David O’Brien and La Belle SCF (Photo © Sportfot)
David O’Brien (Lexington, KY) and La Belle SCF separated themselves from the rest of the field in the $25,000 Sunday Classic hosted in Tryon Stadium, stopping the second-round timers in 33.17 seconds to grab an almost four-second lead. Aaron Vale (Williston, FL) and Chaccman, the 2006 Warmblood gelding (Chacco Blue x Panadena) owned by Thinks Like a Horse, finished on a time of 37.009 to claim second, while third and fourth place honors went to Ashley Fleishhacker (Wayzata MN), who rode Durango VDL to a time of 38.916 seconds for third aboard the 2008 Dutch Warmblood stallion (Zirocco Blue VDL x Narona) and also earned a time of 39.543 seconds riding Auckland de l’Enclos, a 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Nagano x Peggyschnitt van Het Stal Hof), both owned by Ashland Show Stables LLC.
O’Brien and the homebred 2011 Belgian Warmblood mare (Diktator van de Boslandhoeve x Belle Bleu S) owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC had several speedy competitors behind them in the order-of-go, O’Brien explained, and he decided to make them work to catch up:
“I knew there were a few coming in behind me with quite a bit of speed, so I got a good shot to the first fence and knew if I could just keep the same pace pretty much all the way around, once I got down the lines with her massive stride, she could do the leave-out very easily and save some time there,” O’Brien explained.
“The course was inviting,” he noted, “and the course designers this week have built a lot of good courses for the horses, and it’s been pretty straightforward for them. So for my horse, the course suited her quite well today!” O’Brien said of Sunday’s track set by Oscar Soberon (Dallas, TX).
While O’Brien frequents the venue with his up-and-coming mounts, particularly in the Developing Jumper classes, La Belle SCF will have a few weeks off before returning to TIEC for FEI competition in the newly remodeled, fully-engineered Tryon Stadium, he shared.
“The footing is very good in Tryon Stadium. It’s great to have people with a lot of passion, who’ve invested a lot of time and effort into it, and that’s certainly the case for Bill Hawe [of iEquiTek, LLC.]. It’s great to see, and the horses seem quite happy with it,” O’Brien concluded.
Press Release TIEC