Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS Cruise to Tryon International CCI3*-L Win

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS. By Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS sailed to a win in the Tryon International 3-Day Event CCI3*-L Division, holding the lead all the way for a final score of 25.70 with the 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Chin Champ x Quinar) owned by Hyperion Stud LLC.. In second, Boyd Martin piloted Contessa, the 2009 Holsteiner mare (Contender x Esteban) owned by Club Contessa, to a score of 25.90, adding nothing to their score all weekend, while Leslie Law improved from fourth place third with Lady Chatterley, the 2011 Holsteiner mare (Connor 48 x Mytens XX) owned by Lesley Grant-Law and Jackie and Steve Brown, walking away with a score of 27.80. Ending on fourth after a tiebreaker with Law, Ariel Grald and Caballe, the 2012 Holsteiner mare (Cliostro x Lansing) owned by Anna Elridge, also ended on a score of 27.80.

Coleman was piloting Chin Tonic HS through his first 3*-L this weekend and noted that he was still quite fresh after cross-country yesterday: “The show jumping went well, and my horse jumped great. He was looking around a bit when the wind started blowing and things like the flowers and fillers were moving. He still felt pretty fresh after yesterday!”

Though they led from start to finish, Coleman was most excited about the educational experience his up-and-coming star gained by competing in a big environment, albeit sans spectators. “There’s always a tremendous atmosphere here at Tryon. They get a taste of what the big time will be like – and is like. I thought that the cross-country course was solid. It wasn’t overly difficult, yet it was still a great education for him,” he reported. “It was his first three-star long, and it was an almost nine-minute course. There’s no question that it was a huge experience for him and I think it’ll serve him very well going forward.”

Coleman concluded, “I’m thankful for this weekend and that we’re still able to compete during this time. I’m also very thankful to Hyperion Stud and Vicky Castregen and the whole team. I’ve got a wonderful group of people helping me. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am. I’m very lucky!”

Boyd Martin and Contessa. Photo by
Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Holding onto second for the entirety of the weekend with Contessa, Martin called the mare “just a fantastic jumper, who’s all class and quality. She’s full of energy after yesterday’s cross-country, and put in a great round of jumping.”

Though Martin has mostly been working with Contessa at home thus far, he reported that he has high hopes for his mount: “I think this weekend she not only performed well and got a great result, but she got a great education of things to come. The stadium feeling in the dressage and show jumping is definitely a lot of pressure and atmosphere, and the cross-country course is obviously a real test and sign of a horse for the future.”

Leslie Law and Lady Chatterley. Photo by
Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Rounding out the podium, Law and Lady Chatterley finished on their dressage score, which Law called a “very good test for her,” and ended up being a great learning experience for both his three-star mounts, he shared. “We’ve been quite fortunate that once the events got started again, we were able to put a program together and stick with it in the second half of the season.”

Like many of his peers, Law emphasized the dedication of the TIEC staff to making the event happen, both before the date and once the course was damaged just before the start of competition. “I think everybody that’s involved here at Tryon obviously have gone above and beyond, first to get it off the floor, and get it to happen. Probably the bigger challenge, though, was all the rain when we got here and all that had to be done. And that [credit] goes to the management here at Tryon and the staff. [Technical Delegate] Andy Bowles and [Course Designer] Mark Phillips… I think what they did was incredible,” Law continued. “They might not have been able to do it without the hands that are available here, but for Mark Phillips and Andy Bowles to put something together which looked impossible and pull it off, I think hats off to those two and everyone who supported and helped them.

“The ground on the day [of competition] was good ground,” Law continued. “We had to look after our horses for a little bit on that short stretch coming back across the road, but as long as you rode sensibly, it was good ground. Obviously, I’ve been doing this for quite some time now, and it is not long ago that we consistently were running in a lot worse ground than this, even at places like Badminton,” he noted.

Law concluded, “I’m really thankful to everyone who put this event on, and hopefully we see it here again and again; that would be a nice thing. It is a great venue, the facilities are fantastic, the rings are fantastic and the cross-country course is top class. Mark Phillips, I think, is like red wine, he just gets better and better. The courses were super, they really were.”

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Coverage of Tryon International this weekend is brought to you by Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE). Diversity and inclusion in all equestrian sports are important, and we’ll be bringing you tidbits on what this new organization hopes to accomplish.