July 2020
Newsletter Articles
Even Morris the Horse is taking special precautious during these tenuous times of the world-wide pandemic. The TR&HC has had to adapt in the way we go about our daily operations by holding video board meetings and staff working from our homes. In spite of difficult times, the TR&HC continues to support the equestrian community.

Articles for this month's e-letter

  • President's Corner
  • The Hound Show
  • Charity I & II Horse Shows
  • Scholarship recipients
  • New Website
Thank you for your continued support. We welcome your feedback.
—Gary Zumstein
President’s Corner

Everyone knows what a crazy year it has been!  Well, it’s been crazy for the Riding and Hunt Club too as we had to cancel the Block House Steeplechase and pre-event Race Party for the second year in a row as well as our Old Tryon Horse and Hound Show and the Carter Brown BBQ. Nonetheless, we have been busy with other activities highlighted here with more details further on in the newsletter.

  • In April at the start of the shutdown, we designated $2,500 for a FERA matching grant (Foothills Equine Rescue) and the grant generated another $6,200 from the community.  Amazing!

  • On short notice with the help of Aiken Hounds former Huntsman Katherine Gunter, we held a small private Hound/Puppy Show and pre-event party as a test run for a bigger and better event next year. Two local and four visiting hunts participated. All declared it a great success.  Tot Goodwin says we’ll have to turn people away next year.

  • We are making a substantial donation to help fund FENCE’s new ring irrigation system since their (very) old one just finally died.  All the dressage and hunter/jumper people are very happy!

As you can see, true to our Mission, the Club has been busy with activities and funds to support the community, despite the virus.  We’ll continue, if Covid allows, with our XC Schooling Days, “Morris the Horse” Trials, and Any and All Dog Show this Fall.  

Mark December 8 for our annual Christmas Party and Annual Meeting.  This year it’s going to be more of a party with a little business meeting attached.  

Stay tuned. Please join us and be a part of all this!  Sybil Jones, one of our new Board members in 2020, is launching a membership drive. If your membership has lapsed, please renew. If you are not a member, please join us. We'd love to have you be a part of all that we do!

Te rry Lynch

Benefit Puppy Hounds Show
At the FENCE
After 33 years, the TR&HC Club held the return of the Hound Show. The show was held Saturday, June 20 at the FENCE track facility. The event was enjoyed by all the participants This fun show will become an annual event.
John Jake Carle II and John Tabacha conducted the judging of the unsanctioned event.
TR&HC Charity Horse Shows
Support Local Non-Profits

Living up to its tradition of philanthropy and support to Western North Carolina communities, TR&HC awarded $2,000 grants to each of three local charities; Polk Equine Emergency Rescue (PEER), Guiding Reins and Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry.  

The presentation to each charity was made as part of the Heritage Charity Horse Show hosted at The Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in early June. The historical horse show was held with no spectators, following state guidelines for social distancing. 

The Charity Horse Show is held annually to benefit local non-profits, most of whom fill a void where there is need.  In the case of PEER, the equine community lacked a dedicated resource for large animal rescue. This organization is comprised of trained volunteers who are on call in Polk and surrounding counties in Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina.

According to Dianne Joyce, PEER Board president, “We’ll use our donation from the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club to fund continuing education for our volunteers––and we appreciate the Club’s donation.  Our training is ongoing with state-of-the-art equipment.  Donations from the club will help us meet our training goals.”

Using horses once destined for disposal, Guiding Reins, an equine-assisted therapy program, is dedicated to improving the quality of life for military personnel and veterans, first responders and people with special needs. Diane Prewitt, founder of the organization says,  “Interacting with a horse is not going to cure people, but it will bring peace of mind.  The donation from the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club will help provide free equine therapy for our clients and help them cope. We are so grateful.”

The third charity is Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry serving Polk County residents who need assistance with day-to-day necessities such as food, heat and housing. Margot Carter, Development Director says, "Our goal is that no individual or family in Polk County goes hungry, cold or without shelter. "

The competition and check presentations were streamed from the  TIEC website .   
92nd Annual Charity Horse Show Concludes
As Winners Take Home Ribbons and Trophies

It was an event that almost didn’t happen! In spite of strict pandemic restrictions, the 2020 edition of the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club Charity I Horse Show was a huge success even without spectators cheering the riders on. 

The Covid-19 guidelines included no spectators, mandated social distancing, masks, temperature scans, no ribbons awarded at the ring, no traditional jogs and an all online touch-less experience.  “This is going to be the new normal for at least awhile,” says Angie Millon, Board vice president. “We were all so happy to get back to a horse show, I think for the most part, everyone was willing to give it a try!”

Approximately 700 horses from all over the United States competed over the five-day horse show. The Grand Prix included horse and rider combinations from nine countries competing for the $75,000 prize. Leslie Burr-Howard and Donna Speciale topped the 45 entries that contested the Michel Vaillancourt course. The big hunter highlight of the week was the $50,000 International Hunter Derby held Friday afternoon. In Writing, ridden by top derby professional Kelly Farmer, bested the field of 22 horses. Normally a two-round competition, the class had to be called after the first round due to severe thunderstorms that rolled in as the second round was set to start.

