February 11, 2021 – Wellington, FL – Lucy Deslauriers (USA) and Hester, owned by Lisa Deslauriers, were in fine form on Thursday, February 11, as they flew to the top of the leaderboard in the International Arena for a victory in the $73,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 5 CSI5* at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).
Over a track set by Kelvin Bywater (GBR), 18 combinations from a starting field of 56 qualified to return for the jump-off, with 15 electing to challenge the second round. Deslauriers and her partner of eight years answered all the questions to fly into first with a time of 31.97 seconds.
“There weren’t too many places to change the strides in between the jumps so I knew I just had to be super prompt everywhere,” said Deslauriers. “He was really right with me today; I felt like I was just looking, and he knew what I was going to do before I did it.”
Olivia Chowdry Rides to Second Win in Two Weeks
Fresh off an opening day victory in the CSI2* during WEF 4 with Chuck Berry 8, Olivia Chowdry (USA) repeated her performance, this time in the $6,000 Restylane 1.45m CSI2* with Balkana du Tillard, owned by Atlas Equine Holdings LLC. Chowdry was fastest out of 21 entries and 14 clear rounds to take the win in 50.80 seconds.
Chowdry felt that she won the class by leaving out a stride between the first and second jumps on course.
Second place went to Gabriela Reutter (CHI) and Atticus Diamant, owned by Lumiere Horses Inc. in 51.21 seconds. Zoe Conter (BEL) and Stephex Stables’ Soory de l’Hallali were third in 51.79 seconds.
Chowdry has been riding Balkana du Tillard for a year and a half after an initial lease period in Europe through Axel Verlooy. The 10-year-old Selle Francais mare by Kannan x Landgold has exceeded expectations for Chowdry and her trainers, Katie and Henri Prudent.
Wellington, FL – December 11, 2020 – The ESP Holiday II CSI4* hit its midway point on Friday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), and show jumpers came out in high numbers for the prize money classes. Besting a field of 66 entries, Lucy Deslauriers (USA) and Lisa Deslauriers’ Hester (Wandor van de Mispelaere x Palestro vd Begijnakker) added another FEI win to their resume with the victory in the $73,000 Sweet Oak Farm 1.50m Qualifier CSI4*. The win was a welcome addition to the pair’s growing list of international successes after topping the $214,000 Holiday & Horses Grand Prix CSI4*, presented by Palm Beach County Sports Commission, on November 29 at PBIEC.
“It feels great to be back!” commented Deslauriers on competing at PBIEC. “Obviously, it’s an interesting time for everyone. I had a little bit of a break at school. I was at school the past two months and came down two weeks ago, so I’m still trying to get back into the swing of things. Because of the strong people behind me that kept my horses going, it made this transition back into the grind of showing so much easier. It feels good. We’re lucky to be able to show and to get back into what we love doing while so many people are unable to do so. It’s definitely a fortunate situation we’re in.”
Course designer Héctor Loyola (PUR) created a track of 14 efforts for international competitors in the first round of the $73,000 Sweet Oak Farm 1.50m Qualifier CSI4*. Out of the initial starting list of 66 pairs, 16 duos advanced to the jump-off. The group of returners represented six nations, including the United States, Ireland, Israel, Great Britain, Switzerland, and the Dominican Republic.
As the second to go over the short course, Laura Kraut (USA) and Goldwin, owned by Stars and Stripes, set the standard with a clear ride in 45.72 seconds. Their lead held for six trips until Daniel Bluman (ISR) entered the ring aboard Gerardo Pasquel’s Alamo, the 2019 FEI Jumping World Cup Finals champion who was previously campaigned by Steve Guerdat (SUI) before Bluman took over the ride in the summer of 2020. On Friday, the pair put in a double-clear effort in a time of 44.24 to take over the top spot with only a handful of challengers remaining.
“On the turn back to the second to the last jump I took a big risk, but it was going to go one of two ways, and my horse was really right there with me,” reflected Deslauriers of her winning jump-off. “He saw it too, so luckily it went our way today. I’m really thrilled with my horse, and I have such a great team of people behind me that makes today and last week’s CSI4* win possible.”
Just a few trips later, the winning partnership of Deslauriers and Hester took their turn around the pattern, tripping the timers in 43.94 seconds, a time that would retain the head spot on the leaderboard. Bluman and Alamo (Ukato x Equador) maintained second position, and Kraut and Goldwin (Emerald x Understone van de Kapel) rounded out the top three.
“After this Sunday, my horses will have at least a month off to recoup a little bit and rest up,” noted Deslauriers on her upcoming plans. “I think we’ll have a lot of top people here, as there are only so many options available at the high-level right now in the world. I think it’ll be a long season to come, and it’ll be a good break for everyone to try and stick to what’s been working and stay focused on our goals.”
The $10,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Open Stake was the final class of the day in the International Arena and hosted a large pack of 67 horse-and-rider combinations. Just like the earlier FEI class, 16 pairs turned in clear performances to advance to the jump-off, which concluded with six duos going double-clear. As the fastest by more than two full seconds, Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Sweet Oak Farm’s Byzance Mail claimed victory in a time of 43.16 seconds. The next quickest, Molly Ashe Cawley (USA), navigated Louisburg Farm’s Berdien to second place after crossing the timers in 45.57 seconds, and Erynn Ballard (CAN) added another country into the mix to make for a diverse podium with her third-place ride on Ilan Ferder’s Kamilla D in 48.16 seconds.
