a score of 87. Kristi Watson on Wilson owned by Joslin Davis and Sandra Savage on her own All 4 Play both earned a score of 85 Friday to claim the Trip of the Day prize presented by Sara Ketcham of Still Creek Farm.

Saturday’s Trip of the Day also resulted in a tie, with Confidential and Happenstance both earning scores of 87 with Bergen Sanderford in the irons to claim the Trip of the Day prize presented by Spy Coast Farm. Holly Shepherd (Grand Bay, AL) and As You Wish, owned by Ashley Runnels, scored a pair of 87s in the Green Hunter 3’3 classes Wednesday to claim the Trip of the Day prize, presented by Tryon Equestrian Partners Roger and Jennifer Smith.

Heritage Horse Show

Tryon Spring 6 TR&HC Charity Horse Show named USEF Heritage Horse Show & Hosts $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby with Liza Boyd Course Walk

Daniel Geitner (USA) and Elizabeth Tarumianz’s One Request were awarded top honors in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at TIEC with an overall score of 371, out of 21 pairs to take part in the highlight Hunter class of the Tryon Spring 6 Tryon Riding & Hunt Club Charity Show. The longstanding horse show as named a USEF Heritage Competition in 2019, marking it as one of the oldest continually-hosted USEF shows in the nation. As part of the celebrations, a free course walk guided by the legendary Liza Boyd was offered to the public.

USPC Champs

USPC Championships East 2019 Hosted at TIEC

TIEC at Tryon Resort was proud to host the 2019 US Pony Clubs Championships East July 24-28, marking the third consecutive year that the venue welcomed pony competitors from across the United States competing in seven disciplines. Dressage, Eventing, Games, Polocrosse, Quiz, Show Jumping, and Tetrathlon disciplines were featured alongside Stable Management competitors.

Gladiator Polo

Gladiator Polo™ returns to TIEC: Team Greenville Defends their Title

Team Greenville held on for a nail-biting 9-8 win over Team Charlotte to repeat their 2018 win at TIEC, playing in front of a packed and energetic crowd. Jumping to an early lead on the efforts of Felipe Viana, Jared Sheldon and Matt Coppola, Team Greenville was able to stave off a strong Charlotte offensive run in the fourth chukker to defend their title in Tryon Stadium. Team Charlotte was represented by Trevor Niznik, Mike Azzaro, and Patrick Uretz for a formidable trio to challenge the defending champions. The last two chukkers had fans on the edge of their seats as Greenville secured the win, taking home the top prize of $21,000.


Blue Ridge Mountain Horse Trials Introduced at TIEC

The inaugural Blue Ridge Mountain Horse Trials (BRMHT) at TIEC welcomed two days of national-level Eventing competition at the venue September 14-15. The event marked the first time that competitors of all lower levels were welcomed to test the White Oak Cross-Country Course, the same to host Cross-Country competition during the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG). World-renowned course designer, Captain Mark Phillips (GBR) designed seven layouts to host nearly 150 entries from Beginner Novice through Advanced.

Para Dressage

Adequan®/USEF Para-Dressage National Championships Hosted at TIEC

Tryon Fall Dressage 2 CDI 3* and CPEDI 3* presented by Adequan® at TIEC also hosted the Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championship, the title of which went to Roxanne Trunnell and Dolton on a final cumulative score of 75.247%, and David Botana was named National Reserve Champion following his efforts riding Lord Locksley to a cumulative score of 74.318%.

“It feels really good [to win a National Championship], Trunnell shared. “I haven’t been with Dolton for very long. [Our] partnership is really forming.” Trunnell also relayed that one of the highlights of her tests with Dolton was “just how consistent he was. Always marching!” Trunnell scored a 79.333% in the FEI CPEDI 3* Freestyle Grade I, earning the highest score of the weekend with the 2012 Hanoverian gelding (Danone I x Unknown) owned by Flintwood Farm LLC. “Our Freestyle music is from ‘Forrest Gump’ – it’s adorable!”

