“I was coming here mostly just to go around, not really thinking about the win,” Deslauriers said. “(My daughter) Lucy and I went to Europe for most of the summer. We were kind of in the Olympic spirit, both fighting for a spot on each of our teams. Sometime after June 15, I got my spot to represent Canada, and Lucy had a great summer in a couple of Nations Cups for the United States. This was our first show back.”
Fastest in the class was five-time U.S. Olympic veteran McLain Ward, a Team Silver medalist in the recent Tokyo Olympics. He rode Catoki, owned by Van Buren/Russell and Ward, to a blistering time of 60.960 seconds. With a 4-fault rail on the second to last jump, the pair finished in third overall.
In the Anne Aspinall Ring, the hunters took center stage for the $10,000 Marders Local Hunter Derby, a two-round competition judged on “Classic Style” and “Handy Hunter” components. Brianne Goutal-Marteau of Royal Palm Beach, Fla., and Aquitaine Equine’s Arabesque bested a field of 39 entries with a final combined score of 184 points.
“(Arabesque) is an amazing horse,” Goutal-Marteau said. “She actually belongs to one of my students, and the original plan was to use today as a bit of a schooling for her for next week. We went into the handy round at the top, and there’s always more pressure there (to do well). The riders at the end of the second round just kept getting better, so there really wasn’t any room for error. I’m lucky to have a horse like Arabesque and very happy to have won the class.”