Team Joyce are on holidays at the moment travelling around the US. During our venture we stumbled across a massive $70,000 Grand Prix held under lights at the very famous Tyron International Equestrian Centre. Our good friends Rob & Julie Kelso encouraged us to go before we left. Actually it was this couple who generously offered so much worldly advice many months leading up to our departure, even now while away Wes and I could not have been so well prepared if it was not for their interest in our journey. Thank you Rob & Julie xx A major highlight so far would have to be rubbing shoulders with a very famous New Zealand showjumper Sharn Wordley. He has two properties , one in Wellington Florida another in Lexington Kentucky.
Team Joyce meet showjumping super star Sharn Wordley
Did you know the Tyron International Equestrian Centre is where the World Equestrian Games will be held in September this year? Wes wanted to visit the venue for himself to see how the constructions were coming along. Most people have seen or been to Boneo Park right ‘ well this facility is 10 times Boneo. It is jaw dropping amazing. They have got absolutely everything covered from entertainment – competitions of ALL levels & disciplines plus looking after you and your horse/horses. I took video footage and still pictures of as much as I possibly could show casing this property.
Tyron International Equestrian Centre is 10 times Boneo Park
Click to enlarge all pictures 🙂
NO entry charges at the gate – FREE entertainment all night
On arrival you are greeted by many volunteers making sure you feel comfortable, given a map and information on the day / & or nights action. This is a genuine family affair with so many activities for the children of all ages. Jugglers, face painters , bubble blowers they can ride on the pony jumping castle or jump over the high jumps. ALL FREE may I add. No entry charges at the gate they want you to come.
It is truly amazing
Not only are the public looked after but so are the horses and riders. The creature comforts are endless. Every stable has a lockable trunk in the front, seating and shade everywhere. Undercover horse bays, paved or sandy paths with shade roofs while waiting to go into the arenas. Special grassed picking areas for you to casually take your horse for a stroll. Judges, stewards, photographers & cameramen / women work in style sitting in a covered booth -box. Every arena has tables and chairs to observe in style. There is even a hammock area near the Silo Bar to lay back shut your eyes to have 40 winks.
We purchased dinner tickets in the Legends Bar which gave us prime position under cover view ring side. It was FREE to sit in the main grandstand the choice is yours. This was our treat being on holidays. Dinner started at 6pm with all food drinks included all night until 1 hour after the class had finished. Then the good ol Karaoke started about 11pm. Getting back to how amazing it was to chat with Sharn & Lauren.
Sharn won the $30,000 Welcome Stakes Thursday night riding Barnetta
Wes & I were fortunate to go back and chat with Sharn & Lauren in the stable block. The FEI block was off limits to the public, they had carted many horses for this 5 day show. Lauren is also a very well known talented rider, these two make a perfect pair. She makes sure he is on time and well organised for everything before during and after the shows. This couple are so friendly warm and inviting, they made us feel so welcome. Wes & I admired their performance horses such stunning well presented animals standing so quietly very close the fans.
Lucky to watch Sharn warm up Barnetta in the FEI warm up arena
Wes and I were able to stay behind and watch Sharn school Barentta over a few small obstacles in preparation for the Grand Prix starting at 8pm. After that we quickly made our way to the main arena to walk the course. Enjoy the video footage of Sharn in the FEI warm up arena closely observed by the FEI steward.
We waited patiently for number 9 to appear and suddenly 10 walks into the arena. Wes straight away says’,’ Bet he lost a shoe ! “. He was right on the mark – Sharn rang afterwards to express how stressful it was moments before their turn to jump. They entered the arena at number 15 so not long after. It was a pleasure to watch this combination cruise around the huge obstacles standing at 1.45m-1.50m.
Barnetta was so calm and clean until the third last fence just tapped it to result in 4 faults. There were four clean rounds out of the 23 horses. Eastern Jam KWPN 2009 Gelding , Lexicon x Salana ridden by Hunter Holloway from Topeka , Kansas USA took the grand prize of $70,000. Her smile was so wide she rode to win ! It was a very exciting jump off. Sorry for the blurry pic 🙁
Thank you so very much Sharn & Lauren for making time to talk with us. We hope to cross paths again someday. If you are ever in Australia come and visit our door is open.Good luck for the WEG this year when you return with Barnetta the champion.
Sharn & Lauren drove themselves out that night back to Kentucky , ( horses are driven back by grooms etc to Florida ) then off the next morning to catch a plane to Vancouver where Casper his number 1 horse has been flown to. On Sunday they will compete in the $230,000 CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix 238.2.2 at Thunderbird Show Park. We wish them all the very best.
I nearly forgot to show you the hammocks
I even quickly went over to the other site where the construction is taking place of buidling the 3 huge indoor arenas. Here is a video snipet of what I saw.