Wellington, FL – November 29, 2020 – The first week of the ESP Holiday Series concluded on a high note on Sunday, November 29, with the $214,000 Holiday & Horses Grand Prix CSI4*, presented by Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
Sunday’s challenging class saw an elite group of four pairs rise to the top as the only jump-off returners, two of which were family members in the form of Lucy Deslauriers (USA) and Mario Deslauriers (CAN). Besting her father and the rest of the international pack as the youngest competitor in the class, 21-year-old Lucy jumped mother Lisa Deslauriers’ Hester to the top of the leaderboard, making it a true family affair with mother, father, and daughter all represented in the top of the standings.
“I just have so much gratitude for my horse,” commented Lucy on Hester, a 2005 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Wandor van de Mispelaere x Palestro vd Begijnakker. “At the beginning of the week, I definitely felt a little bit rusty. I’ve actually been at school for the last two months, so this was my first week back in the show ring. I think the result is just a testament to my horse and our team because they’ve kept my horses in shape and kept him ready to go for when I got here. Huge thanks to them. I’m so happy!”
Sunday’s feature contest attracted 45 horse-and-rider combinations hailing from 11 nations, including the United States, Ireland, Canada, Great Britain, Israel, Switzerland, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Egypt. For the first round of riding, course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) constructed a pattern of 17 efforts up to the 1.60m height, a track fit for the occasion of a CSI4* class. It took until the 29th entry in the start list to see a clear round, which came from the younger Deslauriers, Lucy, and Hester as the successful pathfinders. Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Don Juan Van De Donkhoeve forced a jump-off with their clear round, and Kent Farrington (USA) soon followed suit riding Kaprice. The elder Deslauriers, Mario, turned in the final fault-free ride on Bardolina 2.
“I really had to stay focused and stick to our plan,” noted the winning Deslauriers of her plan in the first round after so many rides with faults from competitors. “We had a pretty clear layout of what I wanted to do and what I needed to do based on what we thought would lead to a clear round, so I couldn’t really think about the fact that nobody had gone clear yet. I really just had to stay super narrow-minded, like tunnel vision almost, toward our plan.”
For the jump-off, D’Ambrosio produced an abridged course of eight fences that featured plenty of options to cut time off the clock with tight turns or quick gallops. First to go, Lucy and Hester once again set the standard with a foot-perfect ride in 35.06 seconds. Though Springsteen and Don Juan Van De Donkhoeve (Bamako de Muze x Heartbreaker) put in a valiant effort with no rails down, they missed the top spot by a margin of a second, tripping the timers in 36.21 seconds. The paternal half of the Deslauriers and Bardolina 2 (Clarimo x Landos) went third due to a thrown shoe from Farrington’s Kaprice, and the team continued the clear streak but logged a time of 38.23 seconds to slip into third position with only one left to go. As the final entry, the ever-speedy Farrington galloped Kaprice through the course on pace to test the leaders’ time, but downed a single rail to incur four faults for fourth place.
“I haven’t really gone for it in a jump-off with him,” commented Springsteen, who spent the year in Europe, “so I was going to do a safe and clear ride, then I decided it would be good practice for us to really try and go a little bit. I tried to do as neat of turns as I could. I was really happy with him! He’s amazing – he has all the scope, he’s super careful, and he’s very reliable. Wellington is like home to me, so it’s nice to be back and I’m excited for the rest of the season.”
The win is an auspicious start for Lucy’s and Hester’s winter season as they make their return to the show ring following their last competition in Traverse City, MI during the American Gold Cup in September.
“To ride with my daughter is so exciting,” remarked Mario. “We have had a few placings like this – first and second or first and third – so it’s always our goal. I love it when she goes a bit before me so I can concentrate on myself after. I get nervous when she goes so it’s good to get that done first. Our horses jumped great, so we are going to have a good family dinner tonight!”
Lucy mirrored her father’s thoughts on competing as a family, saying, “It’s so much fun. I think it adds fuel to our fire because we want to be more competitive against each other. A one-two finish is the goal, so we just want it even more when we both go clear.” She continued to say that though they are family, their mounts are not similar, meaning different strategies in the class. “We actually have super different horses, so we try to do our own thing and the chips are going to fall where they are. We had a great day, and it goes back to our team – we have such a great group of people and horses.”
On competing back in Wellington under COVID protocols, Mario concluded, “The whole ESP crew is doing a tremendous job. We, as riders, feel very safe. Let’s keep it up for the circuit. It looks great around here.”
Lucy Deslauriers & Hester at the International Bromont.
Bromont, June 21, 2019 – Bromont rider Mario Deslauriers will represent Canada in the Jumper discipline at the Pan American Games which will be held in Lima, Peru starting on July 26.
Three Quebeckers for Canada The Canadian teams in show jumping, eventing, and dressage will all include Quebec riders in their ranks at the Pan American Games. Mario Deslauriers will be on the jumping team, Colleen Loach on the eventing team, and Naima Moreira-Laliberté will be the fourth member on the dressage team.
Horses, a family affair Mario Deslauriers will not be the only Deslauriers in Lima in a little over a month, as his daughter Lucy, who has accumulated riding successes, will be the reserve member on the National American this time around.
