Wellington, FL - 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.
WEF 8 concludes at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Sunday, March 5, featuring the $216,000 Grand Prix CSIO 4*, presented by Lugano Diamonds. The class can be viewed live HERE. The 12-week WEF circuit continues through April 2, 2017, awarding over $9 million in prize money.
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.
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.
Final Results: $100,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic
1. HESTER: 2005 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Wandor van de Mispelaere x Palestro vd Begijnakker LUCY DESLAURIERS (USA), Lisa Deslauriers: 0/0/37.06
2. BOLERO III: 2007 Belgian Sport Horse gelding by Chatman x Darco DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Kerry Anne LLC: 0/0/37.28
3. MARK Q: 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Obos Quality 004 x Positively KEVIN BABINGTON (IRL), Kevin Babington: 0/0/37.48
4. CARLCHEN W: 2008 Mecklenberg gelding by Chacco-Blue x Continue ALEX GRANATO (USA), Page Tredennick: 0/0/37.94
5. MAIN ROAD: 2008 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Heartbeat x Irco Marco SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Sweet Oak Farm and Seabrook LLC: 0/0/39.14
6. TOULAGO: 2005 Oldenburg gelding by Toulon x Carthago Z ADRIENNE STERNLICHT (USA), Starlight Farms LLC: 0/0/40.28
7. CORNWALL BH: 2008 Holsteiner stallion by Con Air x Cambridge AMANDA DERBYSHIRE (GBR), Gochman Sport Horses: 0/0/40.88
8. WICKED CRUSH: 2005 Westphalian mare by Sandro Boy x Calido SAMUEL HUTTON (GBR), Joanne Sloan-Allen: 0/4/44.15
9. CHARMEUR: 2007 KWPN gelding by Numero Uno x Gelha's VDL Emilion SERGIO ALVAREZ MOYA (ESP), Alvarez Moya Horse SL: 0/4/46.53
10. CHICHESTER 3: 2008 Holsteiner gelding by Casall x Cosimo ALONSO VALDEZ PRADO (PUR), Alonso Valdez Prado: 4/70.56
11. CONSTABLE II: 2007 KWPN gelding by Harley VDL x Lupicor LAURA KRAUT (USA), Cherry Knoll Farm: 4/71.39
12. IMKE 111: 2008 Belgian Warmblood mare by Der Senaat 111 x Heartbreaker ABDEL SAID (EGY), AS Sport Horses: 4/71.45