May 11, 2024

Pamukcu Stays On Top at Tryon International CCI4*-L

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

Mill Spring, N.C.—May 11—Caroline Pamukcu came to the Tryon International CCI4*-L to tick off the box with three of her 9-year-olds and to impress selectors as the Paris Olympics loom this summer.

Of her three, HSH Blake has the most experience, though this is his first CCI4*-L, and he skipped around Helen West’s cross-country course today inside the optimum time of 10 minutes.

Pamukcu and “Blake” were the only pair of 26 starters to make the time, which meant they maintained their dressage lead of 28.6 heading into show jumping tomorrow, although they’ll have no rails in hand with Will Faudree and Mama’s Magic Way close behind them in second on 30.9.

“I’m really proud of him. He’s such a special animal. They did a very good job on the footing with the amount of rain—the footing was perfect,” said Pamukcu. “I really loved all three of the horses that I ran [including HSH Tolan King and HSH Double Sixteen]. They’re all 9-year-olds, and they’re all quite green.”

Blake, an Irish Sport Horse gelding (Tolan R x Doughiska Lass), owned by Pamukcu, Deniz Pamukcu, Sherrie Martin, and Mollie Hoff, lost a front shoe early on today—the same one he lost at the Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S (Lexington, Kentucky) two weeks ago—so Caroline said he was slipping a bit.

“He was a little bit slipping and sliding, and it’s a hard track to ride when you’re slipping and sliding like that, so I had to adjust my plan and do a bit more straight lines and direct routes, and he really coped well with that,” she said. “That’s what I’m so proud of him for. If anything goes wrong, he can adapt while on course. If we need to add or leave them out—I just thought that leaving them out on straight lines was best. I made up time where I could, but I had to do some wider turns so he didn’t slip.”

Caroline, 29, said she’s especially proud that her fitness plan worked out with all three of her rides.

“I live in Florida all of January through April, so I’m really happy with all three of their fitness,” she said. “You never know. I’m on my own now, although I do train with Sharon White and Bobby Costello, and Pippa Funnell still mentors me, but I’m making my own programs, so I’m really happy that all of them flew up that last hill. That was great to feel at 10 minutes they could have gone another four minutes.”

Will Faudree and Mama's Magic Way.

Will Faudree brought Mama’s Magic Way to Tryon to run under less pressure after an uncharacteristic dressage test at the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event, and he maintained his second place standing with “Mason” after adding 2 time penalties.

“He felt great,” said Faudree of the 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Mighty Magic x Straightaway) owned by Jennifer Mosing and Sterling Silver Stables. “That’s his jam out there, I just have to do my best to stay out of his way. The course rode nice. It was lots of scopey questions up a big hill. He stormed around. I’m kicking myself for my 2 time penalties. I was down on my minutes about halfway around and thought I better put a wiggle on it. I caught back up almost by 9 minutes, but on that last hill, maybe I’m showing my age a bit, but I took a bit of a tug to the second to last and last fence to make sure we jumped them, so that resulted in 5 seconds slow, but I’m thrilled with him. He’s my only horse at this level right now, and we have such a fun partnership.”

Faudree noted that fence 19a was taken out due to some muddy areas, and it was a bit slippery on the turns after heavy rain earlier in the week, but the golf course that the course is built on held up fairly well today.

“[West has] definitely got a style,” he added. “She incorporated a lot of the terrain and a lot of uphill and downhill stuff, which a little bit takes the rhythm away from you, so I think it was important after those technical questions when there was terrain involved to really gallop away and make sure you stayed up on the time.”

Phillip Dutton and Jewelent.

Phillip Dutton moved into third from eighth with the Jewelent Group’s Jewelent, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Valent x Bellaney Jewel), adding 1.6 time penalties. He dropped to sixth with Denim, who was tied for second yesterday, and is also 10th with Possante.

After retiring his top horse Z last year, Dutton was on the hunt for an experienced horse, and he found Jewelent in Ireland where he’d competed the five-star level with Irish rider Claire Abbott.

“He’s a reasonably experienced horse so I thought he should have been fine [at Tryon],” Dutton said. “I was a bit unlucky at Kentucky [CCI4*-S] where I got sort of thrown out of the saddle [and picked up 20 penalties in a viral save], but he was good today. He’s a fast horse. I expected to push him as quick as I could without taking too many risks.”

“He had a good cross-country record and pretty good show jumping record,” he added. “He’s a quiet horse, and I felt that there’s a lot of improvement on the dressage as well. Hopefully he’s got a good future with us.”

Dutton, 60, West Grove, Pennsylvania, thought the course rode about as epected today.

“The terrain in this area, except for the back field which is flat, the rest of it is constantly changing grade, so it’s a certain type of riding you need to do,” he said. “You can’t get too far down on the clock because there’s no area to go very fast. Horses and riders are constantly working to find their line and make the best track with the different moguls and elevations. It’s a lot of concentration out there.”

Twenty-one pairs completed cross-country, with three pairs retiring on course, one elimination for refusals, and one technical elimination. Overall the course rode well with just five pairs picking up jumping or frangible penalties.

The final horse inspection kicks off at 8 a.m. on Sunday, and show jumping will start at 11:40 a.m.

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