Mill Spring, N.C. – The six-day Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), presented by MARS Equestrian™, kicked off on Tuesday, October 26, at Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina. Tuesday’s opening day of competition featured the start of the professional and amateur hunter divisions, as well as welcome classes for child and adult hunter riders.
Jimmy Torano and Daryl Portela’s Laskano started off their trip to WIHS on a high note winning both of their $2,500 Green Hunter 3’6” over fences classes and taking home the Best Green Hunter Round honor and The Robotyping Challenge Trophy donated by The Robotyping Corporation. Though a riding accident with a different horse has kept Portela out of the irons, she recognized the horse’s potential in the show ring and asked Torano to take over the ride. Torano was happy to oblige.
“Laskano is a horse we have had [in the barn] for about a year and a half,” said Torano. “He is a horse that is very consistent and wins everywhere he goes. It has been a great opportunity for me. He has had a great year and has basically been champion or reserve everywhere he’s been so far.”
“We started off on a good note here,” he continued. “We won both classes today so hopefully he can continue and end up champion.”
Torano says Laskano has already had a busy indoors season so after WIHS, he will do a couple of shows back home in Wellington, Florida, and then have time to rest ahead of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). “He will take a break in December and then we’ll have him ready for the winter [for his] Green Hunter 3’9” [debut].”
Earning the Best Green Handy Hunter Round honor for their score of a 90 in the $2,500 Green Handy Hunter 3’9” over fences class was Liza Towell Boyd and Mary Caroline Nolan’s Ferrari. With the highest score across the Green Handy Hunter 3’6” and 3’9” classes, they took home The Fairfax Hunt Race Association Challenge Trophy donated by the Fairfax Hunt Race Association.
Ferrari has been shining in the hunter ring, but his career started in the jumpers which Boyd believes gave him his edge. “Michael Morrissey and Lourdes [de Guardiola] turned Ferrari into a hunter about a year and a half ago,” she said. “He was doing big jumper classes so he’s quite seasoned and obviously over qualified for the job which is nice. He is quite good in the handy rounds from his jumper mileage, and I think that helped us get the 90.”
Boyd noted that Nolan’s willingness to allow the gelding to develop as a hunter has been very beneficial. Nolan currently competes Ferrari in the 3’3” Junior Hunters and plans to start the 3’6” Junior Hunters next year. “What I’ve really appreciated that his owner has done is that they have really waited before moving him up,” shared Boyd. “Even though he’s a seasoned, experienced horse, he was previously green as a hunter.”
After her first rides in Tryon Stadium, the former winner of multiple hunter derbies including the USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals three times, says she has enjoyed the experience so far. “This is quite different than the Washington [D.C.] venue and ring but [show management] is doing a great job and they are making the best of everything,” she stated. “I think it’s fun riding in that stadium and for me, I’m sort of like the ‘derby girl.’ I love the hunter derbies. That was a really fun ring with sort of a derby feel.”
The 2021 WIHS continues on Wednesday, October 27, with championships for the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” and Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” divisions, and the Grand Amateur-Owner Hunters will be named in the Tryon Stadium. In the Grand Hunter Ring, the professional divisions will be decided, and the Grand Hunter Champion will be presented with leading awards. They are followed by the $10,000 WIHS Children’s Hunter Championship and $10,000 Adult Hunter Championship, both presented by MARS Equestrian™.
CORRECTION: In Monday’s WIHS Regional Horse Show wrap up, the Children’s Hunter 15-17 champion was incorrectly noted. The champion was Elsa Eastment and Ducati.
Children’s and Adult Hunters and Welcomed
Photo of the Day
In Front of The Lens
Photos by Alden Corrigan
Join The Conversation
When posting about the Washington International Horse Show on social media, be sure to use the following hashtags for a chance to be featured in the daily newsletter: