There's a full team in the house this week for the USEA Podcast's preview show for the Tryon International Three-Day Event, taking place this weekend starting with the first horse inspection on Wednesday afternoon! Show host Nicole Brown is joined this week by USEA CEO Rob Burk, USEA President Max Corcoran, and Diarm Byrne of EquiRatings to assess the 84-horse field entered in the CCI4*-L at Tryon, only the second event of its kind to take place in the United States this year. Plus, special guest Boyd Martin comes on the show to discuss his win in the Galway Downs CCI4*-L and his entries at Tryon.
Corcoran leads off the show with a description of the venue at Tryon, which many know as the home of the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG). This is the first time a CCI4*-L has been run at the venue since the WEG. Captain Mark Phillips has been the designer at the venue from the outset so he knows the property very well.
Special guest Boyd Martin cuts in to talk about his win in the Galway Downs CCI4*-L which took place last weekend in Temecula, California aboard Luke 140 (Landos x Omega IV), the Luke 140 Syndicate's 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding. He also finished third with Long Island T (Ludwig Von Bayern x Haupstsbuch Highlight), the Long Island T Syndicate's 14-year-old Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding.
Brown turns the conversation with Martin to Tryon, where he has three horses entered: Christine Turner's 13-year-old Trakehner gelding Tsetserleg (Windfall x Thabana), the Blackfoot Mystery Syndicate's 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding Blackfoot Mystery (Out of Place x True Mystery), and his own and Christine Turner's 14-year-old Anglo mare On Cue (Cabri D'elle x On High).
Martin touches on the planned and unplanned breaks he's had this year due to a scheduled hip surgery followed by a muscle tear in his groin, which kept him out of the tack for longer than he'd planned. However, he has a great team around him including several professional riders and the staff at Windurra who have helped with the horses as Martin has healed up.
Brown turns the conversation back to the group to discuss some of this weekend's other contenders. Corcoran mentions Woods Baughman and C'est La Vie 135 (Contendro I x Anette), the 12-year-old Hannoverian gelding, who won the CCI3*-L at Fair Hill last fall and were third and fourth at their two CCI4*-S attempts this year. She also pointed out Ariel Grald and Annie Eldridge's 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Leamore Master Plan (Master Imp x Ardragh Bash), Matt Flynn and Patrick and Kathleen Flynn and Merry Go Round Farm's 11-year-old KWPN gelding Wizzerd (Wizzerd x Amai), and Sara Mittleider and her own and the La Paz Group's 10-year-old Hungarian Sport Horse gelding La Paz (Otangelo x Dos Opera) as ones to watch.
Liz Halliday-Sharp has been on fire this year, and the EquiRatings Prediction Center has her at a 12 percent chance to take the win at Tryon with Deniro Z (Zapatero x Zonne-Trend), Ocala Horse Properties and The Deniro Syndicate's 12-year-old KWPN gelding. Halliday-Sharp has earned eight international wins this year, more than any other rider.
Second to Halliday-Sharp on the list of riders with the most international wins in 2020 is Tamie Smith with six wins. Byrne points out that she has been on the top 10 of this list for years. She comes into the weekend with two contenders, both owned by Ruth Bley: the 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding Danito (Dancier x Wie Musik) and the 15-year-old Hanoverian mare En Vogue (Earl x Laurena).
Byrne points out that the fact that this is a CCI4*-L and not a CCI4*-S could make quite a difference when it comes to how the favorites perform. With no other long format runs this year to base predictions on, it will be interesting to see how the increased distance on the cross-country comes into play.
Discussion turns to Phillip Dutton and his two rides: the Sea of Clouds Partnership's 9-year-old Thoroughbred gelding Sea of Clouds and Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Anne Jones, and Caroline Moran's 12-year-old Zangersheide gelding Z (Asca x Bellabouche). Z has four CCI4*-L runs with two top-five finishes and has experience with this venue with finishes at WEG and the WEG Test Event.
Marilyn Little and Phoebe and Michael Manders and Ms. Jacqueline Mars's 15-year-old Oldenburg mare RF Scandalous (Carry Gold x Richardia) command the dressage phase at nearly every event they compete in, but the long format distance on cross-country could prove difficult to make the time. The EquiRatings Prediction Center still has RF Scandalous as the favorite to win.
Lynn Symansky and RF Cool Play (Condors Champion x Roxana), The Donner Syndicate's 12-year-old German Sport Horse gelding, who were team gold and individual silver medalists at the Pan American Games last year, have only been out at the CCI4*-L level twice previously but earned top-five finishes at both.
One of Brown's favorites is Doug Payne and Vandiver (Windfall x Visions of Grandeur), his own and Jessica Payne and Debi Crowley's 16-year-old Trakehner gelding, who finished in the top five at the Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5*-L in 2019. Payne is also bringing forward Starr Witness (Chello III VDL x Carmen), his own, Laurie McRee, and Catherine Winter's 9-year-old KWPN mare, and Quantum Leap (Quite Capitol x Report to Sloopy), his own and Jessica Payne's 9-year-old Zweibrucker gelding.
Burk points out Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot (Cruising x Shannon), Ms. Jacqueline Mars's 17-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, and Jennie Brannigan and Stella Artois, the Stella Artois Syndicate's 12-year-old Holsteiner/Thoroughbred mare, will both likely be in the mix this weekend as contenders. In fact, Byrne shared an interesting statistic on Brannigan - in 2014, she won 45 national events, the most ever recorded in a single year in the United States.
Corcoran also brings Will Coleman into the mix, who has the TKS Cooley Syndicate's 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding TKS Cooley (Vivaldo Van Het Costersveld x Badgerhill Cruise) and Team Rebecca's 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Don Dante both competing this weekend in the CCI4*-L.
As always, the team closes out the show by naming their podium picks and dark horses for the weekend. You'll have to listen in to see who picks who!