Friday, May. 24, 2024

Deslauriers Stays Consistent For R.W. “Ronnie” Mutch Equitation Championship

In it's first year with a new format, Lucy Deslauriers takes home the title in the R.W. "Ronnie" Mutch Equitation Championship.
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Devon, Pa.—May 27  

As Madison Goezmann’s name was called in third in the R.W. “Ronnie” W. Mutch Equitation Championship, Lucy Deslauriers and Daisy Farish exchanged small smiles.

“Us and Devon,” Farish said.

The two friends were in similar positions last year at the Devon Horse Show in the junior jumpers when Farish topped the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Classic with Triviant ahead of Deslauriers and Hester.

“I think being as close as we are, we were happy with whatever happened,” said Deslauriers. “We both felt good with our rides and our horses, and we were happy either way.”

Of course Deslauriers had a little more to celebrate as she pulled out the win on her own Class Action.

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“It’s an honor to qualify, let alone come out with a win,” said Deslauriers. “The show and the championship have a lot of prestige and tradition. So qualifying was something I was definitely proud to do, because of the honor.”

The 16-year-old brought two equitation horses, Class Action and Great Expectations, and she elected to go with Class Action because he’d already showed and won twice in the Dixon Oval.

“I just tried to stick to the plan,” she said. “There were a few lines, you really needed to make sure you got done. I had seen a few other riders make some errors, so I really just tried to take a deep breath and do what I had to do.”

T.J. O’Mara was one of those riders to run into trouble. He’d already won a section of of the ASPCA Maclay and the Platinum Performance/USET Talent Search, but his hopes of another win were dashed when he picked up a refusal in the triple combination.

A number of riders also saw some sticky distances in the rollback to the double combination.

The championship took a different format this year. In years past the win was based on points accumulated in the four equitation classes held throughout the first two days of the show. This year riders qualified for the championship by winning a section of any of the equitation classes. Those riders jumped an additional round and the judges had an option to test the top four riders one more time.

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The format was changed in part because of the sheer number of riders at the show. With multiple sections of each equitation class, a rider could win the overall championship without riding against the other top riders at the show, and ties occured frequently. Also, riders who had won an equitation final were at a disadvantage since they couldn’t compete in that class at Devon. 

“I think it’s important for everyone to understand that we weren’t trying to add another class or see more jumping,” said Stacia Madden trains Deslauriers along with the Beacon Hill team. “We really wanted to give these kids an opportunity at a national horse show like this to compete head-to-head in the middle of the show year instead of making them wait until the end.

“I like the format. I thought it ran well,” she continued. “I think people have to get used to adjustment. People get stuck in the habit of things. Maybe people got here and were surprised in the change and the format, but when you hear the reasons for the change, I believe people will get behind it and really understand that it’s something you have to qualify for.”

“I was excited to have another opportunity,” said Deslauriers, New York City. “As Stacia said, the reason for this becoming a class is valid. It was definitely a little bit trickier having another class and finding a few more distances, but I was overall very excited to do the class.”

Farish agreed, “I think it was awesome and added another element of challenge to it. It brought a whole other feeling to it. First we have all our classes, and now the added championship class. It gives it an important feeling. I think Lucy was leading whether it was the other format or not, so she deserved it.”

Want more Devon? Check out photos from yesterday here, and stay up with all the Chronicle‘s online coverage here. Find full results from junior weekend at Ryegate and check out full analysis from junior weekend in the June 20 issue of the magazine.

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