Mimi Gochman (Wellington, FL) and Gigi’s Girl BH sliced their way to a win in the $25,000 ProElite Grand Prix at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC), stopping the jump-off timers in 29.27 seconds. Gavin Harley (Wellington, FL) and Corbawido PS, the Wolfstone Stables & Sales Inc.-owned 2012 Oldenburg gelding (Cornet’s Balou x Annette), charged to second on a time of 29.352 seconds, while Katherine Dash (Washington, WA) completed the podium in the irons with HH Casey Jones, the 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Clinton I x Chicca) owned by Play the Game LLC, clearing the short course in 31.877 seconds.
Mimi Gochman on Gigi’s Girl BH. Photo by Sportfot.
Thirty-nine pairs tested the Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) first round, with only six riders returning for the jump-off challenge. Gochman was able to take several fences at a severe angle, slicing her way through a tightly-built course with the 2008 Dutch Warmblood mare (Vingino x Zaline) owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC.
“I wanted to go for it.” she said of her jump-off performance. “There were six of us and it was my last class of the week. She felt great! My first round was smooth enough that I felt confident. I just wanted to go for it and try my best.” Gochman emphasized, “The footing is amazing! It’s been raining all weekend and it’s still perfect.”
Gavin Harley on Corbawido PS. Photo by Sportfot.
A former mount of McLain Ward, Gigi’s Girl has been Gochman’s ride for “about a year and a half,” she shared. “She’s one of the most scopey horses, and has the biggest stride and heart. She tries her best all the time. She saved my butt today in the jump-off,” Gochman admitted. “I was a little off in the seven, and she just jumped out of the in-and-out with all of her might. It was really fun! She’s also really sweet at home. She likes to cuddle in the stall and she’ll follow you around.”
Having competed in the Medium Junior Jumpers prior to the National Standard Grand Prix, Gochman said she was surprised to find the course familiar, albeit reversed:
“The course was nice. I did the Medium Junior Jumpers earlier, and it was the same course, but backwards. It was kind of interesting to see how the lines would ride. Some of them were the same, and some were different! It was nice because I kind of knew the lines, but since they were in a different direction it made it more challenging.”
Katherine Dash on HH Casey Jones. Photo by Sportfot.
Beyond her success in Tryon Fall 4 this week, Gochman also secured an eighth place finish in the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Finals and her team collected a silver medal in the Neue Schule/USEF Prix des States Team Championship. “My week has been super busy, but really good,” Gochman elaborated. “I was eighth in the Medal Finals this morning which was super fun. I also did Prix des States and my team rose up for silver which was amazing. That class is always a blast! I also won the Medium Classic earlier on my other horse. It’s been an amazing week.
Mimi Gochman on Gigi’s Girl BH in their presentation ceremony. Photo by Sportfot.
“I love it here,” Gochman concluded. “The food is amazing! Sometimes when we’re here really late, it’s nice to be able to just go and walk to dinner. The rings are huge, which is super nice. Tons of big riders come, so it keeps it competitive. I think the horses love it because they get to stay in big, airy stalls. It worked out really well with COVID, too. Everyone is wearing a mask and everything is spaced. I’m having a great time!”
For full class results, click here. The Tryon Fall Series continues through Sunday, November 1 featuring FEI, Hunter, Jumper, and Equitation competition.