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Le Samurai Holds it Together for Tryon and Takes Dressage Lead at Rolex
Lexington, KY, USA
by Amber Heintzberger
Photo: Anthony Trollope/StockImageServices.com

RedBayGroup.com
Amy Tryon (USA) and Le Samurai
Amy Tryon and Le Samurai are the official dressage leaders at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Farnam. The competition began at 9am at the Kentucky Horse Park with Clayton Fredericks (AUS) on Ben Along Time. Fredericks took the early lead, scoring better than any of yesterday's riders, but the afternoon competition would push him into a tie for third place with Becky Holder on Courageous Comet, with Amy Tryon taking the lead on Le Samurai followed by Polly Stockton (GBR) on Tangleman.

Tryon had a forward ride with Le Samurai, following what she said was a hot and inattentive warm-up session. "I was thrilled when he went in and did his job. I only had about forty per cent of his attention, so I didn't really think about how good the ride was until the very last halt." Tryon began riding the 1995 Holsteiner gelding owned by Becky and Jerome Broussard only recently after he had much success with Robyn Fisher.

Many excellent rides were ridden today and the scores are extremely close, with only a ten-point spread in the top 20 placings. A few riders had a more difficult time in the arena, with horses tense and reactive to the exciting atmosphere of the arena, looking more like they were ready to gallop out of the starting box than head down the center line.

"This arena is hard to ride in," acknowledged Tryon. "There's a lot of atmosphere - trotting down the strip is like being thrown to the lions!"

Stockton commented, of Tangleman, with whom she placed second in Kentucky previously, "This horse came here four years ago quite inexperienced; he had a lower score today but his dressage has actually gotten better and I hope the jumping will go well too."

Looking ahead to cross-country, Becky Holder commented, "My husband says the most important jump on course is the next one. If I take it one at a time then I can probably look back and say I enjoyed it."

There was plenty going on outside the main arena, too. During the lunch break a demonstration for the Future Event Horse program for yearling, two and three-year-olds was held in the Walnut Arena, with professional horse handler Bruce Griffin and his wife Stacey demonstrating the technique for handling young horses on the line, including how to show the horses on the triangle. Four impressive young event prospects were used in the demonstration, which was narrated by USEA CEO Jo Whitehouse. These horses were by the prominent event sires Fleetwater Opposition, Windfall II, Lion King II, and Snowford Bellman.

"We are glad to get the exposure at an event like this," commented Griffin.

Following this, Dr. Pearse Lyons, president of Alltech, Inc. gave a presentation to the media regarding his company's title sponsorship of the Alltech World Equestrian Games to be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in 2010. Dr. Lyons noted that his company, which produces nutrition products for horses and other animals, has offices in 85 countries around the world and he is looking to expanding their presence as they ramp up sales with a goal of $1 billion in sales by 2010.

"We want to make the trip for the competitors the best and most exciting they have ever had, as well as drive the Alltech brand forward," he said. "People are looking forward to the games and we have to make sure that they exceed their expectations."

It is also worth noting that Area VIII has a booth set up to raise funds for three injured event riders, Debbie Atkinson, Kim Meier and Ralph Hill, all who sustained serious injuries in riding accidents in the past few months. As Janise Gray of the Equestrian Aid Foundation commented, "Catastrophic injuries incur catastrophic expenses. We are trying to raise as much money for these riders as possible this weekend." To make a donation, visit the Area VIII booth at Rolex or visit www.equestrianaidfoundation.org.


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