Mill Spring, North Carolina, USA – June 27, 2020 – Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and Luibanta BH sped to win the $73,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix CSI 2* last night during the third week of the Tryon Summer Series at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC).
The Brit and the 2008 Irish Sport Horse mare (Luidam x Abantos) stopped the jump-off timers at 42.452 seconds to best the venue’s first FEI Grand Prix competition of the 2020 season in Tryon Stadium.
Course designer Peter Grant (CAN) saw 51 entries test the first-round track, with 11 pairs returning to challenge the jump-off and only the podium winners producing double-clear rounds. Derbyshire and the mare she co-owns with Gochman Sport Horse LLC claimed an early lead that couldn’t be beat, and that she didn’t try to beat with Cornwall BH, Derbyshire explained:
“I knew there had only been two clears when I went in with Cornwall, and I know he’s not as fast as Luibanta, so I played it safe,” she detailed of her conservative round during which she ditched her crop. “It worked out in the end, because there were only three double-clears anyway! The reason I dropped my stick is that I’m terrible at holding my stick in general, and I normally drop it after a couple of jumps anyway,” she added.
David O’Brien (IRL) and La Belle SCF, a 2011 Belgian Warmblood mare (Diktator van de Boslandhoeve x Baldini) owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC, took second place on a clear jump-off performance of 42.629 seconds.
Derbyshire also claimed third aboard the 2008 Holsteiner stallion (Con Air x Cambridge) Cornwall BH, owned by herself and Gochman Sport Horse LLC, on a double-clear effort in 51.822 seconds.
Derbyshire, who earlier in the week also scored a win with Luibanta BH in the $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 2*, noted that she watched O’Brien’s round and adjusted her plan from there. “I thought that the five stride from the wall to the oxer took him [O’Brien] out a little further, so I opted to do six strides and a tighter rollback. You had to go as fast as you could, and there were a lot of long gallops with a lot of time to make up for.”
“Luibanta has the biggest heart,” said Derbyshire of her partner since the mare was eight years old. “She’s my horse of a lifetime. She continues to amaze me every time she steps into the ring. She’s really done it all for me. She knows she’s a princess, has a big heart, and is really fast! You can always turn her to a jump and you know she’s going to try and jump it, which is really special.”
While Derbyshire previously admitted that a break in competition appeared to have suited her horses well, she also acknowledged that being back to competition has been worth the wait as she’s collected back-to-back wins. “It feels brilliant to be back showing in FEI competition. I think the horses really enjoyed the nice break, but you definitely realize how much you miss competing, and how it’s your life. We all live to do this, and nights like this are why we do it.”
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Source: Press release from TIEC – Tryon International Equestrian Center
Photos: © Sportfot