Australia’s Rowan Willis and Everse W Finish on High Note at Tryon Spring 4 CSI 3* Competition

Mill Spring, N.C. – May 27, 2018 – Tryon Spring 4 competition concluded Sunday at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) with a win for Australia’s Rowan Willis aboard Everse W in the $35,000 1.45m Sunday Classic CSI 3*, stopping the short-course timers in 40.162 seconds. Daniel Bedoya (BOL) claimed second place honors with Carolyn M. Elsey’s 2004 Zangersheide mare, Quilona V Z (Quasimodo Z x Nimmerdor), clearing the course in 41.6 seconds, while Deborah Stephens (USA) rode Cairo B, a 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Vermont x Mr. Blue) owned by Centennial Farm Inc., to third place after their 41.865-second performance on the short track.

Rowan Willis and Everse W. Photo: ©Sportfot
Rowan Willis and Everse W. Photo: ©Sportfot

Willis and Dinah Posford’s 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lexicon x Carthago) were last to go after 16 entries toured the first round and six pairs returned to test the short track. Willis also achieved eighth place aboard his own Shark, a 2008 Anglo European Sport Horse gelding (Arko x Pilot), after a speedy four-fault first round.

“The course was strong enough, actually, and it rode how it walked for me,” Willis said of the track set by Hector Loyola (PRI). “I thought it was going to be a little bit easier being a 1.45 meter on Sunday, but [Hector] builds a tough, but nice course. It was a competitive enough jump-off. I was lucky to go last because Everse W has been drawn first all week, so that was nice. When you let him off and go fast he’s got such a big stride and just covers the ground easily.”

Entering today’s class with two mounts that also tested the $70,000 Spy Coast Farm Grand Prix CSI 3* Saturday night was a last-minute, but fruitful decision, Willis explained, as he was hoping to improve his rides on both mounts before leaving the venue.

“I’m off to Spruce Meadows next. I was actually going to start driving there today, but after I didn’t ride so well in the Grand Prix last night, I thought we had to stay and jump today,” said Willis of his two mounts Everse W and Shark.

Willis has been named to the Short List for the Australian Jumping Team ahead of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) hosted at TIEC September 11-23, 2018, and while he’s not aiming Everse W at the Games, Willis commented that his first experience as a competitor at the venue was positive, and he hopes to carry this momentum forward.

“It’s a great facility. I’ve been very impressed,” he emphasized. “It’s lovely, and I’m really excited about coming back in September. [Everse W] is a great horse, but I’m not aiming him at this WEG since he’s only nine. I’ve got my older one Blue Movie here that I’m hoping to bring back. Maybe [Everse W] for the next one!”

Everse W started off Eventing before Willis acquired the ride for owner Dinah Posford and plans to continue building the gelding’s experience at Spruce Meadows as he prepares for potential WEG contention, he noted. “Hopefully next time I’m back here I’ll be winning, too!”


$35,000 1.45m Sunday Classic CSI 3*
Place / Horse / Rider / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Everse W / Rowan Willis / 0 | 86.11 / 0 | 40.162
2. Quilona V Z / Daniel Bedoya / 0 | 83.11 / 0 | 41.6
3. Cairo B / Deborah Stephens / 0 | 85.97 / 0 | 41.865
4. D’Artagnan / Santiago Lambre / 0 | 81.46 / 4 | 41.382
5. Avel De La Lande / Samuel Parot / 0 | 84.38 / 4 | 41.526
6. Kir Royal SCF / David O’Brien / 0 | 86.2 / 4 | 42.333
7. JK Horsetrucks Chantilly / Samuel Parot / 4 | 80
8. Shark / Rowan Willis / 4 | 80.1
9. Carna Z / Gustavo Prato / 4 | 82.82
10. Call Me Number One / Richie Moloney / 4 | 84.93
11. Casino N / Santiago Lambre / 4 | 86.33
12. J-Eclipse / Celso Ariani / 4 | 86.57

For full results, click here.

Jumper Highlights

Sarah Bagworth of Toronto, ON, and McLain Ward’s Elize La Elsmos claimed top prize in the $3,000 High Junior/Amateur Owner Classic in the George Morris Arena at Tryon Stadium, blazing around the short course in 42.484 seconds. Jacqueline Ward of Seabrook, TX, guided her own Cayman to second place after a speedy 43.901 second performance. Julia Curtis, of Villa Rica, GA, rounded out the podium with her own Cornet’s Gold 2, finishing on four faults in 42.336 seconds.

