Shane Sweetnam and Cobolt.
Shane Sweetnam (IRL) powered to another win at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) this week, piloting Cobolt to victory in the $130,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 3* under the lights in the George H. Morris Arena. Sweetnam and Cobolt saved the best for last, completing the jump-off course in 41.58 seconds to secure their top place finish. Daniel Bedoya (BOL) and Quattro earned second place, finishing in 42.424 seconds, while David Beisel (USA) and Call Me Hannes collected third place with a time of 45.351 seconds.
The $130,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 3* featured 33 entries and saw only five combinations move forward to contest the jump-off round. Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) set both tracks, which proved to test speed and accuracy, as two pairs finished the evening with a single time fault and eight combinations dropped a rail for four faults. Cobolt and Sweetnam were the last pair to secure a clear jumping effort, making them the fifth pair to enter the jump-off round and also the final combination to test the short course.
“I definitely felt pressure. You have to understand the goal, but you can’t be silly about it either. He’s quite a quick horse and I knew that he was feeling good because he was bucking from fence one to two,” explained Sweetnam. “We were a little lucky at fence two because of it, but he responded great and jumped the rest very well.”
Sweetnam also took the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome on Thursday aboard Cyklon 1083, who is the sire of tonight’s winner, Cobolt. Displaying his experience and expertise, Sweetnam piloted Cobolt, a 2008 Swedish Warmblood gelding (Cyklon 1083 x Selena) owned by The Blue Buckle Group, to their first major FEI win together.
“He’s a new enough ride for me. He’s ten and his father is actually Cyklon who won the other day, so it’s a father and son kind of thing this week,” chuckled Sweetnam. “We haven’t done so many big classes together yet, so for the jump-off I wasn’t sure how it would pan out but he handled it very well.”
“I thought he jumped great in both the first and second round. It was a great win for him,” he added.
The Blue Buckle Group acquired Cobolt in January and Sweetnam has taken his time getting to know the talented gelding, who joined Sweetnam’s string with a proven FEI record in Europe. The duo competed together for the first time this past February and only contested a handful of 1.50m classes during the winter circuit.
“I did a couple of 1.50m classes with him, but this is obviously our first big result,” commented Sweetnam. “He jumped the 1.50m class the other day and I made a few little mistakes but he jumped great. My plan was always to get a good result tonight and I have to say, I was very pleased with the way he jumped. Now I need to figure out what our next big class will be.”
While Sweetnam has three mounts entered in the Tryon Spring 8 FEI CSI 5* next week, Cobolt will not contest the week’s main event, the $380,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix, but Sweetnam is looking forward to producing more top results with the gelding throughout the rest of the season.
“I was very impressed with him tonight and I know that he is a quick horse. He has a lot of real talent and I’m hoping that this win is the first of many to come for us,” concluded Sweetnam.
Sweetnam’s groom, Lilly Johnson, was presented with the Groom’s Initiative Award on behalf of Mark Bellissimo and Tryon Equestrian Partners, honoring her for the meticulous care and dedication to Sweetnam’s winning mount, Cobolt.
Kristen Vanderveen (USA) received the Leading Lady Award, presented by realtor Meg Atkinson, in recognition of Vanderveen’s performances in FEI classes during Tryon Spring 7.
Final Results $130,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 3*
1. COBOLT, 2006 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Cyklon 1083 x Selena
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), The Blue Buckle Group: 0/0/41.58
2. QUATTRO, 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Quasimodo Z x Olavsca F
DANIEL BEDOYA (BOL), Daniel Bedoya: 0/0/42.424
3. CALL ME HANNES, 2006 Holsteiner gelding by Cassini II x Sestriere
DAVID BEISEL (USA), Harlow Investment Enterprises, LLC: 0/0/45.351
4. QUINCY CAR, 2004 Oldenburg stallion by Galiani Car x Kiss by Star Car
FERNANDO CARDENAS JR (COL), Fernando Cardenas Jr.: 0/4/42.918
5. LUCKY STRIKE, 2006 Holsteiner gelding by Lasino x Imandra I
BRANDIE HOLLOWAY (USA), Hays Investment Corp.: 0/8/39.732
6. HECTOR BY PICOBELLO, 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Contact vd Heffinck
ILAN BLUMAN (COL), Daniel Bluman: 1/76.72
7. LUKE SKYWALKER 46, 2005 Oldenburg gelding by Lord Pezi x Shakira
PAIGE JOHNSON (USA), Salamander Farm: 1/76.82
8. COPA CABANA, 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Cartano x Robijn
MARK BLUMAN (COL), Stransky’s Mission Farms, Inc: 4/70.68
9. BARNETTA, 2004 Westphalian gelding by Baloubet du Rouet x Polydora
SHARN WORDLEY (NZL), Sky Group: 4/72.37
10. BULL RUN’S TESTIFY, 2004 Selle Francais gelding by Dollar du Murier x Marquise Des Monts
KRISTEN VANDERVEEN (USA), Bull Run Jumpers, Inc: 4/72.41
11. BON GIORNO, 1999 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Acacio 948 x Bon-Ami
BRYN SADLER (USA), Showcase 81, LLC: 4/73.65
12. BUTTON SITTE, 2007 Belgian Warmblood stallion Ogano Sitte x Riviera Sitte
RICHIE MOLONEY (IRL), Equinimity LLC: 4/74.21
Source: tryon.coth.com / Photo Credit: ©FlyingHorsePhotography.