Kara Chad Third in Friends of the Meadows Cup
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. The 2016 Spruce Meadows Summer Series hosts one more week of competition with the ‘North American’ Tournament CSI5*, presented by Rolex, on July 6-10.
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.”
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.
For a complete tournament schedule and full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.
Horse Canada - July 3, 2016