Parker, CO - At just 14 years old, Delaney Flynn is already proving she will be one to watch on the show jumping scene. She and the appropriately named Quite Quick closed out Summer in the Rockies I on a high note by capturing a win against older, more experienced competitors in the $5,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic.
"Delaney is very talented," said trainer Bjorn Ikast, who helped Flynn's family find and purchase Quite Quick from Germany several years ago. "She's only 14 but rides really cool. It's just a lovely combination - it's a fantastic horse and she's getting really good with it. I'm very proud to be a part of the team and to have found this horse for her."
The nine horse and rider combinations in the Classic tackled a technical course set by Mauricio Garcia. The course included some elements from Saturday's $25,000 Holiday Inn of Parker Grand Prix and featured a triple combination and a double combination as well as some challenging lines. The Table II, Sec. 2 (a/b) format allowed riders who jumped a clear first round to choose whether to immediately go on to their jump-off or return at the end of the class.
Hannah Holik and Cupido de Laubry, owned by Czech Mate LLC, were first to go clear and went straight into the jump-off, finishing in a speedy time of 45.695 seconds but incurring four jumping faults. Jacqueline Ward and Nala, next to go, followed in their footsteps with a clear first round and a rail in the jump-off, clocking a time of 50.488 seconds.
The other two riders who achieved clear first rounds, Katharin Gualtieri on Castalano and Flynn on Quite Quick, chose to jump off at the end of the class. Flynn returned to the ring knowing that if she could jump clear, Gualtieri would be the only one who could catch her. Flynn turned in a faultless effort in a time of 51.417 seconds, and although Gualtieri completed the course in 50.221 seconds, she knocked a rail and ceded the victory to Flynn. Holik wound up second while Gualtieri took third.
"We gambled a little bit to go for a medium clean and she could be first or second, and it worked out today, which was great," Ikast explained.
Flynn has moved all the way up through the ranks with Quite Quick, and they've developed a strong partnership along the way, despite some challenges at first.
"We're a team now, so it's a lot better," Flynn said. "She's very hot, and a little bit difficult to handle, but when she is good, she wins everything. It's really fun to ride her."
Flynn, of Scottsdale, AZ, will stay in Colorado for the first three weeks of Summer in the Rockies, and then her goal is to compete at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in Lexington, KY, July 15-20. She has been coming to the Colorado Horse Park for several years, and she and Quite Quick have progressed all the way up from the .90m classes.
"I love it," she said. "It's a great experience. The people here are really nice and welcoming, and I've always had fun here."