Mill Spring, N.C. – Oct. 17, 2019 – The fifth week of the Tryon Fall series kicked off Wednesday, welcoming an impressive list of international horses and athletes for an exclusive week of CSI5* competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center. With a total of 90 starters trying their hand for the lion’s share of prize money, it was Jos Verlooy (BEL) and Igor, owned by Graziella Janssen and Euro Horse, who walked away victorious in Thursday’s $132,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI5*.
The international field of competitors contested Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) 16-effort 1.50m track with 21 pairs navigating fault-free rounds to make a 20-horse jump-off, after one combination elected not to contest the second round. With a large number of horse-and-rider combinations entering the jump-off portion of competition, the top placing was wide open for anyone to take.
First in the order of go was Abigail McArdle (USA) and Victorio Equine Group, LLC’s Victorio 5. The pair set the bar for their remaining competitors by completing yet another fault-free round and crossing the timers at 38.508 seconds. Next in the order of go was Darragh Kenny (IRL) with Oakland Stables and Ann Thompson’s Classic Dream. The pair took over the leading spot, but it was short-lived as Verlooy and the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood, Igor, took over the lead once more with a time of 36.997 seconds. With 17 competitors remaining, Verlooy managed to maintain his lead, despite the second and third placing positions continually changing hands.
Verlooy, the top-ranked U25 rider on the FEI global rankings, and the accomplished gelding have been partnered together for over two years. Together the pair have accrued a long list of results at the 5* level, most notably winning the team gold medal at the 2019 European Championships in Rotterdam in addition to capturing the individual bronze medal together. With a number of impressive mounts in his current string, Verlooy is also the recently crowned Belgian Champion with Euro Horse’s Varoune, who the young athlete will also compete during the remainder of the week. Thursday’s win marks Verlooy’s first time competing in Tryon. Up next, Verlooy will head to the Washington International Horse Show and the National Horse Show to contest the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ qualifying classes.
Ultimately claiming second place was Kenny aboard his second mount of the day, Babalou 41. Owned by Jack Snyder, the chestnut mare sped to a 37.217-second finish to claim their final placing after being the tenth combination in the order of go. Kenny and Babalou 41 have competed on the largest stages across the world, including the prestigious Grand Prix of Aachen, where the pair placed in the top five two years in a row. Kenny ultimately finished in fourth place with his first mount, Classic Dream.
Last to go in the jump-off, Rowan Willis (AUS) and Diablo VII, owned by Willis and Lucinda Huddy, claimed third place. Willis and the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood crossed the timers at 37.274 seconds, just narrowly missing Kenny’s second-place time with Babalou 41. The pair have been partnered together since the start of the 2019 winter season in Wellington, Florida, and have gathered a number of top results at Spruce Meadows and Thunderbird Show Park.
Competition will return to the Tryon Stadium Friday with the $5,000 1.40m Open Jumper Stake at 8 a.m. while Saturday, Oct.19, will feature the highlight event, the $384,000 Gary Sinise Foundation Grand Prix CSI5* set to begin at 7 p.m.
$132,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI5*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Faults | Time
1. Igor / Jos Verlooy / BEL / 0 | 71.79 / 0 | 36.997
2. Babalou 41 / Darragh Kenny / IRL / 0 | 74.13 / 0 | 37.217
3. Diablo VII / Rowan Willis / AUS / 0 | 71.06 / 0 | 37.274
4. Classic Dream / Darragh Kenny / IRL / 0 | 70.37 / 0 | 37.453
5. GK Casper / Bertram Allen / IRL / 0 | 70.18 / 0 | 37.522
6. Bull Run’s Risen / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / 0 | 73.82 / 0 | 37.958
7. Keoki / David Blake / IRL / 0 | 72.82 / 0 | 38.5
8. Victorio 5 / Abigail McArdle / USA / 0 | 75 / 0 | 38.508
9. Bennys Legacy / Adrienne Sternlicht / USA / 0 | 74.93 / 0 | 40.541
10. Ukulman De La Nutria / Celso Ariani / BRA / 0 | 73.03 / 0 | 40.751
11. Agana Van Het Gerendal Z / Lillie Keenan / USA / 0 | 73.59 / 0 | 41.003
12. Born To Be Picobello Z / Scott Keach / AUS / 0 | 74.7 / 0 | 41.187
For full results, click here.