Duncan, Paris, Tate win Big Tour Classes at Tiny 2017 CDI-W Tryon

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 06:45
Alexandra Duncan and Vitall at the 2017 CDI Tryon
2017 CDI-W Tryon

The 2017 World Cup qualifier in Tryon, North Carolina, was unable to draw North American top riders to the venue that will host the World Equestrian Games next year. This left plenty of space for some come back kids to shine. The Grand Prix was won by Canadian Alexandra Duncan, who made her come back after a three year break from the CDI ring, while Molly Paris took out the World Cup qualifier in a field of just four riders. Jessica Jo Tate ruled the small tour and won the Grand Prix for Special.

Duncan Captures the Grand Prix After Almost Three-Year CDI Break

Duncan and her own Vitall, a 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Ferro x Jarelle x Aram) entered the CDI ring today for the first time together in almost three years after the horse suffered an injury to his splint bone, which resulted in surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation.

“It felt good to be back,” commented Duncan. “I was pretty happy with him today. We had a few small mistakes. Today he had some highlights in the passage, the two tempis were nice. I was pleased with the extended trot as well. Just the overall feel he gave in there today was great. He was really present and with me.”

After winning the 2007 North American Young Riders Championships on Electra, Duncan left for Europe, training with Jan Brink in Sweden and Anky van Grunsven in The Netherlands for several years. In 2014 she moved her horses to Wellington, Florida and competed in two Under 25 CDI classes that year. In 2015, the pair moved to senior level and they rode in four CDI's that spring season. Their last competition was on 14 March 2015. 

Duncan, now based in Loxahatchee, FL, purchased the gelding when he was a five-year-old from Germany. With the now 15-year old Dutch warmblood Alexandra will continue on with competition in hopes of representing Canada at the World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 next September. Duncan and Vitall will be back to contest competition on Sunday in Grand Prix Special, as they decided to forgo the Grand Prix Freestyle this weekend.

“We will go into that class with a positive attitude, and work on tidying up the mistakes we’ve made today. My main goal is to go in and have fun with him,” she concluded.

Molly Paris (USA) and her own Countess, a 2002 Danish Warmblood mare (by Don Schufro x Solos Carex) finished in second place with a score of 64.360%, ahead of Elizabeth Austin (USA) and Steeped In Luck, a 2003 Irish Draught stallion (by Mount Diamond Flag x Steeple View) owned by Keith Douglas, who collected third place on a score of 63.680%.

Molly Paris Wins World Cup Qualifier

Molly Paris (USA) and her own Countess rose to the occasion in the Grand Prix Freestyle earning a 68.375% to achieve the victory. “This is our first CDI-W Grand Prix together and it’s been so amazing!” said an exuberant Paris. “She’s an amazing horse. She’s been great all week. It was a great place to win. We are from Charlotte, so we absolutely love competing in Tryon!”

She continued, “I’ve had Countess for about two years, and we bought her simply because I needed a horse to move up on. We’ve done the U-25 together and Chris Hickey said, ‘You have the horse, now go do the Grand Prix,’ so here we are!”

Paris, currently ranked at number 29 with Countess on the Youth Dressage U25 list, is well known for her unique freestyle music, in which this edition features an alternative tune called ‘Move,’ by Saint Raymond. Moving forward the 21-year-old plans to continue competing in the Under 25 division.

Paris concluded, “I eventually want to come back to the Grand Prix, but we want to end up back at the U25 Championships first.”

Second place in the Grand Prix Freestyle was awarded to Elizabeth Austin and Steeped In Luck, a 2003 Irish Draught stallion owned by Keith Douglas, with 67.350%. Third place went to Debbie Hill (USA) and Zarcita, a 2004 Dutch warmblood mare (by Parcival x Sarita x Ahoy) owned Leslie Waterman, with a score of 66.525%.

Jessica Jo Tate Wins Grand Prix Special

With only two riders in the Grand Prix Special there was not much competition and battling go on. Local rider Jessica Jo Tate and the 14-year ol Danish warmblood Cayman V (by Come Back II x Lobster) scored 65.294% for first place. Grand Prix winner Alexandra Duncan was not able to show the same level of accuracy in the Special and dropped to a 60.608% score aboard her 15-year old Dutch bred Vitall (by Ferro x Aram).

"This was my first CDI with Cayman V," said Tate. "I am just starting out with him in this kind of electric environment. On Friday I just didn't have him quick enough and didn't have him connected enough. The connection wasn't as good as it can be, so, I went home and watched the video. Today I felt like we definitely improved that. He just tried his heart out for me today, so I was really thrilled."

Tate, of Landrum, SC, purchased the horse with the idea of getting back into the Grand Prix CDI competition arena. Cayman V was previously competed in the U.S.A by Kathy Priest and Janice Jaspers.

She continued, "It's exciting that things are moving in the right direction with Cayman because he is still a beginner out here. We love coming to Tryon because it's so close. It's a great place to gain experience with an international feel. The facility is beautiful and well thought out, and footing is world-class. It's one of the best horse show facilities I've ever been to."

Florentienne and Summersby Rule Small Tour

Emily Miles (USA) and Floretienne, a 2009 Oldenburg gelding (by Florestan) owned by Leslie Waterman, took the top spot in the Prix St. Georges after receiving a score of 69.000%. Jessica Jo Tate (USA) and Summersby, a 2007 Hanoverian mare (by Sir Donnerhall) owned by Joseph Tate, captured second place with a 68.526%, while Kelly Layne (AUS) guided her own Furst Amante, an 11-year old Rhinelander gelding by Fürst Piccolo x Hitchcock, to third place, receiving a 68.447%.

Tate and Summersby bested the competition in the Intermediaire I with a 68.526%. Second place went to Kelly Layne (AUS) and her own Fürst Amante on a score of 65.763%. Capturing third place was Emily Miles (USA) aboard Sir Sherlock, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding owned by Leslie Waterman, earning 64.342%.

Tate also collected a victory in the Intermediaire I Kur to Music on Summersby on a score of 69.548%. Second place position went to Emily Miles (USA) and Sir Sherlock, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding (by Sir Donnerhall out of Shari), owned by Leslie Waterman, with a score of 64.333%.

Of Summersby, Tate commented, "Summer was tired today, but I've just been incredibly proud of her this weekend. She's ten this year, and she can be pretty firey and emotional. She just showed up this week and had her game face on. I was thrilled with her consistency and her quality, as well as her complete focus on me."

Tate will head to Dressage at Devon in two weeks to compete, and then will begin to make preparations for the winter circuit in Wellington, FL.

Photos © Richard Malmgren

Related Links
Scores 2017 CDI-W Tryon
Canadian Grand Prix Rider Alexandra Duncan Settles in Florida with Big Goals for 2015
Alexandra Duncan Ready for the Big Time After U25 Victory at 2014 CDI Wellington
Alexandra Duncan Finding Her Stride in Sweden 

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