Julio Mendoza Prepares for Tokyo 2020 and Chris Hickey Sweeps Prix St. Georges Competition at Tryon Summer Dressage 5 Presented by Adequan®

Julio Mendoza and Rosali ©Susan J. Stickle Photography

Mill Spring, NC – August 15, 2019 – Tryon Summer Dressage 5 presented by Adequan® at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) was a good weekend for Columbus, NC, resident Julio Mendoza (ECU) and Rosali, where they claimed FEI Grand Prix O/AA/J/Y competition on a score of 66.250%. Second place was earned by Jules Nyssen (USA) aboard Volturnus, the 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Flemming owned by Jennifer Brinkley, with a score of 62.554%. 

“Rosie is an 18-hand Danish Warmblood mare owned by Aileen Daly with a heart that is unbelievable. She’s a beautiful mover, with a good brain, a good heart, and I adore her,” said Mendoza of the mare he’s only been riding for four months. “She wants to give everything to you. She is spicy and sassy in a good way, and she’s everything you need for a Grand Prix.”

Mendoza has lived just minutes away from the venue for three years now, he explained, and is thankful to have such a high-caliber facility so close to home: “I’ll be back again in September for the CDI; I love the people here, I love the weather, and I love TIEC. The stables [here] are amazing, the footing is great, and all the people that I know are great! Thanks to Mark Bellisimo for developing this for us. I never would have expected to be competing here at such a good facility!”

Jules Nyssen and Volturnus ©Susan J. Stickle Photography

Though a frequent face at TIEC, Mendoza is chasing big goals on the heels of being the first representative from Ecuador to qualify for and compete in Dressage at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) last September:

“We’re working with Rosali right now towards the Olympics [Tokyo 2020]. That’s our goal if everything goes to plan,” Mendoza continued. “I’ve been to the Pan-American Games, Bolivarian Games, and WEG, so now I’m going for the Olympics. If it doesn’t happen, great, but I’m going to give it everything. Rosie has the potential. We just started to develop a relationship, and I know that it will take time, but with respect and love everything will come together.”

Mendoza emphasized that his success at every level is rooted in the support of his “village” with the whole family behind him: “My wife is my manager, my right hand, and my everything. She manages my students, schedule, shows, and my program. Everything is run through her, and I’m so grateful to have her! And now my son is competing, too, and I’m super excited about that,” Mendoza shared. “It’s taking a village [to reach the Olympics]; I know that. My wife, my grooms, the farrier, the vet, and Rosali’s owner, Aileen. Thank God she’s letting me ride [Rosie]! Aileen is a wonderful client and an amazing friend who’s letting me ride a phenomenal horse,” Mendoza concluded.

Chris Hickey and Stenagers Wyatt Earp Sweep FEI Prix St. Georges Competition

Sunday’s FEI Prix St. Georges O/AA/J/Y win on a score of 71.397% made it two-for-two for Chris Hickey (USA) and Stenagers Wyatt Earp, the seven-year-old who also won Saturday’s class by the same name on a total score of 68.897%. Second place in Sunday’s competition went to the JR/Y entry, Sophia Holloway (USA), riding Wincenzo, her own 2003 Hanoverian gelding (Wordly x Arani), to a score of 67.574%, while third-place honors were awarded to Taylor Rae Laney (USA) and Gandalf, her own 2003 Swedish Warmblood gelding, on a score of 65.441%. 

Chris and Stenagers Wyatt Earp
©Susan J. Stickle Photography

“He was purchased last November to be a top international horse,” said Hickey of the 2012 Danish Warmblood gelding (Wilkens x Stnagers Santana) owned by Cecelia Stewart. “We purchased this horse from Andreas Helgstrand; he showed as a six-year-old at the Danish National Championship, and he also represented Denmark at the World Young Horse Championship last year. To me, he shows a lot of promise as an FEI horse.”

Though already successful at the Prix St. Georges level, Hickey is taking time to develop his new star, he detailed: “I’m hoping he’ll come along nicely and this year we’ll do the Prix St. Georges. He’ll start his year one in Florida, and then he’ll do the big shows there. When I get a new horse, I want to take my time, get them acclimated to me and my system, and just try to form a relationship to show at 4th Level. This horse has a lot going for him, and a lot of talent and strength.

Sophia Holloway and Wincenzo
©Susan J. Stickle Photography

“We come to Tryon [International Equestrian Center] all the time,” concluded Hickey. “We’re like an hour and 45 minutes from the show, so we come here a lot because the footing is so good, stabling is so good and everything is close by. We love the show here, and are happy that we have a show facility like this that’s so close to us.”