Lucy Deslauriers and Hester. Photo © Sportfot.
Wellington, FL – March 29, 2018 – Eighteen-year-old Lucy Deslauriers (USA) clinched the biggest victory of her career on Thursday in the $132,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 12 riding Hester, owned by Lisa Deslauriers.
After coming back from a shoulder injury and a surgery on her hand at the end of 2017, Deslauriers returned to the saddle during week four of WEF. She topped a field of 63 in Thursday’s class and qualified for Saturday night’s $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*. Twenty-seven horses jumped fault-free over a course built by Brazil’s Guilherme Jorge, but five elected not to return, setting the stage for a 22-horse jump-off.
Returning in the latter half of the sizeable field, Deslauriers and Hester, a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Wandor van de Mispelaere x Palestro vd Begijnakker), stopped the jump-off timers in a blistering 34.70 seconds. Less than a second off the pace in 35.26 seconds, Ireland’s Darragh Kenny was bumped to second place riding Babalou 41, owned by Jack Snyder. Fellow Irish rider Shane Sweetnam rounded out the top three in 35.71 seconds aboard Chaqui Z for owner Spy Coast Farm, LLC.
Penny Lombardo and Cartier R Capture USHJA Hunter 2’9” Championship
The USHJA Hunter 2’9” division awarded its championship tricolor to Penny Lombardo and Cartier R, an entry of Jenny Sutton, early on Thursday morning. The pair impressed the judges for the final week at the WEF by winning two blue ribbons, a fourth, and a fifth over fences in addition to taking fifth place in the under saddle.
The 9-year-old Holsteiner has accompanied Lombardo as well as his owner in the ring for two consecutive years. Lombardo added that her double win was a special triumph for herself as well as great preparation for the young stallion, who will continue to compete with Sutton in the Low Adult Hunter 2’6” division.
Jennifer Hannan secured reserve honors aboard Namaste, owned by Cynthia Sulzberger, with two first-place finishes over fences.
TV ALERT! The $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, April 8, at 5-6 p.m. ET. Don’t miss it – watch live or set your DVR.