By Kate Pettersen, Kim Beaudoin, and Sabrina Brashares for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Thirteen adult equitation riders entered the Bruno Delgrange Palm Beach Adult Medal on Sunday in the Rost Arena. The medal included a first round course and then a flat phase for the top 12 riders. In the end, Tracey Gorin-Byrne piloted Fiach Byrne Inc.’s Honor Hill’s Giovanni to the blue ribbon.
Gorin-Byrne, of Noank, CT, has been paired with Honor Hill’s Giovanni since last fall. The 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Vigaro was originally a jumper and has just recently started his equitation career with Gorin-Byrne.
“He was actually a jumper before, and he was with Sweet Oak as a sales horse,” said Gorin-Byrne. “Then in Tryon in the fall, Ali [Sweetnam] said she had a horse I could try in the Ariat [Adult Medal] if I wanted to because she knows I like to do the adult equitation. I showed him there, and then my husband got him for me as a birthday present!”
“Jenna [Vanerstrom] helps me and obviously Ali and Danny [Arendt),” explained Gorin-Byrne. “Everybody always helps everybody! But Jenna is almost always at the ring with me, and she shows him in schooling classes and rides him a lot. She’s done a lot with him, and he’s come so far.”
After scoring an 85.5, Gorin-Byrne returned for the flat portion in second place. The pair showed off their technique and style in the second phase to move up and earn the top prize.
“I was really happy with him,” commented Gorin-Byrne. “Every week he’s getting better and better, and we are tweaking little things to make him do as well as he can. I think I was a little deep into the last line but he has gotten really good about helping me cover that up.”
Although Honor Hill’s Giovanni is currently for sale, Gorin-Byrne is still looking forward to continuing her success with the gelding until he sells.
“He is for sale whenever the right place for him shows up,” said Gorin-Byrne. “I’ll just keep having fun with him as long as I can and maybe we will do indoors, but if not, I’ll find something else to do it with! It’s been really fun. I don’t usually have my own horse, so it’s been really nice to have one that I get to love and give treats to and get attached to a little bit.”
The second place honor was awarded to Lindsey Tomeu, of Wellington, FL, and Sweet Oak Farm’s Sunman. The duo scored an 85 in the over fences portion of the medal. With a score of 86 in the first round, Millie Syroka, of Sylvania, OH, and her own Common Sense claimed third place.