“I am extremely happy for my family and the passion for horses which unites us,” indicated Roger Deslauriers, the International Bromont General Manager. In fact, other than the talented riders in the family, both Deslauriers father and sons are all involved with horses; Patrice and Samuel Deslauriers will be present for the 44th edition of the International Bromont starting as soon as July 24, enough to make the family patriarch, who has spent his life to the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park and the events of all levels that take place there, very proud.
“Mario and Lucy will be with us for the first week, because the jumping events of the Pan American Games will only begin during the second week of the International Bromont. We will definitely be following the outcome from here,” admitted Roger Deslauriers. “They will have all our support.”
About International Bromont International Bromont presents its 44th edition in the picturesque setting of the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park, in the heart of the beautiful region of the Eastern Townships. For more information and details about the program, visit the web site at: www.internationalbromont.org.
Lucy Deslauriers & Kaspara. Credit Tom von kap-Herr.
Bromont, August 2, 2018 – American rider Lucy Deslauriers has once again taken victory at the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park with Kaspara in the FEI opening event in the second week of the International Bromont.
A long and demanding course Course designer Michel Vaillancourt offered a long and demanding course for this opening event: with 13 obstacles for 16 efforts, including a double and a triple combination, athletes had to be precise when approaching the obstacles.
The slalom course covered a long distance and forced the athletes to play on the amplitude of the stride while manoeuvring with skills all turns to for optimal impulsion and balance of the horse. Of the 35 rider-horse pairs registered, twelve qualified for the jump-off, including Canadian Lisa Carlsen, Julia Madigan, Susan Horn, and Mac Cone, American Jennifer Kocher, Leslie Howard, Catherine Tyree, and Lucy Deslauriers, as well as Cormac Hanley (IRL), Fernando Martinez Sommer (MEX), and Maria Victoria Perez (PUR).
First out on the jump-off course, Catherine Tyree and Catungee clock in the time to beat in the second round with a double clear in 37.68 seconds. Nobody seems able to equal them. Cormac Hanley with Copain Z tries to cut the distance going to the 15th obstacle and while getting a better time, a bar on the ground puts them behind Lisa Carlsen/Malbec, Julia Madigan/Farfelu du Printemps, & Mac Cone/Zaia di San Giovanni
In it to win it Last on the course with Kaspara, a Swedish half-blood mare, young rider Lucy Deslauriers, 19 years old and twice a winner last week at the International Bromont with her other mount Hester, fights for victory. Lucy Deslauriers shows how well she masters the sport and takes advantage of Kaspara’s (Hip Hop x Siden) qualities, a very fast and agile mare, executing a double clear round in a record time of 35.37 seconds, thus ensuring a third consecutive victory in the international events of the Bromont competitions.
About International Bromont International Bromont presents its 43rd edition in the picturesque setting of the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park, at the heart of the beautiful region of the Eastern Townships. For more information on the schedule, visit our Web site at www.internationalbromont.org.
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.
Eugenio Garza Wins Under 25 Grand Prix; Jimmy Torano Tops 1.45m Jumper Classic; Taegan Long Prevails in Equitation 15-17 3’3″
Wellington, FL – March 4, 2017 – Seventeen-year-old Lucy Deslauriers (USA) topped a line-up that included Olympians and some of the fastest riders in the world on Saturday, March 4, to win week eight’s $100,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic with Hester at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
Course designer Ken Krome (USA) set the track for Saturday night’s 1.50m competition, which featured 49 entries jumping under the lights in the International Arena at PBIEC and yielded a nine-horse jump-off. Seven entries cleared the short course without fault, and it was the youngest of the pack that jumped to victory in the fastest time of 37.06 seconds.
It was the biggest win of a blossoming show jumping career for Deslauriers, who has been extremely successful in Under 25 events throughout North America over the last several seasons. She was aboard Lisa Deslauriers’ Hester, the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Wandor van de Mispelaere x Palestro vd Begijnakker) that she has ridden to success for almost five years.
“It was incredible!” Deslauriers beamed following her victory. “Hester definitely felt the atmosphere tonight, and he really thrives on that sort of situation. He feels a crowd. He knows it is under the lights, and he knew it was time to perform.”
Remarking on the group of riders in the jump-off, Deslauriers admitted, “It was pretty intimidating. I knew there were a bunch of really fast combinations behind me and even that went before me. I am lucky my horse is super quick, and he has a huge stride. I just tried to use that to my advantage and not slow down.”
Deslauriers jumped in two 1.50m events in 2016, but it was her first time competing at that level with Hester in a major night class.
‘It was definitely a step-up,” she said. “It really just felt like a grand prix under the lights. I tried to think about my plan, and not really worry about how big it was, and just ride the best that I could.”
Darragh Kenny (IRL) finished second, riding Kerry Anne LLC’s Bolero III through the timers in 37.28 seconds. Kevin Babington (IRL) placed third aboard veteran partner Mark Q in 37.48 seconds, and Alex Granato (USA) guided Page Tredennick’s Carlchen W to fourth place honors in 37.94 seconds.
Eugenio Garza Wins $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Series Grand Prix
It was a win for Mexico in Saturday’s $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Series Grand Prix at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival, as Eugenio Garza and El Milagro’s Victer Finn DH Z topped a field of 49 starters jumping a course set by Ken Krome (USA).
