Mill Spring, North Carolina, USA – October 13, 2023 – In a thrilling evening class under the lights of Tryon Stadium, Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and Otto BH (Norton D’eole x Toulon) were crowned the winners of the CHF $112’500 ProElite Welcome Stake CSI 4* in a jump off time of 41.17 seconds.
Peter Grant (CAN) designed a course to test eighty-five entries in the first round, catching out all but eight pairs who qualified for the jump off test. Derbyshire and her own 2012 Zangersheide stallion proved to be the fastest, winning the class by only .01 seconds.
Just a breath behind to take reserve was Conor Swail (IRL) and Vital Chance (Diamant De Semilly x Rivage Du Poncel), the 2009 Selle Français gelding owned by Mannon Farm, recording a time of 41.18 seconds.
Rounding out the Welcome Stake podium with a time of 41.46 seconds was Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and James Kann Cruz (Kannan x Cruising), the 2013 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Gizmo Partners, LLC.
“It was a long class,” Derbyshire admitted. “The time was extremely tight. That’s why there were not many clears, and it was a technical course. He’s a very careful horse, and I stuck to the plan going in. I was just within the time, but he jumped to a beautiful first round.”
Derbyshire shared that her strategy in the jump off was to “just go as fast as I could! There was obviously one less stride to the last fence, and even though we kind of took it in the wrong direction, he’s got a really big stride and he’s pretty strong. I knew at the end of the course I would just go with him and leave out that last stride to the last oxer.”
“With Conor and Shane in the jump off, they’re always hard to beat,” Derbyshire said of her competitors. “The boys beat me earlier in the day in the two-star, so I was trying to not let that happen again!
“I’m grateful for a good day. Any day like this, you’re always happy for in this sport. It was a great win and I’m grateful for the team,” she recapped.
Final Results – CHF $112’500 ProElite Welcome Stake CSI 4*
1) Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) & Otto BH – 0 / 0 – 41.17
2) Conor Swail (IRL) & Vital Chance de La Roque – 0 / 0 – 41.18
3) Shane Sweetnam (IRL) & James Kann Cruz – 0 / 0 – 41.46
Press Release by Rette Solomon for Tryon International
Photos: © TIEC / Natalie Suto & Avery Fletcher for Natalie Suto Photography