Mario Deslauriers and Amsterdam 27 in their presentation ceremony alongside JP Godard, TIEC Competition Manager. ©Sportfot
Mario Deslauriers (CAN) and Amsterdam 27 dominated the $73,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 4* at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC), clearing the jump-off track in 36.35 seconds to take the win. In reserve, Daniel Bluman (ISR) and Gemma W, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood mare (Luidam x Unaniem) owned by Blue Star Investments, sped through the timers in 37.31 seconds, while Schuyler Riley (USA) completed the podium with the 2005 Selle Francais gelding (Elf d’Or x Calypso d’Herbiers), Robin de Ponthual, achieving the first clear short-course round of the day in 42.06 seconds for Katherine Gallagher & M. Michael Meller.
Deslauriers and the 2010 Holsteiner gelding (Catoki x Acord II) he owns in partnership with Luja LLC and Wishing Well Farm LLC were one of 89 entries to challenge the first round of the Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) course design, with 12 pairs earning the opportunity to tour the jump-off course. In Deslauriers’ first visit to the venue since the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, he shared that he chose to spend three weeks at the venue because he knew it would be a “safe zone” and a quality facility:
“We’re trying to stay put at the same place, so we know everything is monitored well. The show here is doing a great job monitoring everything. We’re just happy to be out there competing. [My experience here] has been great, and people couldn’t be nicer. I think that we’re in a pretty safe zone here. It’s good for everyone!
“The footing is great!” Deslauriers continued about the venue. “I think our country in general has really made a big jump on taking care of the ground and the footing at every facility, and it’s a very good thing for our sport here in the United States. I think everybody is doing a great job here with all the watering, dragging, and monitoring.”
In the jump-off, which only saw three double-clear efforts when all said and done, Deslauriers followed just after Riley’s trailblazing clear round and sought to put in a conservative, but neat clear, he relayed. “Nobody had gone clear,” Deslauriers explained, “and I didn’t want to overuse my horse today because he’s going to jump again Saturday. He has such a good natural canter, so I just tried to stay smooth and turn sharp. It really paid off! I had a great distance coming back to the double. It was almost an angle. The horse jumped fantastically today.”
Deslauriers has had the ride on Amsterdam 27 for the past two years, and called him an “unbelievable” ride. “He’s so nice to ride and jumps beautifully. He’s unbelievable! He’s well mannered. He’s progressed tremendously and keeps going better and better.”
Against stiff competition, a challenging track proved to be no difficulty for “Amsterdam,” but Deslauriers acknowledged expert course design from D’Ambrosio, concluding, “The course was difficult today, and Anthony did a great job. I thought that he laid out a good plan and the time allowed was fine. You could add, and you could leave out. There were a lot of options. It turned out to be only twelve clears, so I think he put up a great test.”
Press Release TIEC