Mill Spring, North Carolina, USA – October 17, 2019 – Jos Verlooy (BEL) and Igor came off a five-week break to claim the $132,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 5* yesterday win at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort, stopping the short-course timers in 36.997 seconds.
Darragh Kenny (IRL) & Babalou 41
Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Babalou 41, Jack Snyder’s 2005 Oldenburg mare (Balou du Rouet x Silvio I), received second after their 37.217 second jump-off performance.
Rowan Willis (AUS) & Diablo VII
Third place was claimed Rowan Willis (AUS) aboard Diablo VII, the 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Douglas x Cavalier) owned by Lucinda Huddy and Rowan Willis, after their clear short course in a time of 37.274 seconds.
Guilherme Jorge (BRA) tested 90 entrants over his course design in the first round, with 21 pairs going clear and under the time to make it to the jump-off challenge. The class was the largest FEI Welcome Stake ever hosted at the venue to date, and the second largest class behind Wednesday’s $36,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 5* showcasing 102 entries. Verlooy, the top-ranked FEI Jumping U25 rider in the world who was recently third in the FEI European Championships at Rotterdam, explained that Igor has been on a break for five weeks before competing at TIEC:
“The course rode super today. Igor jumped very well in the first round, and in the jump-off he actually jumped even better,” Verlooy detailed. “He’s had a bit of a break: I did the Europeans with him, and then St. Tropez, and then he had five weeks off, so he’s getting back into rhythm. But I must say, he felt much better in the jump-off.
Verlooy’s jump-off performance couldn’t be beat, and his strategy to best a strong field was to be as efficient as he could where others had gone wide, he shared. “I really wanted to give it a try in the jump-off. He’s naturally very fast, and everything went to plan in the jump-off. So, it worked out.” Verlooy continued, “After the double to the skinny, I think there I got the advantage. Everyone was going a bit wide, and there I took a very big risk and came very [straight], and I think there I made up the time.”
Jos Verlooy (BEL) and Igor alongside TIEC Competition Manager, JP Godard, during the awards ceremony.
Placing in the top 30 as an individual at the venue for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon Verlooy noted that he’s excited to give his mount a new experience after competing abroad. “I think it’s great here. Right now in Europe there are not many shows, and it’s cold, so after I did this tour, and I must say my horse still felt very fresh because I didn’t do so much this year, I saw the schedules here and it looked very interesting. I really like it here, with different people and different jumps. You always see the same people and it’s nice sometimes to come to a different place.”
Verlooy will contest Saturday evening’s $384,000 Gary Sinise Foundation Grand Prix CSI 5* with Igor, and will do his best to keep his mount fresh until then, he said. “Next, I’ll do a few World Cups,” he concluded.
For full results, please click here.
Source: Press release from TIEC – Tryon International Equestrian Center
Photos: © Sportfot