Oct. 10—Harrisburg, Pa.
When Hayley Waters landed off the final fence in the Prix des States, the first thing she felt was relief. As the only rider on the Zone 4 team to drop a rail in the first round, she felt the pressure to improve her ride on Qurint and keep the team in the lead.
“I needed to redeem myself for the first round,” Waters said. “They definitely made up for me in the first round. I just was trying to focus on what went well and what didn’t go well in the first for me to try and improve my score.”
Heading into the second round, Zone 4 was the only faultless team (Water’s four-fault round was a drop score). However both Virginia Ingram (Urban) and Louise Graves (Zavira) dropped a rail apiece, so Waters knew she had to match Victoria Colvin’s (Don Juan) double clear to keep the team out of a jump off situation.
Zone 2 (Lucy Deslauriers/Hester, Lauren Fischer/Offenbach Du Granit, Victoria Press/Cayenne 140 and Michael Hughes/Luxina) and Zone 5 (Giavanna Rinaldi/G.P.S. Brilliant Disguise, Alex Bozorgi/Navy Blue Tarroy, Vivian Yowan/Vornado Van Den Hoendrik and Meredith Darst/Zenith Dance) finished the two-round class tied with eight-faults a piece. In the resulting jump off for the remaining medals, Deslauriers put in a double-clear round to Rinaldi’s eight-fault round to win silver for Zone 2.
Zone 4 chef d’equipe Kim Land chose to put Waters in the anchor spot due to her experience in team competitions and her ability to handle the pressure.
“I knew she’s got a very good horse,” Land said. “She’s got experience on that horse and that when the clutch came, she had the tools in her pocket to be able to produce and she did.”
Water’s has owned Qurint since the beginning of this year and has been working on the mare’s fitness so that she was prepared for the high volume of rounds required of her. “I’m really happy with my horse,” she said. “She’s an amazing little horse.”
The team from Zone 4 are all experienced in high-pressure situations and Water, Ingram and Colvin have all ridden on Nations Cup format teams together in the past. “We’ve know each other for a while,” Waters said. “It’s great to have this experience with your friends.”
“I love team competitions because we don’t normally get to compete on a team,” Ingram said. “It’s really great to have these really good experiences with your friends.”
To read more about the winners at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, check out the October 27 issue of The Chronicle of the Horse print magazine.