North Salem, N.Y.—Sept. 15
Most of the teenagers at the American Gold Cup CSI-W at Old Salem Farm spent the day competing over schooling jumper classes, preparing for this weekend’s ASPCA Maclay Regional Qualifiers. But not Lucy Deslauriers.
Though the 18-year-old is still a junior, she spent the afternoon on the grand prix field, leading the victory gallop for the $86,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier, whose start list included three FEI World Cup champions and a host of other top international competitors. She beat out second-placed Beezie Madden (Britling LS) and Adrienne Sternlicht (Toulago), along her father, Mario Deslauriers (Bardolina)—one of the aforementioned World Cup winners.
Lucy, 18, was beside herself to win over her idols.
“It’s incredible to beat out Beezie in the jump-off—I don’t even know how to put it into words,” she said. “She’s someone I’ve watched since I was really little. Even watching her first round I was in awe. To compete against her in the jump-off and my father and some of the other great young riders…it was extremely competitive and I’m really happy.”
Watch Lucy and Hester’s jump-off here, courtesy of ShowNet.
Lucy took advantage of the huge step of Hester, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood (Wander van de Mispelaere—Winde D’Arteveld, Palestro Van De Begijnakker), to land at the top of a six-horse jump-off. Seven horses qualified for the short course designed by Alan Wade and Nigel Jess, but Charlie Jacobs opted to save Cassinja S’s legs for Sunday’s big class. Two others—Callan Solem/Wizard VDL and Syre Happy/Dolinn—left all the jumps up but finished just over the snug time allowed.
“My horse is naturally very fast. He has a huge stride, so I knew that we could get up [the lines in] the strides, especially to the last two jumps,” said Lucy, New York City.
“I knew that if I came in riding and kicking he would eat it up and he did,” she continued.
Lucy laughed when asked if she was happy to beat out her father and coach in the competition, pointing out that her father’s horse is a younger one, whereas hers—her first jumper out of the children’s division—has been around the block over the last four and a half years.
Though Lucy and Hester have amassed an impressive record this season, with top-three finishes at open classes at the Ottawa CSI (Ontario), Spruce Meadows (Alberta) and Live Oak CSI-W (Florida), among others, she’s trying to stay realistic about what the season will bring, in no small part because she’s focusing on her senior year at the Dalton School (N.Y.).
“I don’t know about [the Longines FEI World Cup Final (France)],” she said. “That’s a whole separate level.”
For more in-depth coverage of The American Gold Cup CSI-W, made sure to read the Oct. 9 issue of The Chronicle of the Horse magazine.
Check out Longines Timing for results, course maps and orders of go.