Mill Spring, NC - 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). 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.
The duo bested the class of 15 entries to cap an impressive run at the 2015 Tryon Spring Series. "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 have 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 marish 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."
Results for $25,000 Under 24 Grand Prix
1. QURINT, 2003 Swedish Warmblood mare by Quinte Easy
HAYLEY WATERS, Mr. & Mrs. Chuck Waters: 0/0/42.45
2. MULLENTINE IMPERIAL, 2005 Irish Sport Horse mare by Corland x Mullentine Highland Imp
BRYN SADLER, Showcase 81, LLC.: 0/0/45.633
3. CRACKY Z, 1999 Zangersheide stallion by Caretano Z x Raissa Z
CHRISTI ISRAEL, Christi Israel: 0/0/46.716
4. PARK LANE, 2005 Scottish Sport Horse gelding by Pall Mall x Nistrea
DAVID BLAKE, Pine Hollow Farm: 0/4/42.074
5. PUNCHY DORCEL, 2003 Selle Francais gelding by Diamant De Semilly x Pavotte
BRITTNI RAFLOWITZ, ESI Show Jumpers, Inc.: 0/4/42.503
6. ELIOS, 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Sheyenne De Baugy x Astra Van Waerbeek
BRITTNI RAFLOWITZ, ESI Show Jumpers, Inc.: 4/70.29
7. CASAL I, 2004 Holsteiner gelding by Casall Ask x Ziave
JENNA FRIEDMAN, Jenna Friedman: 4/71.315
8. BARON, 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Ukato x Vera Van Veecaten
DAVID BLAKE, Pine Hollow Farm: 4/71.72
For more information on TIEC and for a full list of results please visit www.tryon.com.