Watch out, Lucy Deslauriers is back! The 18-year-old American rider made a big impression on Thursday, March 29, 2018 when she won the biggest class of her short career, during the Winter Equestrian Festival’s last and biggest week of competition.
Deslauriers had to take two months away from riding at the end of 2017 to heal from a shoulder injury and hand surgery. She has been slowly competing again in Wellington, Florida since February, and chose the $132,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 12 CSI5* as her big goal of the season.
So to win it, aboard her veteran partner Hester, a 13-year-old Belgian warmblood gelding (Wandor van de Mispelaere x Palesstro vd Begijnakker) was exciting for all involved, including McLain Ward, who has been giving Deslauriers some coaching help along with her father, Mario Deslauriers.
“Sometimes it’s nice to hear things from a little different perspective so it’s nice to have him in my corner, but obviously I still have my dad and having both of them is really special,” she said. “We were all super excited.”
Darragh Kenny rode his new partner Babalou 41 to 3rd place, and Shane Sweetnam was 3rd with Chaqui Z, making for a strong showing from Irish riders. The 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival comes to a close this weekend, with the biggest grand prix of the season, the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5*, taking place on Saturday evening at 7:00pmEST.