May 12, 2024

Pamukcu and HSH Blake Lead Tryon CCI4*-L From Start to Finish

By Lindsay Berreth - USEA Staff
Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Blake. USEA/Lindsay Berreth photos

Mill Spring, N.C.—May 12Caroline Pamukcu planned to make her case for Paris Olympic selection this weekend at the Tryon International CCI4*--L, and she achieved her goal, leading the division from start to finish on HSH Blake.

A clear show jumping round this morning with no rails in hand sealed the win ahead of Will Faudree and Mama’s Magic Way. Liz Halliday ended her weekend in third with Cooley Quicksilver and fourth with Shanroe Cooley.

“I thought it was a really nice course. It was really friendly, and it was great practice for me because I just had to go around and stay in my rhythm and be efficient without taking any big risks,” said Pamukcu.

“I’m really happy with how fit we got him,” she added of the 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Tolan R x Doughiska Lass), who’s owned by herself, Deniz Pamukcu, Sherrie Martin, and Mollie Hoff. “Today felt like a breeze. We jump schooled him this morning with Bobby Costello, and he came out feeling really sharp and fresh. He felt like he could go and jump two rounds.

“This is the last big checkmark we had to do for the Olympics, and it was quite a bit of pressure just having everything on the line at this one show and to make sure we get here and cross the Ts and dot my Is,” said Caroline. “I’m just over the moon with his performance, and it’s extra special because it’s my first four-long win. He feels fit and ready, and hopefully we have a great rest of the season ahead of us.”

Will Faudree and Mama's Magic Way.

Faudree and “Mason,” a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Mighty Magic x Straightaway) owned by Jennifer Mosing and Sterling Silver Stables, were rerouting to Tryon after a subpar dressage score at the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event, and Faudree used the opportunity to work on his mental game under less pressure.

“He felt great. He jumped super. He felt really good in his body. I’m so grateful to the entire village of people who are behind him for me,” he said. “I put the same amount of pressure on myself whether I’m doing a Novice dressage test or a five-star cross-country course, but I’ve worked a lot with my sports psychologist Abigail Lufkin. This weekend in all three phases, how I dealt with my pressure was turning the word ‘pressure’ into ‘practice.’ When I started to feel myself in the warmup wanting to jump clear, well that’s pressure. I’m just practicing jumping clear. I just changed those words in my head, and that was a real game changer for me this weekend. Every time I felt that blanket of pressure, I turned it to practice.”

Faudree has been chosen as a reserve for the 2004, 2012, and 2021 Olympic Games, and he’s planning to be ready in case he and Mason are chosen for Paris. If not, he’ll likely head to one of his favorite five-stars, Defender Burghley, this fall.

Liz Halliday and Cooley Quicksilver.

After Phillip Dutton’s third-placed horse Jewelent didn’t pass the final horse inspection this morning, the door was open for Liz Halliday, and she jumped into third place with a clear show jumping round on The Monster Partnership’s 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Womanizer x Kylemore Crystal) Cooley Quicksilver.

“He hasn’t done a long format in two years, so it was nice to have him back out,” she said. “I loved how fresh and sassy and arrogant he was today, which is how we love him! He’s performing well this year. He’s a horse I’ve always believed a lot in in his weird and wonderful way.”

Halliday was also fourth with Ocala Horse Properties’ 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Dallas x Shanroe Sapphire) Shanroe Cooley. This was his first CCI4*-L completion after Halliday took a tumble from him three-quarters of the way around cross-country at Galway Downs (Temecula, California) last fall.

“Dallas was amazing and not tired, which was spectacular. I looked after him in a couple of places [on cross-country] because he’s still a horse for the future,” she said.

Halliday recounted a story about why she and Dallas had a few time penalties on cross-country yesterday.

“On my way to the coffin, an entire goose family was crossing the path right where I had to be. They were just cruising, so I had to slow down really early until they got out of the way. We tried with the ground jury, like, please, it’s an obstruction! It was hysterical. But he was excellent. He jumped his heart out today, and he has a big future,” she said.

She’s hoping to do another CCI4*-L in the fall, possibly Boekelo (the Netherlands).

In all, there were six double-clear rounds today from 20 pairs to start.

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