Bridgehampton, NY - Mario Deslauriers, of New York, NY, found his way to the top of the class in the $50,000 Spy Cost Farm Grand Prix Qualifier CSI**** at the Hampton Classic Horse Show on Thursday riding Urico, owned by Jane Clark.
"I had a great class," said Deslauriers. "My horse went great. He jumped beautifully and I was in a good spot to go last in the jump-off, so I knew exactly what I had to do to bring it home and everything worked out."
Six made it to the jump-off out of the 50 starters and Saer Coulter and Cats Are Grey, owned by Copernicus Stables, LLC, had to go first. Unfortunately, they knocked down two rails, which knocked out any chance of winning with five more yet to jump. Darragh Kenny had a little bit better luck on Gael Force, owned by Missy Clark and North Run Farm, with only one rail down. The first double-clear of the afternoon went to Candice King and Toronto, owned by Triple A Eq., LLC. in a time of 47.13. That meant Jeffery Welles and Armani, owned by Abigail Wexner and Triton Ventures Farm, had their work cut out for them. They were clear, but slower in a time of 48.76 seconds. Georgina Bloomberg was next on Metropolitan, owned by Gotham Enterprizes, LLC, and they went a little quicker in a time of 47.77, but it was not enough to take the lead. That left Delauriers and Urico who managed to save some time around the turns for the fastest time of the day of 45.14.
"I am lucky in that I have a very quick horse so I didn't have to push too, too hard," said Deslauriers. "I saved some time on the turns and I didn't take too much time into the last. He's naturally very quick, so it makes it easier for the rider."
The results of the Spy Coast Farm Grand Prix Qualifier CSI**** are important because they determine the lineup of horses and riders for the Hampton Classic's main event, the $250,000 FTI Grand Prix and FEI World Cup Qualifier CSI-W, which is held on Sunday, September 5. Deslauriers and Urico are now in the enviable spot of coming back last. "Today it proved to be a good spot for me and hopefully Sunday it will again."
The Hampton Classic Horse Show is one of the most prestigious horse shows in the nation and features competitors at every level from young children in leadline to Olympic veterans. The Classic continues through Sunday when it culminates with the $250,000 FTI Grand Prix and FEI World Cup Qualifier.
For those who can't make it to the show grounds, WVVH-TV, the official Long Island television station of the Hampton Classic, is broadcasting up to five hours of competition and highlights each day during the Classic. These broadcasts can also be seen online at www.wvvh.tv.
Hampton Classic Horse Show, Inc. is a 501.c.3 charitable corporation. It benefits Southampton Hospital and has contributed more than $1.5 million to the hospital since it began.
For more information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show, please visit the Hampton Classic website at www.hamptonclassic.com or call (631) 537-3177.
Photo: Mario Deslauriers and Urico taken earlier this year.