Rider wins $300,000 in 4 contests

By Catherine Wang

Lucy Davis ’11 won four consecutive Grand Prix classes at the Horse Shows in the Sun Desert Circuit March in Thermal, California between March 5 and 13, accumulating $300,000 in prize money.

Davis was the youngest rider competing in the six week international circuit. The first four weeks of competition were qualifying rounds for championship horse shows. There were four “big money classes” during the final two weeks. Davis swept the four classes, all of which were show-jumping events.

Davis won the first “big money class,” the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, on March 5. The event was a qualifier for the World Cup, which will take place in Germany in April.

Davis won the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix the following day to conclude the fifth week of the circuit. She won the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix March 11, before closing out the circuit’s final week with a win in the $200,000 Lamborghini Grand Prix of the Desert March 13.

“Four in a row doesn’t happen very often,” she said. “After the first event I was so excited I didn’t even think about winning the next one and then I won the second and I was so excited that I didn’t think about winning the next one, or the next one. I must have been really relaxed. Or really lucky.”

Davis was also awarded the SHALANNO Style of Riding Award, presented to a young jumper.

Riders in the circuit earned points for their nationwide ranking. Davis is currently ranked first for riders 21 years old and younger. The circuit’s top 30 money winners qualified for a $1 milion Grand Prix class in September.

“None of this is a championship. It’s all qualifying stuff,” Davis said. “You don’t get everyone, but there are still good classes and good competition.”

Davis will attend Stanford University in the fall and spend her summer competing in Europe. The 18-year-old Davis mostly competes against Olympic-bound riders. She is 10 to 20 years younger than most of her competition.

“I’m still really young – I only stepped into this level of competition last year,” she said. “I’m still trying to get the most experience possible.” Davis hopes to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and she will attend the Olympic Trials next spring.

“I’ll still be really young though,” Davis said. “It totally depends on my horses and how sound they are. My best shot would probably be [in the] 2016 [Olympics].”