Festival of the Hunt Welcomed Back to Tryon International Equestrian Center

Nov 27, 2018 - 3:53 AM
For Immediate Release

 

Mill Spring, NC – November 27, 2018 – Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) welcomed the return of the prestigious 2018 Festival of the Hunt (FOH) featuring the TIEC Field Hunter Championships, held November 16-17 on the Derby Field and in U.S. Trust Arena at TIEC. Two days of mock hunts and working hunter classes highlighted local and regional hunt clubs, the usage of hounds in the traditional sport, and its future.

 

Friday featured the Carolina Performance Hunter Hilltoppers and Carolina Performance Hunter Classes, followed by the Team Challenge, all of which built up to the afternoon’s Hilltopper Championship Final, which saw Cathy Gomez and Princeton dominate the Mock Hunt and Individual Test to achieve first representing the Belle Meade Hunt.

 

“We recently joined Belle Meade and really love the territory and the people. This is the first time we’ve come to the Festival of the Hunt, and we’re working through the Carolina Performance series, so that’s what brought us to Tryon,” Gomez said. “His job is to cart me around when we’re not going hunting. We do a little dressage, and I’m actually working on getting my silver and gold medals on him.”

 

Cathy Gomez and Princeton in their presentation ceremony. Alongside (L-R): Tom Cadier, Linden Wiesman, Carolyn Cadier, and Ishmael Gomez.

 

Following Friday evening’s Festival of the Hunt Party, Saturday kicked off with the Parade of the Green Creek Hounds and Tryon Hounds, showcasing the skill and importance of the canine hunt participants. A Mock Hunt comprised of the TIEC Field Hunter Championship qualified competitors gave way to the return of the top eight for the Pairs Handy Hunter Round in order to determine the TIEC Field Hunter Champion. Karen Benson and Money Makes Money, also called “Kitt,” made the Tryon Hounds and Green Creek Hounds proud with their victory in a competitive field.

 

Karen Benson and Money Makes Money

 

“It felt amazing to gallop around that field,” Benson said after her win. “He has qualified three times for the extreme cowboy challenge, he can herd cattle, he is my show jumper, he fox hunts, and my mom rides him! Now he is 15, and he is truly a horse of a lifetime.

 

“I had a great teammate for the pairs and we had a strategy to just stick together,” recalled Benson. “Then in the test, I just wanted to be really smooth. Being a show jumper he kind of peeks at these eventing jumps, but he was excellent today.”

 

Scenes from the Festival of the Hunt at TIEC.

 

The Moore County Hounds presented a strong showing on the week, especially in the Team Challenge, where Cameron Sadler, Hunt Master, Tayloe Moye, Field Master, and Shelly Talk piloted Secret Bit, All Together, and My Darling Clementine, respectively, to victory.

 

“It was a lot of fun, and the course was very challenging, said Sadler, who returned for her second Festival of the Hunt experience. “My horse has never been here, so he liked the second class much better than the first one. He did great.”

 

Moye echoed her sister’s assessment, saying, “The course rode great and is so well put together – it’s nice and handy, but there are some nice long turns as well. Everybody is so nice and friendly that works here, so it’s a great opportunity to come have some fun. So, I love Tryon and I’m so glad we came back.”

 

Scenes from the Festival of the Hunt at TIEC.

 

“Today’s been excellent, and so much fun, concluded Talk. “The course flowed beautifully, and the jumps were inviting. It’s challenging, without being overwhelming. These are hunting horses, not show horses, so to get in the ring and do something like that is a little out of our comfort zone, but so much fun.”

 

Scenes from the Festival of the Hunt at TIEC.

 

Purses were generously donated for each championship by local businesses including Tryon Builders, Hare & Hound Pub, Mountain Property Group, Tryon Resort, Green River Farms, and MFHA. Prizes were also awarded to the winners of each division, including show coolers from TIEC and saddle pads donated by the Farm House. The purses were divided between winning riders and their represented hunt, with the top three riders in the TIEC Field Hunter Championship collecting earnings.

 

Scenes from the Festival of the Hunt at TIEC.

 

Results for the 2018 TIEC Field Hunter Championships are as follows:

 

HILLTOPPER CHAMPIONSHIP
First place: Cathy Gomez & Princeton (Belle Meade Hunt)
Second place: Gena Meredith & Amigo (Green Creek Hounds)
Third place: Sarah Bridges & Tagg (Aiken Hounds)

 

TIEC FIELD HUNTER CHAMPIONSHIP
First place: Karen Benson & Money Makes Money (Tryon Hounds, Green Creek Hounds)
Second place: Catherine Mooneyham & Kessler (Green Creek Hounds)
Third place: Tayloe Moye & Battalion (Moore County Hounds)

 

TEAM CHALLENGE
First place: Cameron Sadler, Tayloe Moye, and Shelly Talk (Moore County Hounds)
Second place: Karen Benson, Gisele O’Grady, and Catherine Mooneyham (Green Creek Hounds)
Third place: Maykyla Alexander, Amara Baker, and Gordon Talk (Moore County Hounds)

 

CAROLINA PERFORMANCE HILLTOPPER CLASS
First place: Cathy Gomez & Princeton (Belle Meade Hunt)
Second place: Mell Boucher & Rosie (Camden Hunt, Cheshire Foxhounds)
Third place: Gena Meredith & Amigo (Green Creek Hounds)

 

CAROLINA PERFORMANCE FIELD HUNTER CLASS
First place: Amara Baker & Merrylegs (Moore County Hounds)
Second place: Karen Benson & Money Makes Money (Tryon Hounds, Green Creek Hounds)
Third place: Shelly Talk & My Darling Clementine (Moore County Hounds)

 

For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center, please visit www.Tryon.com.

 

Photo Credit ©TIEC. These photos may only be used once in relation to this press release with proper credit.
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