Connors and Falcon De Hus Z Win $75,000 St. Luke’s Hospital Grand Prix CSI 2* at Tryon Summer

Caitlyn Connors & Falcon De Hus Z. ©Natalie Suto for TIEC

Edited Press Release

Mill Spring, NC – July 16, 2022 – Caitlyn Connors (USA) and Falcon De Hus Z shot through the jump-off timers in 37.86 to take the win in the $75,000 St. Luke’s Hospital Grand Prix CSI 2* at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC). Roberto Teran Tafur (COL) and Dez’ Ooktoff, his own 2008 Dutch Warmblood stallion (Colandro x Lys Rouge), earned reserve honors with their 38.76 second performance in the jump-off, while Gabriela Reutter (CHI) rode Maharees Rock, the 2010 Irish Sport Horse mare (Obos Quality 004 x Ballysimon) owned by Lumiere Sport Horses Inc., to a time of 40.21 seconds and third place.

The Guilherme Jorge (BRA) course design tested 50 horses and their riders in the first round, with 11 pairs coming back for the jump off. Connors was able to grab her first-ever international grand prix win, aboard the 2009 Zangersheide gelding (Florian de la Vie*Bazooka x Adlantus AS) owned by Five Henry Stables.

“The horse is from Scott Keach,” Connors said. “I just got him in the middle of the WEF season, so I haven’t had him for very long. It took us a minute to click, and then we clicked and I have fallen in deep love with this horse.

“This is actually my first FEI win, so it’s very special to me!” Connors revealed. “The horse is so amazing, the most careful horse and sweetest horse I’ve ever ridden. He is so honest, I don’t have enough good words to say about him. He is so amazing and I absolutely love him.”

Connors was able to ride the course on another mount before attempting it with Falcon De Hus Z, and commented that his carefulness helped the duo win. “In the first round, I did have one go before him and it didn’t go as planned, so I was able to see the course a little more than some of the other riders. That horse is so beyond careful that if you set him up perfectly he’s going to clear it, so I just had to make sure that I was going to ride well, and I knew he was going to take care of the rest. He was so amazing. I think the course was honestly perfect for him; he was so so good.”

Teran Tafur, Connors and Reutter in their presentation ceremony alongside Ringmaster Steve Rector, Tryon Equestrian Partners Carolinas President Sharon Decker, and St. Luke’s Hospital CEO Michelle Fortune.
©Natalie Suto for TIE

Connors bested her trained of six years, Teran Tafur, to claim the victory. “In the jump off, I watched my trainer, Roberto Teran, go, who [ended up in] second. His horse has a massive stride just like my horse, and I saw him do eight strides to the last [fence] and I was like, ‘If I want to win this, I have to do the eight!’ Honestly, everything showed up perfectly for me, and because this horse is so careful I was able to cruise around and he took care of the rest.”

“It is a fun feeling, for sure!” Connors replied when asked how it felt to beat her trainer. “It’s a great feeling to know that my work is paying off, and working with him has been nothing short of amazing. I’ve been working with him for six years, so to beat somebody who’s like my idol is a great feeling!”

German Sanchez was awarded the Equestrian Services International Groom’s Award for his care and dedication to Falcon De Hus Z, alongside Drew Page, TIEC Paddock Master, as well as Emma Brunnell, Brittni Raflowitz, Garrett Raflowitz, and Anders DeShields.
©Natalie Suto for TIEC

Connors boasted about her love for TIEC. “We’ve been coming to Tryon for years now, and I love it! It’s one of my must-stops for the fall and for the summer; I absolutely love it. The footing is great, the jumps are fun, the courses are always really super, and the course designers that come in are awesome. Plus, the whole environment, like the crowd coming in on Saturday nights, is so fun. I love being here.”

Jacqueline Ruyle (USA) was awarded the Sarah Bagworth Perpetual Trophy as the highest-placing amateur rider. Sarah’s family and friends gathered to present the inaugural award, honoring Sarah’s wish to encourage amateur riders to follow their dreams and continue the pursuit of excellence.
©Natalie Suto for TIEC

“I would really like to thank Roberto and I would really like to thank my groom, German,” Connors added. “And also my parents, Gigi, my friends that came out to watch, and I would really like to thank Scottie for trusting me with this horse; that means the absolute world to me and I’m so grateful to be able to ride such an amazing horse like him.”

RESULTS: $75,000 St. Luke’s Hospital Grand Prix CSI 2*

Horse Name, Year Breed gender (Sire x Dam Sire)

Rider (COUNTRY), Owner: Faults/Faults/Time

1. Falcon de Hus Z, 2009 Zangersheide gelding (Florian de la Vie*Bazooka x Adlantus AS)

Caitlyn Connors (USA), Five Henry Stables: 0/0/37.86

2. Dez’ Ooktoff, 2008 Dutch Warmblood stallion (Colandro x Lys Rouge)

Roberto Teran Tafur (COL), Roberto Teran Tafur: 0/0/38.76

3. Maharees Rock, 2010 Irish Sport Horse mare (Obos Quality 004 x Ballysimon)

Gabriela Reutter (CHI), Lumiere Sport Horses Inc: 0/0/40.21

4. Inajottie VDM, 2013 Dutch Warmblood mare (Carrera VDL x Indoctro)

Samantha Alexis Mackenzie (CAN), Samantha Alexis Mackenzie & Wilfred Beerse: 0/0/40.37

5. Speedy Jump, 2010 Oldenburg gelding (Stakkato Gold x Quidam’s Rubin)

Sarah Segal (USA), Horatio Street Ventures LLC: 0/0/41.81

6. Nanking VD Donkhoeve, 2013 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Houston x Cassini I)

Filip De Wandel (BEL), Five Way Farm LLC: 0/0/42.90

7.Collin, 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Colandro x Amethist)

Luiz Francisco de Azevedo (BRA), Santa Cecilia Stables LLC: 0/4/37.84

8. Santana, 2013 Holsteiner gelding (Cascadello I x Carthago)

Roberto Teran Tafur (COL), Rocking Basilisk Farm LLC: 0/4/38.07

9. Coco Beach, 2012 Holsteiner mare (Casall x San Patrignano Corrado)

Richie Moloney (IRL), Equanimity LLC: 0/4/40.44

10. Forever SFN, 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Azteca VDL x Non Stop)

Kelli Cruciotti-Vanderveen (USA), Mirjam Bierings and Springpaarden Fonds Nederland: 0/8/36.81

11. Buga Z, 2010 Zangersheide gelding (Chester Z x Quality Touch Z)

Samuel Parot (CHI), Samuel Parot: 0/8/39.65

12. Cyramo Z, 2011 Zangersheide mare (Clarimo x Vigo D Arsouilles STX)

Jacqueline Ruyle (USA), Jacqueline Ruyle: 4/73.38

For full results from the $75,000 St. Luke’s Hospital Grand Prix CSI 2*, click here.