USEF Rated

Michael Kocher & Gina V Gallop for the Cash in $20,000 Mini Prix at Tryon

Mill Spring, North Carolina, USA – April 10, 2023 – The third week of the Tryon Welcome Series presented by Horse Illustrated saw competition hosted Wednesday-Saturday at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC). Angel Munoz Gil (ESP) was victorious in Saturday’s $20,000 Mini Prix in Tryon Stadium, aboard Spy Coast Farm LLC’s Octavius SCF.

Thirteen entries toured the Keith Bollotte (Hendersonville, NC) first-round track, with six pairs qualifying for the jump-off test. Munoz Gil noted that “it was a really nice course, and I think there was enough to do there. too. Many parts of the course came up pretty quickly.”

One of five pairs to challenge the jump-off track, Munoz Gil and the 2014 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Diktator van de Boslandhoeve x Beluga) stopped the timers in 39.667 seconds to clinch the win.

Michael Kocher (USA) & Gina V – Photo: © Sarah Sturgis for Natalie Suto Photography

Michael Kocher (USA) and his own Gina V, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood mare (Cicero Z van Paemel x Wina V), cleared the short course in 40.76 seconds to claim reserve.

John Brown (USA) & Ballon Bleu D’Arco – Photo: © Sarah Sturgis for Natalie Suto Photography

Third place went to John Brown (Mill Spring, NC) aboard Ballon Bleu D’Arco, the 2013 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Amaretto D Arco x Papilon) owned by Ponce Tidwell, who produced a 41.843-second clear. 

Munoz Gil, who has been with the Spy Coast Farm team since last fall, piloted two horses on course and complimented both his mounts’ performances. I rode One in a Million SCF first, and I just had an unlucky rail early on the course. And then my [winning] mount, Octavius SCF, is such a great horse. He’s already had some top placings, and he just gives me so much confidence. It’s always easier with a horse like that!”

With a competitive jump off cohort, Munoz Gil decided to test Octavius’ speed while still providing a positive experience, he detailed. “I know he’s so, so careful. So, I just wanted to give it a go without [shaking his confidence either]. I feel like everything just came up nicely to me. I took a chance to the last, but he has so much ability that he could clear the fence.”

Munoz Gil’s first experience at TIEC was for the 2022 Young Horse Show Finals presented by Spy Coast Farm, where he fell in love with the venue. “That was my first experience here,” he recapped. I loved the place, and it was such a great show. It was really amazing. Now, we came over for this series, and are here for four weeks in total.”

Based in Lexington, Kentucky, Munoz Gil will be a familiar face throughout the 2023 competition season with Spy Coast Farm, and he’s looking forward to returning to TIEC, he concluded. “We will come back here again soon! I want to say thank you to Lisa Lourie and all the Spy Coast Farm team, because I have been with them just over half a year and it’s been great.”

Final Results – $20,000 Mini Prix

1) Angel Munoz Gil (ESP) & Octavious SCF – 0 / 0 – 39.667

2) Michael Kocher (USA) & Gina V – 0 / 0 –40.760

3) John Brown (USA) & Ballon Bleu D’Arco – 0 / 0 – 41.843

Source: Press Release from TIEC – Tryon International Equestrian Center

Photos: © Sarah Sturgis for Natalie Suto Photography

Categories: USEF Rated