Seven entries advanced to the jump-off, where only two were able to clear the short course without fault. Garza and Victer Finn DH Z cleared the track in 31.10 seconds. Jennifer Gates (USA) placed second in 33.21 seconds aboard Evergate Stable’s Pumped Up Kicks. Alex Matz (USA) completed the fastest four-fault round in 30.55 seconds to place third riding D. D. Matz’s Cashew CR.
Garza (20) was aboard a special horse in the nine-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Va Vite x Stakkato) Victer Finn DH Z, which he purchased from Belgium’s Jos Verlooy in May of 2016.
“He is actually the son of the first grand prix mare I ever had named Seagull,” Garza stated. “That mare was pretty much the one that got me into riding, but she was plagued with injuries. She never really got to do anything, but her son Victer is an amazing horse. He has so much heart and so many good qualities just like his mother. He is a really special horse for us.”
Speaking of his winning ride on Saturday, Garza detailed, “I was fortunate to go the later side of the jump-off. We knew that there had been a fast clear from Jennifer, so we just tried to be efficient in the turns and everything came up really nicely. I almost did one less (stride) than I was supposed to going to the last jump, but thankfully Victer helped me out there. He tried his heart out today, and I could not be happier with him.”
Remarking on her round with the 14-year-old Brandenburg gelding (Levisto x San Juan) Pumped Up Kicks, Gates noted, “I did this week in preparation for the five-star next week with Kix. After the four-star a few weeks ago, he has had a little bit of a break, which is nice.
“Going into the jump-off, I wanted to try to work on my turns,” Gates explained. “I am usually really slow in jump-offs. I was just glad to have a clear round, and I knew somebody would probably catch me. I was really happy; I feel like I worked on what I wanted to in preparation for next week.”
Third place finisher Alex Matz was aboard Cashew CR, a nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Cassini II x Quinar) that he got last summer.
“He is relatively new, and he is just sort of coming into his own right now,” Matz said of his mount. “It has taken a while for us to mesh, but he has tried tremendously every round for me. He has all the ability in the world, and he has been really a great new horse.”
While Matz was competing in only his third Under 25 event, Gates and Garza each have more experience in the series. For Garza, this is his third year competing in the classes and a great opportunity for both horse and rider.
“We really like the series, and the grand prix is a great class for us,” Garza stated. “Even more so this year now that the grand prix are ranking classes [in the U25 Series]. That is unbelievable. Usually at WEF, you go up against not only amazing riders, but the top, best riders in the world. It is really nice for the under 25 riders to be able to get some ranking points, and it is very generous for the sponsors to put that extra money for us.”
Victer Finn DH Z was also presented the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award for week eight by Laura Fetterman.
The Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, was developed as a bridge to the international level of grand prix competition. The series gives athletes, both human and equine, an opportunity to compete under a myriad of conditions, including jumping on grass, under the lights at night, and in team competition, all important elements that competitors will face as their international careers progress. The series concludes with a $50,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Final, which the top 30 riders in the point standings will be invited to contest on Sunday, April 2.
Jimmy Torano Tops $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m
USA’s Jimmy Torano aboard Missy Clark and North Run’s Betagravin won Saturday’s $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m Classic during week eight at WEF. Forty entries showed, and nine jumped clear over the Ken Krome (USA) designed speed course. Torano and the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Quasimodo Z x Grandeville) clocked the winning time of 64.53 seconds.
Markus Beerbaum (GER) set an early pace aboard Michaels and Beerbaum’s Charmed 2 in 67.15 seconds to eventually finish fourth. Margie Engle (USA) and Elm Rock LLC’s Böckmanns Lazio placed second in 66.61 seconds, and Richie Moloney jumped into third at the end with a time of 66.77 seconds aboard Equinimity LLC’s Ypaja Yando.
Torano began riding Betagravin at the start of the winter and has had numerous wins with the speedy mare, including Friday’s $10,000 Griffis Residential CSIO Speed Stake.
“She really started out great,” the rider noted. “The first class I rode her in she won. That was just a 1.30m class. Then she won a 1.40m. She won yesterday, now again today. She is just a real winner. She is very fast, she has a very big stride, and to win two days in a row is always nice.
“One of the good things about her is that you can go fast with her in every class, and she does not seem to get flat, and she does not seem to care,” Torano continued. “I went pretty much full tilt yesterday, and she came back today and she was still sharp, and she was still trying. She was just as good today, if not better, than she was yesterday.”
Remarking on his winning track, Torano added, “The lines were kind of long and leaving out strides, but her stride is just so big, they actually got a little bit short. I think that is where she is so fast. I cut back right on the double by the in-gate within one stride, and going into the last line, I turned right back on it. I don’t really know her that well; I have not been riding her that long, but I can trust her 100%. So far there is not anything I have asked of her that I feel like she has not done.”
Also competing in the International Arena on Saturday, Eve Jobs and Charleville were victorious in the $15,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, presented by Engel & Völkers. The Kate Nash Boone Style Award was also presented to Canada’s Ian Millar.
Taegan Long Prevails in Alessandro Albanese Equitation 15-17 3’3″
Taegan Long of Medford, NJ and Angelique bested a field of 35 competitors to capture the championship ribbon in the Alessandro Albanese Equitation 15-17 3’3″ division on Saturday afternoon. Long piloted her own 2008 mare by Amadehus to first and second place ribbons over fences, as well as third place in the flat phase. The pair also competes in the 3’6″ equitation classes.
