Kristen VanderVeen and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili. (Photo © Sportfot)
Kristen VanderVeen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili sped to a 36.579-second jump-off round to take the win in Saturday’s $73,000 JTWG, Inc. Grand Prix CSI 2* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort. Brittini Raflowitz (ISR) and Hilton van de Breepoel, a 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Contact Van de Heffinck x Opium) owned by ESI Show Jumpers, Maarten Huygens & Darragh Kerins, claimed reserve honors with a time of 39.153 seconds, with the yellow rosette going to Todd Minikus (USA) aboard the Bit by Bit Group’s Amex Z, the 2009 Zangersheide mare (Andiamo Z x Landaris), stopping the timers in 36.764 seconds with four faults.
The Guilherme Jorge (BRA) course design saw 39 contestants in the first round, with 10 horse-and-rider pairs returning to challenge the jump-off round. VanderVeen and the 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Berlin x Darco) owned by Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC used both speed and tight turns to their advantage in the jump-off, she explained. “The jump-off, I really liked. The jump-offs are always fun with Frosty because he turns and he goes fast, so it’s fun.”
“The course was great,” she said of the track. “I actually was surprised he [the course designers] had so many clear. I walked the initial round and thought it was quite challenging,” she admitted. “Not sure what I was expecting!”
VanderVeen and the large grey stallion known as “Frosty” have collected many FEI wins together at the venue, and she noted that her strategy in the jump-off was to use his familiarity with the arena, as well as his versatility, to their advantage. “Honestly, I think we were just able to hold the rhythm the whole way, and everything showed up in stride. He was very careful at the combination, so I got to use that a little to my strength and come in fast there. But overall, I think he was able to hold a good canter all the way around.”
Though she’s spent the last few weeks at TIEC, VanderVeen acknowledged that the rest of the summer looks a little uncertain at the moment. “It’s all a little by ear right now, I guess. Frosty will probably jump again next week, because he loves the [Tryon Stadium], and we love it here. This is like his ring. He was flying in the jump-off. And then,” VanderVeen concluded, “it’s up in the air depending on travel bans.. we might go to Michigan or to New York for a little bit and then probably back here.”
Press Release TIEC