|© Flying Horse Photography.|
Lucy Davis and Nemo 119 on course in the $200,000 Lamborghini Grand Prix of the Desert, presented by Lamborghini of Newport Beach, at the HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California.
Davis,18, is making herself a household name in the sport. Sunday’s victory marked her fourth Grand Prix triumph in a row at the HITS Desert Circuit. Earlier in the day, she was awarded the SHALANNO Style of Riding Award during the Parade of Champions. The prestigious award is presented to the young Jumper rider who best exemplifies the American style of equitation as modeled by Olympic medalists Joe Fargis, Conrad Homfeld, and George Morris.
“I could never believe this in a million years,” said Davis, after the class. “I was so happy to just win one Grand Prix and I kept thinking that there was no way that this could ever happen. Some of the best riders in the world were competing here today and to come out on top is just surreal.”
“Once again, I just want to thank my trainers Gabby Salick, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, and Marcus Beerbaum,” added Davis.
“Lucy is an amazing student,” said Salick. “She is a freakishly talented rider. But her best quality is that she is a wonderful person. I am so proud of her.”
In Sunday’s mega Grand Prix, Davis (Los Angeles, California) and Old Oak Farm’s Nemo 119 were the top horse-and-rider combination of the 52 starters that challenged a course set by International Course Designer Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Munich, Germany. Five talented pairs advanced to the short course to battle it out for the $60,000 first-place check.
Two trips later, after dropping a shoe, Davis and Nemo 119 were fast and clean crossing the timers in 38.75 seconds to take the lead and eventually score the winner's share of the prize money. Davis’ trainer Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Richard Michaels' Kismet 50 held the last-to-go spot and had a chance to snag the victory away from her star student. However, two rails down would drop the decorated equestrian into fourth place, as the student beat her teacher on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Taking third place was Rich Fellers (Wilsonville, Oregon) aboard Harry and Mollie Chapman’s Flexible. Earlier in the afternoon, Fellers was named the Catena Leading Grand Prix Rider at HITS Thermal and won a magnificent timepiece courtesy of Catena, USA. During the 2011 HITS Desert Circuit, Fellers won four Grand Prix events en route to taking home the watch.
Jill Humphrey (Sacramento, California) and Alicia Jonsson Foster's Tao Tao 3 finished fifth with 12 faults and a time of 36.86 seconds to round out the top five in the class.