Long purchased Angelique while the mare was competing in the Six-Year-Old Jumpers and has spent the last two and half years transitioning her into an equitation horse.
“The transition from the jumpers to the equitation was difficult for her,” Long explained. “She was slow and not very careful in the Six-Year-Old Jumpers. I think she was pushed past her limits doing that division. She wants to perform and do well for you, so when she would have a rail she’d get scared. When she first made the switch to equitation, she was confused as to what was being asked of her.”
Speaking fondly of her mare, Long continued, “She tries her heart out for me and has been so good recently. I’m so proud because she’s come so far with me.”
Christina Rogalny of Wellington, FL and Cool Boy settled for reserve honors, winning an over fences class. Cool Boy, an entry owned by Treesdale Farm, is a 2003 Oldenburg gelding that Rogalny has ridden since the start of 2016.
The eighth week of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival concludes on Sunday with the $216,000 Grand Prix CSIO 4*, sponsored by Lugano Diamonds, in the International Arena. The Palm Beach International Academy Children’s Hunter 15-17 will determine championship and reserve honors in Ring 7. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Lucy Deslauriers and Hester. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.
Calgary, AB, Canada – The ‘Pan American’ Tournament CSI5*, presented by Rolex, concluded on Sunday at Spruce Meadows with wins for two 16-year-old riders from the United States. Lucy Deslauriers took victory in the Friends of the Meadows Cup 1.50m aboard Hester, and Mckayla Langmeier emerged victorious in the West Canadian Cup 1.45m riding Classic Care.
Ireland’s Alan Wade was the international course designer in the Meadows on the Green for this week’s Pan American competition. Wade concluded the week’s events on Sunday with the Friends of the Meadows 1.50m, which saw Lucy Deslauriers carry on a family legacy with her first international victory at Spruce Meadows. Her father, Mario, and her mother, Lisa, have both been international winners at the world-class venue.
For her win, the young Deslauriers guided Hester to victory in a ten-horse jump-off out of 39 original starters. In the tiebreaker, only three were able to clear the short course without fault. Kara Chad (CAN) and Gin Tonic, owned by Torrey Pines and Artisan Farms, set the pace in 48.50 seconds to eventually finish third. Nayel Nassar (EGY) and his own Lordan upped the ante in 45.01 seconds, but later settled for second place. Last to go double clear, Deslauriers and Hester shaved the time down to 43.12 seconds for the win.
Commenting on the momentous victory in her developing career, Deslauriers smiled, “It is incredible. It is an honor and a privilege not only to come out with a win, but even just to compete with all of these incredible riders. I have been coming to Spruce Meadows for a very long time watching these big competitions, so to be in it to win it thanks to my horse is obviously amazing.”
Hester, an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Wandor Van De Mispelaere x Palestro vd Begijnakker) owned by Lisa Deslauriers, has moved up the levels right with his rider.
“I started riding him towards the beginning of his eight-year-old year, so we have kind of grown together,” she said of their connection. “My biggest classes are his biggest classes, so we are really in it together. I have 100% trust in him, and I think he responds equally, so it is really a great partnership. It makes stepping up a whole lot easier.”
That great relationship helped in Sunday’s jump-off, as Deslauriers pulled out all of the stops on the short course.
“I watched one round and I just heard that they kept getting faster and faster, so I knew that I just really had to go for it, and not slow down anywhere,” Deslauriers explained. “To the third jump, I took a little bit of a flier for sure. I think there were a few gasps in the audience, but I trust my horse and he was willing, so it is all thanks to him.”
Mckayla Langmeier Wins West Canadian Cup 1.45m
Prior to Deslauriers’ win in the 1.50m, 16-year-old Mckayla Langmeier (USA) also took home an exciting international victory in the West Canadian Cup 1.45m.The competition began with 68 competitors over Alan Wade’s (IRL) first round course, with 20 advancing to the jump-off, and another 11 clear rounds over the short course.
Langmeier rode Classic Care to victory in the tiebreaker with a time of 39.76 seconds. Mario Deslauriers (USA) and Wishing Well Farm’s Cherrypop finished second in 39.89 seconds. Jonathan McCrea (USA) and Candy Tribble’s Special Lux placed third in 39.90 seconds, and Leslie Howard (USA) guided Peter Howard’s Donna Speciale to fourth place honors in 40.14 seconds. Richie Moloney (IRL) took fifth place aboard Equinimity LLC’s Ypaja Yando in 40.35 seconds, and Howard also took sixth place riding the Utah Group’s Utah through the timers in 40.45 seconds.
Winning horse, Classic Care, is a 13-year-old Holsteiner mare (Caretino x Accord II) owned by Langmeier’s mother, Linda. Along with help from her mom, Langmeier also jumped to victory on Sunday with the help of trainer Darrin Dlin.
Commenting on the accomplishment, the young rider stated, “It is my first FEI win, so there are no words that can describe how amazing it is. To have my first win at Spruce Meadows in the 1.45m is amazing.”
Classic Care is a mare that Langmeier has had for four years. The pair jumped on a team at the Adequan FEI North American Junior Young Rider Championships in 2014 and has since moved up to the higher levels.
“She is a very special horse to me. I have grown up with her doing the bigger classes,” Langmeier noted.