The show concluded Sunday as the 13 perpetual trophies maintained by the TR&HC were awarded. Many of these special trophies are engraved with now famous horses and riders whose names are also found in the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame as well as the Carolinas Show Hunter Hall of Fame.

 “Although this year our show didn’t have its trademark hospitality, ice cream socials, parties, and get-togethers, we all look forward to a “return to normal” sometime in the near future. We hope everyone had a fun, safe week of horse sport, and look forward to seeing everyone back next year” says Millon. 
Tryon Riding and Hunt Club’s
Charity II Horse Show

The 17th edition of the July Charity II Horse Show was held at Tryon International Equestrian Center over the July 4th holiday weekend with 780 horses  from all over the country competing. Spectators were not allowed  due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  Strict Covid-19 protocols were enforced. 

Nine TR&HC perpetual trophies were awarded over the course of the week. Of special note is local junior rider Caroline Maude Hedges and “A Picobello Star Z” who are the 2020 recipients of the “Penny Ante” Grand Children’s Hunter Champion Perpetual Trophy. Caroline is a local third generation horsewoman, and granddaughter to the late Maude Carr of Hidden Hollow Farm in Tryon.

Other special highlights of the week included two derbies and the Grand Prix.  The $40K USHJA International Hunter Derby won by derby specialist Kelly Farmer and her new mount “Meaningful.” Farmer topped the 24-horse field in the two round class with a total score of 377 points. This was Meaningful’s second competition in America. He was also champion in the 4’ High Performance Hunter Division winning every class. He is one to watch and is already well on his way to becoming a top hunter. 

The $10k Pony Hunter Derby was won by Marion Gefaell (Winston-Salem, NC) and her mount “Home Run Bound.” Her combined two round score of 158 bested 28 entries.

The $137k Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3* was won by Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) and “Akuna Mattata.” 38 horse/rider pairs competed, with 7 horses advancing to the jump off. Akuna Mattata was the fastest of two double clears in the jump off, winning by 1.6seconds over Leslie Burr-Howard (USA) and “Donna Speciale”. Burr-Howard and Donna Speciale were the winners of the TR&HC Charity 1 Grand Prix in June. 

Tryon Riding & Hunt Club Announces
Scholarship Recipients

TR&HC announces the recipients of its annual scholarships to five local college and college-bound high school students. The scholarship awards are one of several community-based programs sponsored by the TR&HC.

“All our scholarship recipients are deserving of our support,” says Kent Holden, Board member who reviewed the applications. “Their applications reflect a level of professionalism, commitment to a career goal and a steadfast vision on their path forward.” As a mandatory part of the application, each recipient is involved in some form of horsemanship and this year we have some very accomplished equestrians.

A total of $5,000 in scholarship money has been awarded to the following students:

Amanda Fisher, 20, of Simpsonville, S.C., is a student at the University of South Carolina-Aiken where she studies marketing. She is president of the USC-Aiken Event Team and hunts with the Aiken Hounds. Amanda is a member of the U.S. Pony Club, the U.S. Eventing Association and the U.S. Equestrian Federation. 

Eric Harrelson, 18, of Green Creek, N.C., will attend Berry College this fall and plans to become a vet. Eric participates in mounted Revolutionary War reenactments, where he is a member of the 3D Light Dragoons. 

Emma Hay, 17, of Columbus, N.C., will attend Appalachian State University this fall where she will study environmental science. Emma, an eventer, overcame a diagnosis of scoliosis to get back in the saddle and continue riding. She grew up in Pony Club and is a member of the USEA and the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association
Caroline King, 18, of Rutherfordton, N.C., will attend the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill this fall. Her career goal is to become an equine veterinary pharmacist. She was able to accomplish her dream of qualifying and competing in U.S. Equitation Finals and qualifying for the E.J. Haun Medal Final. She has been a competitive hunter rider for 11 years and is a member of the USEF, USHJA, the N.C. and S.C. Hunter-Jumper Associations, and the Blue Ridge Hunter Jumper Association.

Keileigh Jean McMurray, 19, of Columbus, N.C., also attends University of South Carolina-Aiken. She plans to become a large animal vet. An eventer, Keileigh is a member of the USC-Aiken Eventing Team, the USC-Aiken Intercollegiate Dressage Team, the USEA, USPC, Aiken County Pony Club and the Intercollegiate Dressage Association. 

Congratulations to all the recipients!
Our New Website is Live!
We are pleased to announce that our new website is now live. Please check it out. You can click here to learn about the Club, find upcoming events, sign up to volunteer, renew membership or join, and you can easily find who and how to contact someone for more information regarding the Club.

We send a special thanks to the very talented Jillian Woolridge who patiently worked along with us as we built a site that we felt could best serve our needs while showing all visitors what a great, dynamic and fun organization we are. 

Another special thanks to Martha Woodham who tirelessly revised and updated content .  
Telephone: 828-863-0480