Credit: Shannon Brinkman Photography
Payne dominates at Blue Ridge Mountain Horse Trials
Doug Payne holds all three top places across both sections of the Advanced division after day one of competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort. The Blue Ridge Mountain Horse Trials at TIEC presented by EquiSafe Global kicked off Friday, September 11, with nearly 350 entries in the event’s sophomore year at TIEC. Payne scored 23.10 with Vandiver to top the Test B section, grabbing top two scores in the Test A section with Starr Witness, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood mare (Chello III VDL x Veneur) owned in partnership with Catherine Winter and Laurie McRee, receiving a 25.70. Quantum Leap, the 2011 Zweibrücker gelding (Quite Capitol x Corporate Report) owned by Doug and Jessica Payne, earned a 26.10 just behind.
In striking distance behind Payne, Whitney Mahloch (Ocala, FL) rode Military Mind, her own 2006 Thoroughbred gelding (Military x Beau Genius), to a 26.60 in the A section, with Hallie Coon (Ocala, FL) also coming in sub-27 with a 26.90 aboard Celien, the 2007 Dutch Warmblood mare (VDL Tenerife x Hamlet) owned in partnership with Helen Coon, in the B section.
“I really couldn’t be much happier with any of them. You’ve got to look at the bright side, and I think the time that we had during the COVID suspension of competition obviously worked well for our horses. Quinn [Vandiver], the older one, just keeps getting stronger and better as we go,” Payne said of the 2004 Trakehner gelding (Windfall 2 x Mystic Replica XX) owned by Debi Crowley in partnership with Doug and Jessica Payne. “And the two younger horses, I think in a little bit of time are going to be superstars. It’s a lot of fun to see them start to be able to put it all together, which we’ve been working towards for a while.”