Speaking of Sunday’s competition, the rider detailed, “I briefly walked the course in the morning because I had to go over to do the 1.35m, so we watched a few. It looked like a really nice, inviting course. It was not too scary anywhere, but it was also challenging enough. In the jump-off, my plan was just to go double clear and fast.”
Langmeier jumped about midway through a 20-horse jump-off, so the rest was just a waiting game to see if anyone could catch her.
“I have a thing where if I am doing well, I do not watch the rest of the competition, but obviously I can hear the announcer sometimes,” she remarked. “I was mostly back with my horse just waiting.”
With an international win under her belt, Langmeier looks forward to returning to compete at Spruce Meadows again next summer.
The Spruce Meadows Summer Series continues with one more week of competition featuring the ‘North American’ Tournament CSI5*, presented by Rolex, on July 6-10.
Kent Farrington and Gazelle. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.
Calgary, AB, Canada – The ‘Continental’ CSI 5* Tournament at the Spruce Meadows Summer Series had more exciting show jumping competition at the Meadows on the Green with Kent Farrington and Gazelle capturing the top prize in the Scotiabank Cup 1.55m as the only clear round. Second place went to Kara Chad (CAN) on Bellinda, and third place was awarded to Peter Lutz (USA) on Robin de Ponthual. Victory in the Altagas Cup 1.45m also went to Kent Farrington (USA) on Aron S. In the Friends of the Meadows U25 Cup, Lucy Deslauriers (USA) beat a strong field for first place.
The Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ Tournament runs June 15-19, featuring the Repsol Cup 1.50m on Saturday, June 18, and the highlight competition, the CP Grand Prix, on Sunday, June 19.
There were 35 entries that went to post in the Scotiabank Cup 1.55m. The challenging course was designed by Luc Musette of Belgium and tested the riders with a tight time allowed, large heights, and technical distances.
Farrington and Gazelle, a ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir van Shuttershof x Indoctro) owned by Farrington and Robin Parsky, were the only ones able to stay clear with no jumping or time faults.
There were four with just one time fault: Kara Chad and Bellinda (74.45 seconds – second), Peter Lutz and Robin de Ponthual (74.50 seconds – third), Vanessa Mannix (CAN) and Quite Cassini (76.32 seconds – fourth), and Jennifer Gates (USA) on Pumped Up Kicks (76.62 seconds – fifth).
Kara Chad is one of Canada’s rising young show jumping stars, and it looks like Bellinda, a ten-year-old KWPN mare by Namelus R x Hors la Loi II, will be one of her top horses. Their partnership began just over a year ago when she found Bellinda with previous trainers Dick Carvin and Susie Schroer as a nine-year-old.
“I think she’s a super special mare,” Chad said. “We’ve been able to grow as a partnership over the past year. Last year this week I was doing the 1.40m just trying to get to know her. It’s really encouraging to come back and do one of the biggest classes at Spruce Meadows and do well in it. I know that we’re going somewhere, and we’re learning. I’m really happy.”
Chad and Bellinda were second to last in the first round of the competition, and when Chad saw the difficulty of the course, she focused on riding a clear jumping round.
She explained, “My horse is naturally a little bit slow. She has a very lofty and scopey jump. I always have to think about the time and make up for that. After watching the course today and seeing how difficult it was, I really just focused on getting the jumps right and making sure that I was placing her properly and getting her prepared for the grand prix this weekend. I wouldn’t say time was on my mind as the most important factor, but for sure I should have thought about it a little more. I think it was good preparation. I think Bellinda is totally ready for the grand prix, and it’s just up to me.”
Farrington thought that today’s course could have been seen in a big grand prix. “You had a technical related distance to both combinations, which always poses a problem, and then you couple that with a short time allowed and some careful fences at the end, (and it) made it pretty difficult to jump clear under the time,” he said.
For Gazelle, Farrington was focused on the triple combination as a potential trouble spot. However, he was not very worried about the time allowed as he naturally rides fast and chooses places to make up time early so he can take his time at spots on course where he knows his horses may struggle.
“I thought the triple (combination) was a big ask,” he said. “A vertical, vertical, oxer always calls on their scope. I thought she handled that really well. That’s something earlier in the season that she struggled with in Florida, learning to jump the oxers in the combinations without jumping too high and then having the back rail. I’m very proud of her progress. She seems to be learning how to do that much better and more consistent. It’s really a good sign for me.”
Farrington did breathe a sigh of relief when he realized he did not have to jump off. “Yes, that’s always nice,” he said with a smile. “That hardly ever happens. You have to sit and watch the last half of the class, which is not always so fun, but it worked out for us today and we got to save her legs for the grand prix.”
Farrington brought Gazelle to the Spruce Meadows Summer Series for the past two years to gain valuable education for the talented mare, and he believes that Spruce Meadows is second to none in preparing horses for top competition.
He explained, “In general, the horses learn to really grow a bigger heart and big scope jumping on this field because they can carry a lot of gallop. The fences are so big and wide. You have some horses that just won’t accept it; they’re too careful. The ones that do accept those poles being extra wide, it makes them better (and) they learn from it. If they can jump this and can jump a big grand prix here, you can walk into almost any big grand prix in the world and feel comfortable and able to jump it.”
