While some riders might feel a little apprehensive about having to get ready for the HITS Equitation class without a trainer, Schuyler Dayner didn’t sweat it.
“It’s something I’m a little bit used to. My mom’s a trainer, so I’m a little bit independent, and I’m used to the training side of it, so it wasn’t anything that out of the normal,” she said.
The teenager tacked up Billy Awesome, a 7-year-old British Warmblood by Chacoon Blue who is owned by Don Stewart, for the class. It was only her second time showing the gelding, but she hopes to continue riding him until Devon (Pennsylvania) in May.
“He’s a little bit green so definitely a little stronger ride. A lot of leg, but he’s a super brave, confident horse, and he is great to the jumps,” she said.
“He’s a very goofy personality,” she added. “He loves to be in your lap all the time. He definitely doesn’t think he’s a giant horse. He thinks he’s a little puppy dog.”
Dayner put in the top performance in Round 1, and her consistency through the second round helped her clinch the championship.
“It’s really special,” she said of the win. “This is my fifth year doing the class, so I’ve definitely been working towards winning, and it feels really great to climb to the top.
“I just wanted to finish up with a good last week,” she added. “I knew this would be a fun class, so I wanted to be competitive in and finish the circuit on a high note.”
Watch her second round, courtesy of HITS: