From early June to mid-July the Tryon Riding and Hunt Club (TR&HC) showed why it continues to lead among equestrian organizations. At the summer Charity Horse Shows there were classes offered from cross rails to International Hunter and Grand Prix. On top of their stewardship of the sport, TR&HC knows how to have fun as well!

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TR&HC celebrated their 90th Annual Charity I Horse Show with over 600 horses entered for four days of activities open to the entire community during the week of June 4. The Charity I is the third oldest horse show in the United States. Originally started by club founder Carter Brown in the 1920’s, it has become one of the longest-standing sporting events in the Carolinas.

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The fun began Wednesday, June 6, with the return of another rich (and delicious!) tradition, the Carter Brown Community BBQ, hosted by TR&HC at Harmon Field. More than 125 equestrian enthusiasts and BBQ lovers enjoyed the savory menu based on the original dishes Carter Brown provided there each year. All proceeds from the event were donated to Harmon Field’s horse programming activities.

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Thursday night, June 7, TR&HC held the 2nd Annual Carolina Show Hunter Hall of Fame, presented at The Legends Club in the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Over 150 people attended to celebrate the 2018 inductees that included four horses: Gozzi, Patriots Way, Caped Crusader and Gershwin. In addition, three accomplished horsemen were honored: Pat Dodson, Patty Heuckeroth and Mary Ann Charles. A new award, “The Janet Peterson Memorial Trophy”, was introduced to recognize love and excellence exhibited in the sport.

The afternoon of Friday, June 8, featured the popular USHJA International Hunter Derby, offering $25,000 to the winner. Saturday afternoon, Jun 9, TR&HC hosted their highly-anticipated Ice Cream Social, serving over 300 ice cream sundaes. This was followed by the “Saturday Night Lights” series at TIEC, showcasing the exciting $204,000 CSI Grand Prix. A truly global field of 31 horses and riders competed for the title and its impressive purse.

The whirlwind week concluded Sunday, June 10 with the TR&HC team awarding 10 perpetual trophies to horses and riders in equitation, pony hunter, junior, amateur and adult hunters, as well as children’s, adult, junior and amateur jumpers.

After a brief break, TR&HC returned to the competitive arena on July 4 at TIEC with the Charity II Horse Show. They have hosted the Charity II show the past 15 years and this year, it attracted over 900 horses from around the world.

TR&HC and its volunteers work tirelessly to keep ‘the love of Hunters’ alive – and thriving – in the Carolinas. Ride on!

Photos courtesy of Erik Olsen