November 1, 2015 -- The future stars of United States Show Jumping were tested during three days of tough competition for the 2015 USEF U25 National Championship presented by the Porter Family, the Jacobs Family, the Jobs Family and the Keenan Family. Following two clear rounds during last night's $30,000 Final Competition, Lucy Deslauriers stood on top of the podium as the winner of the inaugural USEF U25 National Championship.
Deslauriers (New York, N.Y.) and her partner Hester, Lisa Deslauriers' 2005 Belgian Warmblood gelding, mastered the courses brilliantly throughout the entire competition. They kicked off Wednesday's $15,000 Faults Converted competition on a high note with no faults and a time of 77.69. They came out more aggressive during the $20,000 Jump-Off competition on Thursday, had a faultless first round, and cruised to victory in the jump-off with a time of 30.74. These performances put Deslauriers and Hester on top of the cumulative standings leading into Saturday night's final competition. They maintained this lead as the only pair to put in two clear rounds in the Final, securing the win in the $30,000 Two Round Final Competition and the Gold medal in the $35,000 Championship.
"It was a really great week. My horse jumped incredibly in all the rounds. The first round I didn't ride my best, so I really tried to put in strong efforts the rest of the week, and he really helped me out there," said Deslauriers.
This performance added to an incredible year for Deslauriers and Hester, who won the Young Rider Individual Gold and Team Silver at the 2015 Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, and Individual and Team Gold in the 2015 Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Championship.
Designed to mimic the difficulty encountered during international competition, Course Designer Guilherme Jorge, architect for 2016 Olympic Games, developed courses for this championship with the intent of challenging a horse's focus and a rider's intellect. Twenty-six riders started in the first round of the Final Competition after which only the top twelve in the overall standings qualified for the second round. Jorge's second round track, which included a triple combination, proved to be the most challenging of the Championship rounds and as only two clear rounds were produced.
Trailing Deslauriers, going into the second round of the $30,000 competition were Katherine Strauss (Southampton, N.Y.) and Catherine Tyree (Chicago, Ill.), who took Silver and Bronze in the Championship respectively. Each finished the Saturday's first round with cumulative scores of six faults. During the first round, Katherine Strauss, LLC's All In, a 2005 KWPN gelding had trouble with the double-combination at 10b and knocked a rail down. They then put in a fault-free finish in the second round to place second to Deslauriers in both the Final Competition and the Championship.
"I had a really great first day. My horse jumped amazingly. In the second round I had a little bit of an error so coming into today I was a little behind Lucy and Cat so I knew I had to ride my best and keep working to climb up the ranks," said Strauss.
After an unexpected refusal in the first round of the Final Competition, Tyree and Enjoy Louis, Mary and Joseph Tyree's 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding, returned to the second round tied with Strauss and All In. They were penalized four faults for a knock down and picked up one time fault to finish on a total of 11 faults to earn the Bronze Medal.
"My horse jumped incredibly all week. Today, I made a mistake that was nowhere his fault, and I just thought in the first round I would try and be as fast as possible. I knew in the end that it would come down to time faults so I was so lucky to have a horse that was so with me throughout the entire competition," said Tyree.
Visit nhs.org for the complete results of the USEF U25 National Championship.