By Allie Hay for TIEC
Mill Spring, NC – June 27, 2021 – Competition was tight in the $25,000 Roger’s Diner Grand Prix with the top three riders finishing within tenths of a second of each other at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC) to close out Tryon Summer 2 competition. Darragh Kerins (Wellington, FL) rode to a blue ribbon finish aboard NRG Farm LLC’s Delight M-G C De Leuze, winning with a jump-off time of 42.489 seconds. Clearing the timers in 42.911 seconds and taking a second place ribbon was owner/rider Jacqueline Ruyle (Houston, TX) on Cyramo Z, a 2011 Zangersheide mare (Clarimo x Cyprus). Chasen Boggio (Canton, GA) piloted his own Co Pilot, a Westphalian gelding (Coney Obellnsty x Pauline), to third, finishing just behind Ruyle with a time of 42.985 seconds.
Kerins and his 2009 Belgian Warmblood mare (Armitage x Vox Dei M-G C De Leuze) have been chomping at the bit for a win in the Grand Prix at TIEC, placing second in last week’s class. “She’s such an extravagant jumper. She gives 100% every time,” Kerins said enthusiastically. With Delight M-G C De Leuze giving her best effort to nail the jump-off course, Kerins ended the weekend with a win.
Twenty-five horse-and-rider pairs made their way through the first round of the Jason Shelley-designed course. Of those 25, eight qualified for the jump off. Shelley’s short course tested the eight riders with tight rollbacks and challenging lines. After his win, Kerins noted, “I thought the course was good! Jason did a great job. It was quite technical and careful. In the jump off he gave us lots of lines to really challenge us. The inside turn was just luck of the draw! I saw the others go and just had to take chances and luckily it worked out for me.”
The weekend has been a successful one for Kerins’ entire family, he noted after they joined him in the presentation ceremony to celebrate the win. Daughter Khloe had a clean sweep of the .80m Jumper II Division, earning first in every class. Kerins’ son, Daniel, took home third place in the $400 Medium Junior/Amateur Jumper 1.30m class and competed alongside his father in the Grand Prix.
The Kerins family will continue competing at TIEC for the rest of the summer and will be back to compete in the fall as well. With a smile on his face, Kerins remarked, “It’s like home away from home and we’re looking forward to the rest of the summer! We had a great time at the PBR rodeo the past couple of nights and this win is a great way to top off the weekend.”
Tryon Summer 2’s introductory $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake resulted in Juan Ortiz (Loxahatchee, FL) claiming the victory with Cognac Quinze (Mylord Carthago x Osier Du Maury), the 2012 Selle Francais gelding owned by Blue Trim LLC. The pair sped to make an impressive jump-off time of 36.909 seconds. David O’Brien (Lexington, KY) secured second place aboard the Starlight Farms 1 LLC entry, Shadowfax 111 (Der Senaat 111 x Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve), the 2012 Belgian Warmblood gelding. The pair was right on the heels of Ortiz, accomplishing a jump-off time of 37.099 seconds. Third place honors went to Samantha Rice (Wellington, FL) upon Ringwood Zebo (Califax x Ringwood Audacity). Rice and the 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by NRG Farm LLC stopped the clocks with a jump-off time of 37.637 seconds.
Ortiz was very pleased with Cognac Quinze’s performance in the Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake, as it was the nine-year-old horse’s first notable win. Ortiz praised his horse’s performance, saying, “We got him a couple years ago from McClain [Ward] to develop, and he’s developing to be a very promising young horse that is going to do something [big]. He keeps doing well and answering the questions correctly, so we’re very happy with the way he’s turning out. He’s very competitive, too.”
“My friend Todd Minikus said to me one day, ‘If you practice being a loser, you’ll be a loser your whole life.’ Since I’m trying to develop a proper horse, I tried to practice a winning round and it paid off!” Ortiz relayed. “Sometimes you have one down, and that’s part of the sport, but today it paid off!”
TIEC has become home for Ortiz and his family, and he concluded by expressing his gratitude for the facility and all that it has to offer:
“Tryon is my home! My mailing address and my house that I own is in Wellington, but Tryon is my home! Come April, I move here and I don’t leave until the season is done. This is a place where my family likes to hang out. This is the place where my kids love to run around. We have all our friends together. We love the event, we love the show, and we love the way they treat us! I’ll stay here until the end of the season!”