By Ashley Khakshouri
Lucy Davis â11, who hopes to compete in the 2012 London Olympics, won the Young Master League Championship in Frankfurt, Germany on Dec. 20. The top 30 riders ages 25 and younger from Europe compete all year to qualify for these championships.
This was the first year the competition opened up two wild card spots to the United States Equestrian Federation.
At a show in New York in November, Davis was approached and told that she had been chosen as one of the wild card spots. She felt lucky to have the opportunity to compete on an international level, she said.
After arriving in Frankfurt, Germany, Davis formed her goal around the competition around her, she said.
“I didnât really know what to expect. All I knew was that I wanted to do well and represent the states well. When I got there and saw the quality of the riders and horses, which was much better than the states, I made my goal to make the top 15.”
The competition began on Dec. 16. There was one class on Thursday and one on Friday which Davis attended. From those rounds, they picked the top 15 to compete on a final round on Dec. 20.
Davis made the top 15 and continued to compete in the final round. In the final round she was clear (no faults-jumps down) along with 5 other people.
Those five tied and carried on to jump what is called a jump off which is a shortened course. The competitor with the clearest with jump and the fastest time wins. Davis won the competition by having the fastest time in the jump off and by being the only one without knocking down a rail.
“It was absolutely amazing to win. It is a much bigger sport in Germany, itâs basically second to soccer only,” Davis said. “They made such a big deal out of my win and you are really treated like a professional athlete; there were around 45,000 spectators.”
“The fact that I was representing the U.S. made it a much bigger deal than just me. I really felt like I was a part of something bigger than just myself,” she said.
Davis returned home with a saddle, a trophy, a watch, champagne, and a portion of the 20,000 euro purse.