Mill Spring, North Carolina, USA – October 15, 2023 – Jad Dana (LBN) and After Eight were one of just ten horses to make the final round in the CHF $50’000 Winning Round CSI 4* after 49 entrants toured the first round course on Sunday at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) & Resort.
The course set by Peter Grant (CAN) saw 18 clear efforts over the first round track, but riders had to be faster than 69.57 seconds to make the top ten callback. Dana and After Eight were one of the faster first-round rides at 67.57 seconds, earning a later order of go for the speed test. Dana explained that he was able to use this position to his advantage:
Stopping the jump off timers in 35.59 seconds, Dana and the 2010 Swedish Warmblood mare (Diarado x Cardento) owned by Springhill Farm 1850 LLC secured a highlight win to conclude their time at Tryon International.
Finishing in second place, Erynn Ballard (CAN) rode Coconet, the 2014 Oldenburger mare (Colman x Cornet’s Stern) owned by Wight Show Stables, to a time of 36.11 seconds.
Third place was claimed by McKayla Langmeier (USA) riding Pepita VD Rollebeek, the 2015 Belgian Warmblood mare by Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve and owned by Linda Langmeier, completing the winning round in a time of 36.18 seconds.
“There were some tricky lines here and there. In the jump off, I had a quick time in the first round, and in this format, if you’re faster in the first round, you get to go at the end. So, I got to watch a few, and I saw how fast they went,” he detailed. “I knew what I had to do after watching how fast the other riders went. After Eight is extremely fast, so as long as I do my part, I know that we have a big chance of winning.”
For Dana, it was important to end the week on a high note after a mixed bag of results throughout tough competition, he shared. “I think the last class [of the week] counts a lot, because even if you win early in the week, and the last class goes badly, you remember the bad class the most. I’m glad I ended the week on such a high note.
“She’s definitely my style of horse,” Dana said of the mare that he’s been partnered with for two years. “I really like when they are hot and I like horses with blood. She’s a fighter, and she tries hard to win, and that’s why we win a lot!”
“For sure, I’ve had better weeks,” Dana concluded, “but it was a good learning experience to jump against some of the best riders in the world. The competition was tough, and I think it’s nice to compete against the best because it lets you know where you are, and you have something to work for.”
Final Results – CHF $50,000 Winning Round CSI 4*
1) Jad Dana (LBN) & After Eight – 0 / 0 – 35.59
2) Erynn Ballard (CAN) & Coconet – 0 / 0 – 36.11
3) McKayla Langmeier (USA) & Pepita vd Rollebeeck – 0 / 0 – 36.18
Source: Press Release Sarah Madden for Tryon International
Photos: © Natalie Suto Photography / Bailey Beck