Hayley Waters and Qurint. Photos ©Sportfot.
Megan McCann and First Look Receive Champion Honors in Adult Amateur Hunter 18-35 Division
Mill Spring, NC — May 24, 2015 – Hayley Waters of Sparr, FL and the feisty bay mare Qurint, owned by the Waters family, took home top honors in the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix on the last day of competition of Tryon Spring 6 at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). The duo bested the class of 15 entries to cap an impressive run at the 2015 Tryon Spring Series. Tryon Spring 7 begins on Wednesday, May 27, and the entire series will conclude on June 7.
Waters and Qurint dashed around the jump-off round, completing the track over three seconds faster than Bryn Sadler and Mullentine Imperial, who finished in second. Waters and Qurint also placed second in the $1,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner class earlier in the week.
“She’s an incredible mare. She’s just so easy. I know I don’t need to be worried when I’m out there with her because she stays with me throughout the entire course,” said Waters. “It feels really exciting to win this class. It’s an incredible opportunity, and I’m so thankful that they’re offering this class to us at this show.”
The duo has a great relationship and Waters says that Qurint is a barn favorite, mostly due to her sweet personality and laid back demeanor.
“She’s not mare-ish at all. She loves people and always wants to please. We get along really well, and we have a great sense of trust between us,” explained Waters. “She’s been a great ride for me this far, and she’s been so easy. I’m looking forward to our future together.”
Waters has had a busy few weeks at TIEC, riding several different horses to top place finishes. A top rider in the making, Waters continues to prove she has what it takes to excel in the major arenas of the sport.
“The courses this week were similar in a lot of ways, which made it easy to translate things from course to course. I was worried about the last line when I walked it before the class and knew that I needed to focus on it when I was riding,” she said. “I was able to ride a few of the lines in earlier classes, which was a big help but mostly I was just concerned with how they would ride with her.”
Aside from the duo’s great finish today, Waters also piloted two horses around last night’s course in the $75,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix. The big classes provided Waters with valuable experience that she will continue to use throughout her career. Waters finished in 13th aboard Fine Fleur and 25th aboard Coralina.
“Last night was nerve-wracking for me. There were a lot of people here and under the lights can be really tough. It had very straight lines and was very cornered which is almost always a difficult ride,” she said. “I was really worried about the skinny when I walked it, but it ended up riding well. I was really happy to be a part of a class like that.”
Waters will take her talents to Devon Horse Show and Upperville next before a hopeful return to TIEC for the Summer Series this July. Attending North American Junior Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) in Lexington, KY later in the summer has been a longtime goal for Waters and she will have a full show schedule in the coming weeks as she prepares for a competitive summer season.
“I really would like to make sure this is a show we add to our schedule every year. We’ve had a great time here, and I love it. My horses have performed great, and it’s been a highlight so far for us this season,” commented Waters. “I am aiming for Young Riders with Qurint in July and our fall schedule is somewhat up in the air so we’ll end up playing it by ear. I like this horse show a lot though, so it’s something I’m looking forward to coming back to.”
Megan McCann and First Look Top Competitive Adult Amateur Hunter 18-35 Division
Megan McCann of Wrightsville, PA and First Look, lovingly known as “Arthur” around the barn, collected championship honors in the Adult Amateur Hunter 18-35 division at Tryon Spring 6.
The duo had a spectacular week, placing no lower than fourth throughout their competition in the hunter ring. McCann has been riding Arthur, owned by her sister Laura Flanagan, for the past year, and has really hit her stride with the big bay gelding.
“It was our first time showing so far this season at TIEC, and it was a really great show for us. The grounds were absolutely stunning, the footing was perfect and everything was immaculate. Arthur was just awesome too. He felt very relaxed all week and very much in his element,” said McCann. “I took over the ride on him a year and a half ago after my sister had her baby, and it’s been great for both of us. I train with Kitty and Johnny Barker, which is who we bought him from a few years ago when they imported him. He’s become a member of the family now.”
The duo collected several wins during their week, but will slow down their competition schedule this summer as McCann prepares to tie the knot in the beginning of August.
“I’m getting married in August, so we decided to aim for a little bit of a quieter summer show schedule this year,” she explained. “We’ve had a great year so far, and he has continued to step up to the plate. At our last show in Florida he was the circuit reserve champion, and I couldn’t be happier with how he went for me this week. It was a just overall a great show for us.”
For more information on TIEC and for a full list of results, please visit www.tryon.com. Please “Like” the TIEC Facebook page at www.facebook.com/tryonresort to be eligible for various contests and promotions.
About Tryon International Equestrian Center
The Tryon International Equestrian Center is destined to become one of the premier centers in the equestrian world. This new facility opened in June 2014 with sanctioned horse shows and initial supporting amenities including 10 riding arenas, 850 permanent stalls, a covered riding facility and fitness center. Future expansion includes a sports complex, two hotels, sporting clay course, and an 18-hole golf course plus a full calendar of equestrian competitions and activities. It is a spring, summer and fall haven for eastern and northeastern American equestrian competitors and enthusiasts. For more information, call 828-863-1000 or visit www.tryon.com.