Boyd Martin (USA) and Long Island T impressed the judges and put in a top score of 24.50 in Advanced dressage, commencing The Fork at TIEC presented by Lucky Clays Farm at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection rode into second with a score of 27.70, and Felix Vogg(SUI) moved into third aboard Archie Rocks with a score of 29.50.
Martin and Long Island T, a 13-year-old Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding (Ludwig Von Bayern x Heraldik XX) owned by the Long Island T Syndicate executed a solid test, advancing to the top in the Tryon Stadium.
"He [Long Island T] went like a dream! He got in there and did a fantastic test," said Martin. "The event organizers were great at this event to let us school in the rings for both FEI and the Horse Trials, which promotes great tests.
He's a pretty seasoned horse in the dressage now - it's his second year at this level, so he's starting to become very-well seasoned in all the movements. He's great fun to ride on the flat because he's got that natural extension the judges love."
On his strategy for the remaining phases, Martin stated, "My strategy is to jump really well and then ride really well in the cross-country. I think it's a brilliant track and I couldn't imagine a better place to prepare for a 5* event than this [TIEC]. It's got magnificent stadiums, beautiful rings and then obviously a world championship cross-country course. The horses should be well-prepared come Kentucky."
Martin mentioned a particular obstacle he's keeping in mind for cross-country, too: "There's a boat - I'm going to be riding hard to that one, and I'm going to be clucking and flapping my elbows about five strides out of that one - you watch! To me, it's just one of those brilliant events to come to with the restaurants and shops here and staying in the cabins on-site. Obviously, it's just a world-class facility and great exposure for the horses. I think it's going to help produce top performances in the future as well," he concluded.
Currently sitting in second, Symansky and Under Suspection, a 15-year-old Holsteiner mare (Contender x Exorbitant XX) owned by Mary Ann Ghadban is also preparing for Kentucky later this month.
"Our test was alright. She [Under Suspection] left a lot of points on the board, but I'm preparing for Kentucky, so I used the test to play around with a few things. I've ridden the horse for a year now, so I know her a bit better. She was my backup horse for WEG last year."
She continued, "She's such a lovely horse - to get that score when it wasn't the best you've ever done is great. I'm excited to go out on Saturday and ride her around the track I got to ride in September. She knows her job and she's such a lovely mare. So I'll use this as a final prep for Kentucky.
I think she's just a reliable horse all around. She can get a little hot in the ring - she's a relaxed competitor, but she's a fighter. She is such a beast Cross-Country. She really would love to just go cross-country and gallop forever."
Vogg, presently in third with Archie Rocks, a 2008 Thoroughbred gelding (Le Monde x Unbridled Jet) admitted to being on a learning curve in the new partnership, but is progressing well. "The test was pretty okay. I think he [Archie Rocks] is not the most talented one in Dressage, but he wants to do the test correctly and tries. Today, he was much more calm and focused," he said.
"He likes cross-country and jumping. Cross-Country is nothing for him - he's an old racehorse, so he's used to it, but dressage is a new thing for him. I've only had him since January."
Commenting on his plan for cross-country, Vogg stated, "I make a plan when I get out of the start box and jump the first few jumps based on how he feels. I like that the course will have parts of the WEG course, and it is interesting to ride it once more, and maybe try to do it better than last time!"
For the CCI3*-S division, Doug Payne and Starr Witness advanced to first with a dressage score of 27.60, while Will Faudree and Caeleste sit in second with a score of 29.60. At present, Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Flash Cooley are in third with a score of 30.80.
The Fork at TIEC continues with CCI4*-S, Modified, Novice, Training, and Beginner Novice dressage phases, followed by show jumping and cross-country for all phases Saturday and Sunday.
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What do you get when you combine an aviation engineer, a successful amateur rider, and a galloping event horse? The answer, it seems, is the man who has made a massive contribution to the work of the FEI Eventing Risk Management Committee, and his name is David Vos.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
The USEA would like to feature your IEL team! The USEA Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL) is in its first year and currently has 82 registered teams from every USEA area and 46 events hosting an interscholastic team challenge.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is thrilled to welcome back longtime sponsor, FITS Riding, Ltd. for 2021. They are returning as a Bronze Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds, a Contributing Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA Adult Team Championships, a Contributing Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA Classic Series, and a Contributing Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships. As a sponsor of these USEA programs, FITS Riding will generously provide gift certificates as prizes for the Intercollegiate championship competitors, AEC and ATC competitors, and Classic Series winners.