Mill Spring, North Carolina, USA – June 08, 2023 – Aboard Victoria Heurtematte’s Condara, Luis Fernando Larrazabal (VEN) took top honors in Thursday’s $39,000 ProElite Welcome Stake CSI 3*. Larrazabal and Condara stopped the jump off timers in 36.88 seconds to secure the win.
Larrazabal has been enjoying his new partnership with Condara. He said of the 2012 Mecklenburg mare (Conthargos x Catapult 7), “I’ve been riding her since the beginning of the year, so I really know her now.”
In the Welcome Stake’s first round, the Venezuelan rider expressed that his mount “answered all the questions, and I was very, very happy the way she jumped it.”
Taking reserve in the class was Martien van der Hoeven (USA) and In a Hurry (Dallas VDL x Ultimo), Pine Hollow Farm’s 2013 Dutch Warmblood gelding, marking a time of 38.59 seconds.
Posting a time of 38.69 seconds to claim third was Alberto Michan (ISR) and Champion League (Cador 5 x Contendro I), Daniel Michan’s 2013 Hanoverian stallion.
Larrazabal knew that being the first around the jump off course was going to be challenging. “Going first, against thirteen, it was a little bit tough because I wanted to try to win,” he explained. “But knowing my spot, I was in a position where I didn’t want to be too greedy, but I didn’t want to go too slow. To be honest, I never thought I was going to go that fast!”
Condara’s speed and precision were important factors in Larrazabal’s win. “She’s a fast horse, so I took my chances. All the turns were forward, so I didn’t have to pull at any turn.”
After the conclusion of the Tryon Spring Series, Larrazabal looks forward to preparing for the Pan American Games. “I have the Grand Prix on Saturday, and then two weeks off, then going back home to get ready for the [Pan American] Games.”
Larrazabal has enjoyed many successes at this year’s Tryon Spring Series. “I love this show. It’s so nice, comfortable, the stalls and everything are so easy for horses and for riders. It’s a beautiful place, the food is great. The barns are super nice. Everything is in a good place and you have different types of restaurants. I love coming here, I bring my family, and we really enjoy ourselves!” He added that “here, we really try to really enjoy ourselves, not only in the showgrounds, but in every aspect.”
Larrazabal concluded by thanking Condara’s owner, Victoria Heurtematte. “She’s been supporting me since day one, and trusting in Condara and I. I’m very glad and happy, and I’m grateful to have her by my side in the journey.”
Final Results – $39,000 ProElite Welcome Stake CSI 3*
1) Luis Fernando Larrazabal (VEN) & Condara — 0 / 0 — 36.88
2) Martien Van Der Hoeven (USA) & In A Hurry — 0 / 0 — 38.59
3) Alberto Michan (ISR) & Champion League — 0 / 0 — 38.69
Source: Press Release by Rette Solomon and Sarah Madden for Tryon International
Photos: © Kendall Lueder for Natalie Suto Photography