Marilyn Little leads at Tryon International, USA | An Eventful Life

Marilyn Little leads at Tryon International, USA

   Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous         ©Shannon Brinkman Photography


Friday Dressage Report


Day One Dressage Leader Unchanged in CCI 4*-L

Day two of Dressage wrapped up the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition CCI 4*-L Division with a continued lead for Marilyn Little (USA) and RF Scandalous, besting the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship thus far on a score of 21.50.

Gaining second after earning a 24.50, Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp piloted Deniro Z, the 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zapatero x French Buffet XX) owned by Ocala Horse Properties and the Deniro Syndicate, while Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg, the 2007 Trakehner gelding (Windfall *PG* x Buddenbrock) owned by Christine, Thomas and Tommie Turner, grabbed third heading into Cross-Country on a score of 26.50.

Doug Payne (USA) and Starr Witness, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood mare (Chello III VDL x Veneur) owned in partnership with Laurie McRee and Catherine Winter, keep their top placing with yesterday’s 26.60 to sit in fourth, also tied with Tamra Smith (USA) and Danito, the 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Dancier x Wolkenstein II) owned by Ruth Bley.

Australia’s Clayton Fredericks is in 20th place on FE Stormtrooper and 39th on FE Always In Time


   Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z                ©Shannon Brinkman Photography


“There’s always pressure,” Little admitted about the atmosphere surrounding the CCI4*-L National Championship, “but truly the only pressure I feel is pressure I’ve put on myself. I believe Kitty and I both tend to produce our best performances in the most pressurized moments, so I really look forward to the butterflies! We know how to do weeks like this, and I believe we have come into this weekend prepared and ready to take on all three phases the way we would like – but of course the stars have to align!”

Despite the loss of major events throughout the year due to COVID-19, Little emphasized that this weekend is one of her most important chances to showcase RF Scandalous as an Olympic contender.

“I only have one shot out there, and so I try to be patient and careful to never overuse or risk her in a competition that isn’t critical to the greater goal,” she shared of her strategy with the 2005 Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Lario) owned by Michael and Phoebe Manders along with Jacqueline Mars. “Weekends like this one are not only goalpost events, but the opportunity to finally pull the trigger and put your preparations to the test – it’s so much fun!”

Little acknowledged that leading up to the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event, “there have been a host of new challenges, some of which have required me to dig deeper to find answers than I thought possible. The fact that I have the chance to be here at all with Kitty this weekend, with all the excitement that I have, is both a blessing – and frankly – a miracle produced by the many incredible people around us. Their support deserves a personal best from both of us,” she emphasized.

“We have to take one day at a time, but each day, that is what we have come here hoping to deliver.”


   Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg         ©Shannon Brinkman Photography


Erin Sylvester-Kanara and Paddy the Caddy Easily Dominate CCI 4*-S Dressage Phase

Erin Sylvester-Kanara (USA) and Paddy the Caddy produced a score of 24.60 to handily dominate the sandbox in the CCI 4*-S Division, followed in second by Jenny Caras (USA) and Trendy Fernhill, the 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ars Vivendi x Cruising) owned by Elyse Eisenberg, receiving a score of 27.00. Third currently belongs to Lillian Heard (USA) and CharmKing, the 2011 Holsteiner gelding (Cassito x Heraldik XX) owned by CharmKing LLC, after their performance earned a score of 27.40.

The CCI 4*-S Division will contest the Show Jumping phase on Saturday, November 14, starting at 9:00am EST in Tryon Stadium, completing their weekend with Cross-Country on Sunday.

Sylvester-Kanara and the 2007 Irish Thoroughbred gelding (Azamore x Unknown) owned by Frank McEntee are only contesting the Dressage phase this weekend and will not continue on in the CCI 4*-S, she revealed, after improving upon a previous score with the same test a few weeks ago at Plantation Field International.

“I was really, really happy with his test. I did that same test at Plantation and we just had some trouble getting into a rhythm with that test. It has a different flow in the trot work, and it’s a little bit more technical right at the start,” she explained.

 “You don’t have any mediums to kind of get out in a forward rhythm, so I set it as my goal to get that test a lot better, because I really didn’t have a good enough performance or score at Plantation. I actually intended to finish his season that weekend, and he was super in the Jumping phases, but I felt like I just needed to finish off with one more improved Dressage test.”

Back in the show ring this week for redemption, Sylvester-Kanara got the ending to Paddy’s season that she was hoping for, she shared. “I worked really hard this week setting up each piece of the test so he knew what was coming up. He felt a little nervous in the warm-up this morning, but in a good way: he was trying hard. When he got into the ring, he was super. He has the ability to turn on a little bit of charm when he’s feeling right, and he definitely was today. I was really happy with him!”

Though Paddy the Caddy will not be going forward in the CCI4*-S this weekend, Sylvester-Kanara will be piloting another mount, Campground, in the same division, and she noted that she’s excited to test the Jumping and Cross-Country courses. “The courses look great for the rest of the week. I will be riding another horse in the 4*-S, Campground, and I’m really looking forward to jumping him around.”


  Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill will go into the next phase in the lead        ©Shannon Brinkman Photography


Sylvester-Kanara emphasized that she and her team are appreciative of the opportunity to compete at this level on the East Coast in 2020, especially given the week’s weather circumstances.

“I hope that I speak for most of the riders out there, that it is hugely appreciated the massive effort that has not only gone into making this event happen as a 4*-L/3*-L/2*-L for this side of the country, but also then making the Cross-Country happen at all after the storms this week,” she said. “We’ve really enjoyed our stay so far, and couldn’t be more appreciative of the effort that has been put into making this event happen.

“I know it is such a huge effort for these events to still run this year given everything that’s gotten in the way of competitions, so they’ve done a super job with it,” Sylvester-Kanara continued.

“It’s been nothing but pleasant interactions and experiences with everyone, the whole way through. There pretty much couldn’t have been a worse scenario with the weather this week, especially for Cross-Country. That course is in a beautiful setting on the riverbed, and it makes for super footing, but there is the risk with torrential rain that it’s going to upset everything. I’m really impressed with the difference that they’ve made [in the past two days]. I have a couple students in the CCI4*-L, so I have walked that a few times. There are definitely a couple places where the footing still needs to be improved, but you can see where they are on top of it and ready to do the best that they can,” she concluded.


Sara Kozumplik Murphy Holds Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Lead After Dressage

Sara Kozumplik Murphy (USA), Otta B Quality and their day one lead were untouched after the conclusion of the Dressage phase in the Guardian Horse Bedding CCI2*-L Division, sitting on a score of 25.20.

The remainder of the podium also remains unchanged after day two: Tik Maynard (CAN) and Richard Maynard’s Galileo, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding, hold a score of 26.10, while third stays with Kelly Prather (USA) and Catch Me Cooley, the 2012 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Clover Brigade x Loughnavatta Sabrina) owned in partnership with Cooley Farm, on a score of 26.90.

Murphy admitted that while she believes the next two phases of competition will be extremely influential for the division, she’s hopeful that her spot remains intact going forward if she’s able to navigate the White Oak Cross-Country Course according to plan

“With the scores being as tight as they are, I think tomorrow and Sunday will be hugely influential. I believe that we’ll see it shuffle around a bit here and there, just hopefully not with me!”

Murphy got a chance to walk the White Oak Cross-Country Course Friday morning and commented that conditions are shaping up nicely after a deluge of rain Wednesday and Thursday, which delayed Cross-Country competition to Saturday for the CCI 4*-S and CCI 3*-L Divisions but did not impact her schedule. “They’re out there working a lot and it’s already tremendously better [after the rain]. I think it’s going to be pretty good [by tomorrow]. The ground is great most of the way around. That was this morning, so I imagine when I go out to walk it again later it’ll be even better.”

Of the Captain Mark Phillips-designed course, Murphy relayed, “It’s a very fair, well presented, and beautifully built course. This level is supposed to be inviting for the horses, and it is. With a track like this that isn’t in quite as big of an open field, you sometimes need to go a bit faster than you would think you need to. My horse is quite a good jumper and sometimes spends too much time in the air, so I need to get moving a bit. He’s certainly well prepared, and I shouldn’t need to nurse him around, but we’ll see what happens!”

Schedule Update:

Due to weather, CCI 3*-L Cross-Country competition has been moved to Saturday, November 14, and CCI 4*-S and HT divisions will run Cross-Country on Sunday, November 15. Live streaming information will be adjusted prior to Saturday, November 14.


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Thursday Dressage Report


    Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous                ©Shannon Brinkman Photography


Marilyn Little (USA) and RF Scandalous, the 2005 Oldenburg mare owned by Michael and Phoebe Manders along with Jacqueline Mars, produced a comfortable lead after the first half of dressage to kick off the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship, scoring 21.50.

Doug Payne (USA) and Starr Witness, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood mare owned in partnership with Laurie McRee and Catherine Winter, sit in second with a 26.60, while Boyd Martin (USA) holds third with On Cue, the 2006 Anglo-European mare owned in partnership with Christine, Thomas and Tommie Turner.

Australia’s Clayton Fredericks riding FE Always In Time is currently in 20th place and will ride FE Stormtrooper on Friday, along with the remaining 39 entries in the CCI 4*-L Division

The CCI 3*-L was the only FEI division to see all competitors down the centre line at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC), with Will Coleman (USA) and Chin Tonic HS scoring a 25.70 to lead the division heading into Saturday’s Cross-Country phase.


    Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS            ©Shannon Brinkman Photography


Just behind with a score of 25.90, Boyd Martin (USA) and Contessa, the 2009 Holsteiner mare owned by Club Contessa, hold second, while third place currently rests with Jonathan Holling (USA) and Prophet, the 2012 Trakehner gelding owned in partnership with Chuck McGrath, on a score of 26.90.

