Mill Spring, NC – July 16, 2019 – Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Rye Val de Mai sped to win the $36,000 Sunday Classic CSI 2* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), stopping the jump-off timers at 36.358 seconds fault-free to claim the win. Diego Perez Bilbao (ESP) and the Starlight Farms 1 LLC entry, Helios, a 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Couleur Rubin x Grandeur), took second place on a clear jump-off performance of 37.168 seconds, while Samantha Rice (CAN) and Ringwood Zebo, a 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Califax x Ringwood Audacity) owned by NRG Farm LLC, claimed third-place honors with a clear round and time of 40.211 seconds.
Course designer Bernardo Costa Cabral (POR) had 22 entries test the first course, with five returning for the jump-off. “The first round rode great. Bernardo is such a good course builder,” Wordley explained. “All of his courses ride well; I’ve never ridden one of his courses that didn’t ride well, and he always nails it. Everything is smooth and is always challenging enough, but with nothing that doesn’t make sense, so I really love riding his courses.”
Wordley shared that he has owned the 2005 Selle Francais stallion (Helios de La Cour II x Type D’Elle) for about three years now. “He’s a big trier, and he’s just a really good horse to have on your team. You can pull him out for any class and he gives his all.”
Wordley continued, “He does the ranking classes at different shows and I’m deciding whether I’ll keep him for next week’s class here or take him home and jump him in Kentucky. I haven’t decided yet. He’s always busy, because he’s a good part of the team. He has a light winter, so summer is when he does most of his jumping.”
Wordley, who also won Saturday’s $72,000 Nutrena Grand Prix CSI 2* aboard his own Gatsby, stated that Rye Val de Mai will certainly return to the Tryon Stadium soon. “I’ll look at the program and plan it out, but he’ll definitely be back at Tryon in the fall to do some ranking classes, and will also do some Kentucky Grands Prix. I’ll be here next week!”