GSF Grand Prix 5_

McLain Ward Wins $384,000 Gary Sinise Foundation Jump for Our Heroes CSI 5* Grand Prix presented by Lowe’s

It was another marquee win in Tryon for McLain Ward (USA) with Noche de Ronda after racing to win the $384,000 Gary Sinise Foundation Jump for Our Heroes Grand Prix CSI 5* presented by Lowe’s, halting the jump-off timers in 32.837 seconds. Eugenio Garza Perez (MEX) piloted Armani SL Z, a 2008 Zangersheide gelding (Cumlaude Z x Cumano) owned by David & Monica Garza, to a close second with a jump-off performance of 32.994 seconds, while third-place honors went to Kristen VanderVeen (USA) and Bull Run’s Risen, a 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Utopie x Indoctro) owned by Bull Run Jumpers, Inc., who put in a 33.68-second jump-off ride to secure the podium finish.

Biggest Class Ever

Tryon Fall 5 $36,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 5* Breaks Record for Largest Class to Date

Andy Kocher (USA) and Abelone O.T. Lowlands Z sped to win the $36,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 5* during Tryon Fall 5 at TIEC with a double clear and a speed phase time of 23.608 seconds. Course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) set the course for the largest class held at TIEC to date, with 102 entries testing the Power phase.

Developing Jumper Series

Spy Coast Farm Developing Jumper Series Championships Hosted at TIEC

The $25,000 Spy Coast Farm Developing Jumper Series Championship saw a win for David O’Brien (Lexington, KY) and Olivia SCF in the $5,000 Spy Coast Farm Developing Jumper Series Five-Year-Old Championship, marking the Spy Coast Farm LLC 2014 Belgian Warmblood mare’s (Cardento x Simbette) first finals experience with a win. In the $10,000 Spy Coast Farm Developing Jumper Series Six-Year-Old Championship, Cody Quintana (Wellington, FL) piloted Noah Van Den Doorn to the win, while Gavin Harley (IRL) and Corbawido PS claimed the $10,000 Spy Coast Farm Developing Jumper Series Seven-Year-Old Championship.

Tryon Resort Iconic Moments

GSF Grand Prix 3_

Gary Sinise Foundation Jump for our Heroes Concert and Grand Prix CSI 3* presented by Lowe’s Raises Funds for Veterans and First Responders

The Gary Sinise Foundation Jump for Our Heroes Weekend at TIEC featured Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band live in concert, free and open to the public, ahead of the $134,000 Gary Sinise Foundation Jump for Our Heroes Grand Prix CSI 3* presented by Lowe’s. The weekend also featured a fundraising event for the Gary Sinise Foundation and their work with veterans, first responders, and the families of fallen and injured heroes. The Children of Fallen Heroes Skydiving Angels were also on hand to kick off equestrian competition, parachuting into the Tryon Stadium during the singing of the National Anthem.

Para Dressage Dinner

Fundraiser Brings $40,000 Directly to US Para-Dressage Athletes

A U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Benefit hosted by TIEC and organized by Cindy Boyle and Elma Garcia resulted in $40,000 directly benefiting 15 athletes who were featured guests at the event. More than 36 sponsors and 21 donors contributed to the event, which was held the same week as the 2019 Adequan®/USEF Para-Dressage National Championships.

Hobby Horse

Largest American Hobby Horse Competition to Date

The American Hobby Horse Series, a free event hosted every Saturday in July and October before “Saturday Night Lights” competition in Tryon Stadium, saw a record competition with 181 entries in the Summer Series. Offered for children through age 14, the free, affordable and fun method of interacting with equestrian sport using a stick horse has become a Tryon Resort favorite in its third year.


Spartan Carolinas Ultra, Beast & Sprint Weekend Hosted at Tryon Resort

Welcoming more than 12,000 people to the venue November 23-24, Tryon Resort played host to three Spartan Race events: the Ultra (30 miles; 60 obstacles), Beast (13 miles; 30 obstacles) and the Sprint (3 miles; 20 obstacles). Rain and mud made the courses, which utilized space around but not on the renowned White Oak Cross Country Course, all the more epic. Spartan Weekend will return in 2020, with more information forthcoming.


Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland presented by Ingles Debuts at Tryon Resort

With two miles of hundreds of thousands of lights synchronized to music, the Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland presented by Ingles was hosted by Tryon Resort for the first time on November 15 and welcomed visitors daily from 6-10pm to tour by the carload through January 2020. A Winterfest Village was held every weekend through the end of December and featured a variety of kids’ activities such as Santa’s House, The Grinch’s Whoville Village, live music, free carousel rides, kids’ activities, petting zoo, carriage and pony rides, shopping, s’mores roasting, and more! Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland presented by Ingles will be open daily through January 5, 2020, and more information is available at


Was your favorite memory of 2019 on the list? Let us know in the comments below!

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