Coleman and the 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Chin Champ x Quinar) owned by Hyperion Stud LLC recently topped the Open Intermediate Division at TIEC’s Blue Ridge Mountain Horse Trials presented by EquiSafe Global, and are looking to repeat their win in the CCI 3*-L Division. Due to schedule changes after significant rain saturated the White Oak Cross Country-Course, Coleman and the CCI 3*-L competitors will have an off day before challenging the Captain Mark Phillips course design on Saturday.

Coleman reported that their flatwork was hindered by a few bobbles, but not enough to knock them from the top position. “My horse is very talented, especially on the flat, and I think he carried me a bit today. We had some really, really good work in the test, and then we had a few moments where we had trouble. I forgot my test at one spot, which is sort of inexcusable, but does happen,” Coleman admitted, “and we had a little spook in another place. Other than that, I thought he performed well. He’s a lovely horse, and I’m just lucky to have him.”

Calling Chin Tonic HS a consistent, reliable ride, Coleman said his horse is “really comfortable with the material, and I felt like I let the horse down a little bit today. The error on my end in particular is frustrating. I think he’s been great all year and I hope he continues to get better. I think anytime you can take a horse to a venue a few times, they get more comfortable, and you’re a bit more familiar with it as well. Coming here in September [to the Blue Ridge Mountain Horse Trials presented by EquiSafe Global] was helpful in that way. He knows what to expect, to a degree, and he’s maturing a little bit. He’s still only eight, so it’s good for him to get into an atmosphere like this, as a big part of making him up into a big-time horse.”

Having already collected consistent top placings nationally and internationally, Coleman and Vicky Castregen of Hyperion Stud believe that Chin Tonic HS has Olympic potential. “His owner and I talk a lot about having a vision with all her horses,” he shared. “This is a horse we think has real international quality, and maybe even championship quality. We’re working backwards from probably the next Olympic cycle, and this is a horse that I hope will be there. We’ve taken our time to this point, and we’ll continue to do what’s right by him, and we’ll carefully work backwards from that goal.”

In the meantime, Coleman is eager to see the Cross-Country course and focus on this weekend’s phases to come. “I haven’t had the chance to see it. I will know more tomorrow morning, but hopefully it’ll be a typical Mark Phillips course, which is usually challenging but rewarding, and I hope my horse is up to it.”

Coleman concluded that despite weather challenges and fluctuating schedules, a championship environment has been maintained at the venue all week. “I think we are all very, very impressed with the sheer will that this Tryon and organizing team has put forth to keep this event running,” he emphasized. “I think a lot of events would have folded by now, but they’re out there working constantly, and it’s an amazing operation from a manpower perspective. We’re appreciative of Tryon taking this event on when a lot of other events have folded.”

Due to wet weather affecting the event, CCI 3*-L Cross-Country competition has been moved to Saturday, November 14, and CCI 4*-S and HT divisions will run Cross-Country on Sunday, November 15. Live streaming information will be adjusted prior to Saturday, November 14.  


    Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Otta B Quality                   ©Shannon Brinkman Photography


Sara Kozumplik Murphy (USA) and Otta B Quality, the 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Edith Rameika, currently lead the Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Division on a score of 25.20 with 15 pairs still to show in Dressage on Friday.

In second, Tik Maynard (CAN) and Richard Maynard’s Galileo, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding, hold a score of 26.10, while third currently belongs to Kelly Prather (USA) and Catch Me Cooley, the 2012 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Clover Brigade x Loughnavatta Sabrina) owned in partnership with Cooley Farm, on a score of 26.90.

Murphy has been partnered with Otta B Quality since he was three years old, and called him a “really lovely horse” who “did everything he knows how to do” in Dressage to claim the tentative lead. “He was very well behaved, and did his best job, so I was thrilled with him today. He did the best test he could do for where he is, and he’s well-prepared to be here.”

Murphy admitted that she’s “quite slow with my horses, so it should be fine” on Cross-Country Saturday. “I’m not bothered by wet ground. To me, it’s more the consistency of the terrain. It’s built on a golf course so that definitely helps! They’re working hard, and I know it’ll be designed well. He’s quite a good jumper, so I just need to make sure that he can have a bit of air time because he’s a little green, still.”

Murphy’s husband Brian was a recent winner at the venue in the Jumpers, and she shared that they “always have TIEC on our calendars a few times a year, for both Eventing and Jumping.

The rings are nice, and we enjoy the horse show. It worked out quite well to be here two weeks before the event. I like getting the opportunities to jump in this ring [Tryon Stadium] and be on the good footing. I event quite a bit, but maybe not as much as everyone else,” Murphy admitted. “I do pick and choose where I go, and I do Dressage and Jumper shows too. It depends on the horse and how much they need to go. ‘Otter’ was here doing the 1.20m a couple of weeks ago.”

Livestream from November 12th – 15th at USEF Network with promo code usefeventing20

Start Lists and results here