Farrington and Aron S Record a Win
Kent Farrington continued his winning ways at the Spruce Meadows Summer Series in the Altagas Cup 1.45m with Aron S, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Tadmus x Karandasj) owned by Alex Crown. They sped through the jump-off to finish in 36.39 seconds, more than two seconds faster than second place finishers, Conor Swail (IRL) and Dillinger.
Farrington said he saw Swail’s ride and “thought it was a very competitive round.”
He added, “My horse is naturally quicker. I thought I took a little more of a chance. I wanted to be sure that I was ahead of him.”
There were 13 in the jump-off out of 52 entries, and seven of those were double clear. Following Farrington and Swail in the results were Molly Ashe (USA) and Pjotter van de Zonnehoeve, who were clear in 40.44 seconds. Fourth place went to Taizo Sugitani (JPN) and Avenzio, who had a time of 41.14 seconds. Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Chesney were fifth in 42.70 seconds.
This was the pair’s first FEI Ranking win since their partnership began in February. Aron S has been a consistent competitor, having placed in the top three in 1.50m competitions in Wellington, FL, and at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in England.
“He’s a very competitive horse,” Farrington acknowledged. “We did the 1.45m yesterday to get one round under his belt. I thought he really jumped great today; he was flying. If he’s going to be in that form, we’ll do a lot here.”
When Farrington first started riding Aron S, it took some time to adjust to his way of going, and Farrington quickly realized that it would take compromise.
He explained, “He likes to go his own way. If you try to have too much control, he gets upset. I started in the beginning of really trying to train him and make him more rideable. Once I felt like I got him to listen, to a certain extent, now I let him go a little more free, the way he likes to go.”
It was a good step up for Aron S into the winner’s circle, Farrington said. “It’s good for him. It’s nice because he’s been very close, and he got a good win here today. I look for more good things from him before I leave,” he concluded.
Deslauriers Gallops to U25 Victory
Sixteen-year-old Lucy Deslauriers started her Spruce Meadows Summer Series off well with a win in the Friends of the Meadows U25 Cup. She missed the opening ‘National’ Tournament, presented by Rolex, while in school, but was happy to come out to Spruce Meadows and compete in the Meadows on the Green.
“This is my third year showing here, but I’ve been coming here since I was very young, just sitting and watching my parents,” she said of Mario and Lisa Deslauriers, both top show jumpers. “It’s a very special place for me, not only to compete in this ring and at this horse show, but to win makes it even more special.”
Deslauriers and Hester, an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Wandor Van de Mispelaere x Palestro VD Begijnakke), set the winning time with a clear round in 39.52 seconds. They just tipped Daniel Coyle (IRL) on Susan Grange’s Tienna, who finished in 40.13 seconds.
It was a strong gallop to the final oxer on the jump-off course that sealed the win for Deslauriers, who picked up the pace when she heard her father calling for more speed.
“I heard him yelling, and I knew what I had to do,” she said. “I added one too many to the double (combination), so I knew I had to make it up somewhere. He has a really big stride, so I just tried to use that to my advantage as best I could.
“I took a bit of a flier!” she laughed. “But it was the only one I saw. It was the only way to do it, so I just kept kicking and hoping it would go well. I trust him completely. I knew if I just steered in the right direction, he would take care of it. He did just that.”
Third place went to Kelli Cruciotti and Chamonix H, winners of the inaugural U25 competition at Spruce Meadows last week. Cruciotti had a time of 42.89 seconds with no faults. The fourth double clear out of seven total in the jump-off was Jennifer Gates on Lord Levisto, who recorded a time of 46.25 seconds for fourth place.
Deslauriers commented that the footing was “amazing as always,” and was mindful of the time allowed on the first round course set by Musette.
“I thought it was a great course. There were a lot of challenges, and the time was definitely something to think about,” she confirmed. “There were a few people with just one time fault. Overall I thought it was a really good class. I was really excited.”
Deslauriers will continue to compete with Hester in the U25 series at Spruce Meadows along with other 1.45m competitions. She hopes to move up to the 1.50m division to gain more experience in the larger competitions.
The Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ Tournament continues on Saturday, June 18, with the McDaniel & Associates Cup 1.45m and Repsol Cup 1.50m.
Devon, PA – May 27, 2016 – Junior Weekend at Devon Horse Show continued Friday as eight winners from sections of the four equitation divisions were invited back to the Dixon Oval to contend for the 2016 R. W. “Ronnie” Mutch Equitation Championship. For the first time, the coveted award was presented to the winner of a stand-alone class, rather than on an overall high-point basis.
Each of the eight riders qualified for the Championship class by placing first in one of the equitation divisions – the ASPCA Maclay, the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal, the WIHS Jumper Phase or the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search.
This year, it was Lucy Deslauriers who rose up to earn the title, besting the field of talented young riders to claim the honor.
“It’s an honor to qualify, let alone come out with a win,” Deslauriers expressed. “This show and the championship have a lot of prestige and tradition. Qualifying was something I was definitely proud to do. I was excited to have another opportunity. It was definitely a little bit trickier having another class and finding a few more distances, but I was overall very excited to do the class.”
Deslauriers, who trains with Stacia Madden of Beacon Hill Show Stables, chose to ride Class Action. The 17-year-old superstar carried her to wins in the WIHS and Talent Search on Thursday.
“I felt really confident in my rides yesterday on this horse,” Deslauriers said. “He had been in this ring twice already, so I knew it would be a good decision to choose him. As long I didn’t mess up, he was going to do his job. He feels really great, especially for being 17. We try not to do too much with him and respect his age. He knows his job. We try to do as much as we can, but trust that he’ll respond.”
Madden was very proud of Deslauriers’ performance and praised the rising talent’s attention to detail in her rounds.
“Lucy loves the sport,” Madden said. “She’s an unbelievable stylist, and I think the judges really appreciate her natural style and ability to ride with the motion with the horses. I think all of her jumper experience that she has gained through the years has given her an extreme amount of confidence when she goes into the equitation ring.”
With blue ribbons already under their belts, Daisy Farish, T. J. O’Mara, Madison Goetzmann, McKayla Langmeier, Maya Nayyar, Katherine Bundy and Ellie Ferrigno also tried their hand at the Alan Lohman-designed course.
Farish delivered a well-executed round atop Cassio and impressed the judges to secure the reserve champion honors.
“I think [the class] was awesome and added another element of challenge,” Farish said. “It brought a whole other feeling to it. First we have all our classes, and now the added championship class. It gives it an important feeling. I think Lucy was leading whether it was the other format or not, so she deserved it.”
Following in third place was Goetzmann, who earned her ticket by winning a section of the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal on Thursday. Fourth place was awarded to Ellie Ferrigno, who won a section of the Maclay earlier on Friday morning. Langmeier ended up taking home fifth, while Bundy, Nayyar and O’Mara all experienced some unfortunate difficulties on course to finish sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.
Madden, who holds a seat on the USHJA equitation committee, explained the committee’s thought process surrounding the decision to update the format of the Ronnie Mutch Championship.
“The format of the class was really to have the kids be able to go head-to-head,” Madden explained. “Before, there would be two or three winners, and they were trying to break away from the idea of having multiple winners in a class that is supposed to deem the ‘championship rider.’
“I think it’s important for everyone to understand that we weren’t trying to add another class or see more jumping,” Madden continued. “We really wanted to give these kids an opportunity at a national horse show like this to compete head-to-head in the middle of the show year instead of making them wait until the end. I like the format, and I thought it ran well. It was a very different vibe behind the scenes, for me anyway. You had more focus on the class and less focus on all the point calculations.”
The action will continue with the Junior Hunter divisions on Saturday. Highlight events during the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair will include the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and the $225,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4*.
The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is the longest running and largest outdoor multi-breed competition in the United States. With the grandeur of Philadelphia’s prestigious Main Line setting the stage, the event features a world-class field that annually ranks among the most prominent internationally. The event also includes the Country Fair that offers world-class shopping, rides and games for kids, multiple dining options and special entertainment events.
Madison Goetzmann and Wrigley Go for Devon Blue in Junior Jumpers
The Junior Jumper riders continued to showcase their skill Friday as the highlight event for the evening lineup at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair. Longtime Devon competitor and former Pony Hunter Champion, Madison Goetzmann, and her veteran mount Wrigley bested a 10-horse jump-off to take home the Devon blue with a speedy clear effort at the end of the night.
“I love this show,” expressed Goetzmann. “Sometimes when I’m cantering in this ring, I look over to the Gold Ring and I reminisce about going around on the ponies. It’s weird to move up so quickly, but it’s such an amazing feeling being in this atmosphere with all the fans. It’s really great.”
Francesca Dildabanian set the time to beat as the second to return for the tiebreaker with Catika Van De Helle. The pair produced the first double clear round, breaking the beam at 42.636 seconds. One round later, Eve Jobs rode with her eye on the prize aboard Sandor De La Pomme. They easily moved into the lead with a time of 37.932 seconds, but would only hold the top spot for a few moments.
Goetzmann’s speedy mare Wrigley was in top form and easily sliced the sharp turns, clearing each obstacle. They galloped over the final oxer with the time in hand, crossing the finish line in 36.801 seconds.
“The plan was to have a fast and efficient jump off,” explained Goetzmann. “However, I did not want to overdo anything or do any risky turns that can result in a fault or anything like that. Going in there I wanted to get the Devon blue, but I didn’t want to get her too wound up. My mare is super great about the tight turns and the gallop. We caught every jump at a nice gallop and she jumped her heart out for me. She was awesome.”
Jobs had one more chance to take the top spot with her second qualified mount Quickley 3, but in their effort to catch the time they lowered the height of the final oxer. They stopped the clock at 35.648 seconds, over a full second ahead of Goetzmann, but four faults would mean settling for fourth place. Goetzmann picked up the win, while Jobs and Sandor De La Pomme placed second. Dildabanian rounded out the top three aboard Catika Van De Helle.
“It’s such an amazing feeling to walk into the ring, knowing you have an awesome horse under you,” smiled Goetzmann. “I’m so grateful to have her as my horse. She always gives me the confidence to go in there and to win.”
Goetzmann added, “Practice makes perfect with horses. I’ve been riding Wrigley for over a year now. Each day we grow together. Each day we’re working on something new. There is always something to work on with your horse. I find that super helpful to keep in mind, when I’m working with her. We trust each other. She has my trust and I have her trust. We’ve really developed a great partnership.”
Goetzmann is now focused on winning Saturday’s main event, the $20,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior Jumper Classic. On Sunday, the Pony Jumper division will take over the Dixon Oval. Later this week, the best in the country will compete in Thursday’s $225,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4*.