In the $2,000 Medium Junior/Amateur Owner Classic first place honors went to First Class with owner and Columbus, NC native Sara Ketcham in the irons, stopping the timers at 45.507 seconds with one fault. Second place honoree Hanna Loeffelbein of Olathe, KS, finished the short course in 55.056 seconds on thirteen faults aboard Two Point Equestrian, LLC’s FVF Brulee. Juan Pablo Gnecco of Alpharetta, GA, guided’s Duncan to third place on a speedy, four-fault first round ride of 81.016 seconds.

MacKenzie McGehee of Jacksonville, FL, bookended the podium in the $2,000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur Owner Classic, piloting her own Fiona Van’t Paradijis to top honors on a jump-off time of 38.102 seconds, and also achieving third aboard her own Pegasus, touring the short course in 39.151 seconds with one fault. Sarah Warden, the Jacksonville Beach, FL native, claimed second aboard her own Esquina Van Klapscheut, stopping the timers in 39.562 seconds.

Cindy Buffart of Washington, DC, and her own Superman sped around the short track in 42.339 seconds to take top honors in the NAL/WIHS Adult Amateur Jumper Classic, while Casey Zuraitis, a Sutton, MA native, and her own KT Guaranteed achieved second with a 44.378-second clear jump-off round. Deborah Knowles of Roswell, GA, claimed third aboard her own My Wing Man with the fastest four-fault short-course time of 42.877 seconds.

The NAL/WIHS Children’s Jumper Classic recognized Peyton Kanstoroom of Potomac, MD, aboard her own Tanzanite finishing first on a 40.811-second short-course time. Emily Haas of Greenville, SC, rode Regensburg, LLC’s Flintstone to second place honors with their jump-off performance of 42.786 seconds, while Kelsie Rokicki of Ellenton, FL, piloted Maarten Huygens’ Figo Van Overis to third place, stopping the second-round timers at 44.816 seconds.

Hunter Highlights

The $500 NAL/WIHS Adult Hunter 36 & Older Classic saw Alex Stevens of High Point, NC, pilot her own Sky Pilot to victory on a score of 162, with Charlotte Sprague of Atlanta, GA, riding both Robert Milligan’s Fresco to second on a score of 150 and Isabella Wilson’s Limelight to third place honors after scoring 144.

For the $500 NAL/WIHS Adult Hunter 18-35 Classic, Alyson Gurney of Washington, DC and her own Delphine achieved a score of 165 to champion the class, while Alexis Smith of Liberty, NC, piloted Townsend Farm and PKP Holdings LLC’s Zetterberg to a score of 161 and second place. Rounding out the podium was Mercy Paine of New York, NY, aboard Margot Peroni’s Encore B, scoring 154.

Frankie Nicklaus of Duluth, GA scored a 162 aboard Shea Taylor’s To the Moon and Back to take top honors in the $500 Large Pony Hunter Classic, while Elizabeth Smith and her own Double Gold were awarded second on a score of 160 for the Spartanburg, SC native. Grace Rabb and her own Carnival of Fort Mill, SC, achieved third place on a score of 155.

The $500 Small/Medium Pony Hunter Classic congratulated Savannah Welch of Elon, NC, and her own Mapleside Magic Wish as winners with a score of 166, with Frankie Nicklaus receiving second place aboard her own Star Struck on a score of 155, and Mary Caroline Nolan of Marietta, GA guiding her own Finders Keepers to third place honors after earning a 143.

Sarah Rabb of Fort Mill, SC, guided Prada to top honors in the $500 Green Pony Hunter Classic, scoring 158 on her own mount. The Horse Show Leases, LLC entry Copacabana and rider Alana Duffy, of Charlotte, NC, finished second after their score of 147, while Jenna Nelson of Hurdle Mills, NC, and her own Donafur’s Daydream put in a score of 142 to grab third place honors.

The $1,000 Amateur Owner 3’3″/3’6″ Hunter Classic saw Julia Curtis, Villa Rica, GA, emerge victorious aboard her own Ezra on a score of 167, while Bernadette Mulliken, a Plainview, TX native, and her own Kaspar claimed second, scoring 162. Leslie Kinnin and her own Enchilotti completed the podium on a score of 141.

Emma Engel of Carrolltown, GA, and her own No Doubt prevailed in the $500 NAL/WIHS Children’s Hunter Classic, scoring 158, while Chloe Watrous of Wilmette, IL, combined forces with mount Casual to secure second on a score of 155. Third place honors were awarded to Stephen Long aboard Hays Investment Corporation’s Ruby Tuesday, with the Zionsville, IN native finishing on a score of 153.

The Tryon Spring Series will continue through Sunday, June 10 and feature six weeks of international and national hunter, jumper, and equitation competition.

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