Four-Time Olympian Ashley Holzer & Dressed in Black Head Up Canadian Olympic Hopefuls at Inaugural Tryon, North Carolina CDI3*

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Ashley Holzer riding Dressed in Black. File photo. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Ashley Holzer riding Dressed in Black. File photo. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

MILL SPRING, North Carolina, April 18, 2016–Ashley Holzer and Dressed in Black head up a group of Canadian Olympic hopefuls at the inaugural Tryon International CDI3* as she seeks to earn a start at at what would be her fifth Olympic Games.

The Grand Prix with 12 U.S. and Canadian horses and riders on a full slate of FEI levels is offering prize money of $38,500, the most in North America outside Florida’s Global Dressage Festival so far this year.

A companion national show has received almost 90 entries for the Tryon show grounds that were formally opened last year. Tens of millions of dollars have been invested by a partnership led by Mark Bellissimo who also heads up the group that owns the Global dressage circuit, the Winter Equestrian Festival, the Wanderers Club of golf, tennis and polo and this week is scheduled to complete the purchase of the International Polo Club, all in Wellington.

The Tryon International Equestrian Center is the anchor for Tryon Resort, a  1,400-acre sports complex of an 18-hole golf course, 175-room hotel, 90 condominium units and a spa to complement the horse show calendar that until now has been centered on jumpers and hunters.

The Tryon Equestrian Partners ownership group announced last week that it acquired the historic Cleghorn Plantation Golf & Country Club 6.5 miles from the horse show.

Along with the New York-based Ashley who has also entered Arthur in the Grand Prix will be fellow Canadian 2016 Olympic hopefuls Chris von Martels on Divertimento, Brittany Fraser on All In, Megan Lane on Caravella, Karen Pavicic on Don Daiquiri and Shannon Dueck on Cantaris.

Ashley began competing Dressed in Black at Big Tour three years ago. The 11-year-old Westfalen stallion has not competed in a CDI in more than a year.

The deadline is early July for combinations seeking to fill the two individual places for Canada at the Rio de Janeiro Games.

United States combinations in the Grand Prix include Catherine Haddad-Staller on Mane Stream Hotmail, Katie Poag on Zonnekoning, James Koford on both Don Principe and Rhett and Nora Batchelder on Bahai.