Matt Cyphert and Lochinvar ©Sportfot
Matt Cyphert (Northlake, TX) and his own Lochinvar cleared the jump-off in 38.974 seconds to take home the win in Saturday’s $30,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). In second, John Angus (Fort Lauderdale, FL) and W. Tonix Hero, the 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Ogano Sitte x Major de la Cour) owned by Stephanie Angus, stopped the timers in 38.998 seconds, while Bryn Sadler (Santa Fe, NM) and Cinven CR, the 2007 Holsteiner gelding (Clearway x Coronado) owned by Showcase 81 LLC, collected third place on a time of 41.178 seconds.
The Peter Grant (CAN) course design saw 34 pairs challenge the first round of competition, with 12 entries returning for the jump-off track. Cyphert and the 2004 gelding (Karamiro x L’espirit) were able to capture a tight time set by Angus by putting in a smooth round, he reported:
“He’s a superstar horse! He’s the best horse I’ve ever ridden, and I’m old enough to know that by now. I’m fortunate with him as he’s really naturally fast. He’s quick across the ground and has a big step. He’s also really good at reading the jumps,” Cyphert added. “He doesn’t spend a lot of time in the air. I felt like if I followed the right track, there were enough places where I could run across the ring and use the speed to my benefit. I tell my clients all of the time that smooth is fast.”
Cyphert and Lochinvar have been together for a decade, he revealed, and noted his competitive streak has not faded over the years. “I’ve had him since he was five, and he’s now sixteen. He’s timeless. He was absolutely ridiculous going up to the Grand Prix check-in yesterday… He was bouncing around like a five-year-old! He just loves what he does. He understands that it’s a game, and gets that it’s a competition. He loves the sport as much as I do. It’s really neat to feel that when you’re on him,” Cyphert shared.
“The footing is fantastic, and they jump so well on it,” Cyphert said of the recently re-engineered footing in Tryon Stadium. “My horse probably hadn’t jumped that big in about a year, but it was so easy for him because of how good the footing was. It’s also a very quick footing. You can get across the ring, and they dig in and feel confident on it.”
With so many horse shows this season canceled or postponed, Cyphert explained that he’s taken a unique approach to competition by splitting his time between two venues at once. “I’m actually splitting my time between here and Capitol Challenge. I showed here on Wednesday, then I flew to Ohio and did two days of Capitol Challenge, and then flew back last night. It’s a little bit of a crazy schedule, but we’re making it work!”
Making it work requires a great team, Cyphert emphasized. “I work with an amazing person named Audrey Norrell. She took care of things here, helped the clients, and rode him [Lochinvar] this week. It was so nice knowing that things would be taken care of and he would be prepared for this class. I want to give her a lot of the credit for how well he went today. I’m very lucky to have such a good support team.”
Though Cyphert and his team will stick close to home for the remainder of the year, he shared, TIEC is a regular venue on his show schedule. “It was sure nice to make the trip out here and see this place again. For it to be successful is even better! We love the people who run this horse show, and it’s a very competent and friendly staff. It’s so refreshing to come here every year. It’s a beautiful part of the country and makes all of our clients happy. We’re having a great time. I wish we could stay longer!”
Press Release TIEC