Kicking off the first FEI Grand Prix competition of 2021 at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC), Hunter Holloway (USA) and Pepita Con Spita raced to win the $73,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix CSI 2*, stopping the jump-off timers at 37.766 seconds. Nearly securing her fourth FEI win of the Tryon Spring 4 series and taking second place was Erynn Ballard (CAN) with Ilan Ferder’s Classic Penny, a 2012 Norwegian Warmblood mare of unknown breeding, on a clear jump-off performance of 38.482 seconds. Third place was secured by Conor Swail (IRL) and Vital Chance de la Roque, the 2009 Selle Francais gelding (Diamant De Semilly x Image Du Chateau II) owned Adeline Hecart, with score of 39.002.
Holloway and Pepita Con Spita, the 2011 Westphalian mare (Dsp Con Spirit x Pamina) owned by Hays Investment Corp, challenged a field of 50 horse and rider pairs on the Nick Granat (USA) course design, with 11 teams returning for the jump off. “I really liked [the course]. I thought there were some difficult spots everywhere, which is usually a sign of a good course. I thought it was very fair and built really well,” she explained.
For the jump off, Holloway’s strategy was “try and win it” and she praised the mare’s performance. “[Pepita Con Spita] is super careful, super catty, and she is really good at going fast. I knew I definitely had a horse that was up to the task as long as I rode a good round. She’s an amazing little mare we have had her a little over two years now and it is just so fun the way she is come along, she just keeps proving herself more and more every day and the amount of work myself and my team has put into her and to see it all pay off.”