Articles: Press Release
Mario Deslauriers Has Double
Clear Victories in 1.30m and 1.35m
at the 2009 Tampa Equestrian Festival
Photo Credit: Mario Deslauriers and Cocu win 1.30m class on open day at the
Tampa Equestrian Festival. Photo Rebecca Walton/Phelps Media Group.
Rebecca Walton for
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at email@example.com
Tampa, FL - March 18, 2009 - It was a beautiful day in Tampa for the opening
day of the Tampa Equestrian Festival, held at the Bob Thomas Equestrian
Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds. The Tampa Equestrian Festival
features three weeks of the country's leading hunters and jumpers competing
for top honors. This week is Suncoast International Week and will run
through March 24. The jumpers competed today in the Covered Arena beginning
at 9 a.m.
Mario Deslauriers, of New York, NY, was victorious in both today's 1.30m and
1.35m classes. During the 1.30m Deslauriers rode Cocu, owned by Jane Clark
of Cooperstown, NY, to a double clear victory, and followed in the 1.35m
with a double clear victory aboard Diablo.
Today's courses were designed by Philip J De Vita and were scored under
Table II, section B, a timed first jump off. The courses included 11
obstacles with bending lines, a skinny fence, and two double
combinations. The jump-off tested riders' speed and power with tight turns
and large oxers.
The 1.30m class was the first to compete over the difficult course in the
Covered Arena. Donald Cheska set the bar high after completing double clear
rounds with a jump-off time off 39.641 aboard Zeldenrust Z. Mario
Deslauriers entered the ring next with Tigger and also completed double
clear rounds. The pair tripped the timer at 35.408, moving them into the
lead. Derek Braun and Rio Lindebjerg, owned by Split Rock Farm, would be the
next horse and rider to perform a clear first round and earn an opportunity
to jump-off. The duo managed to jump clear and raced home with a time of
34.254, which was fast enough to take over the lead. Mario Deslauriers
entered the ring next with his second mount, Cocu, and also performed a
clean first round. Cocu was clean and fast in the jump-off and was able to
squeeze by Rio Lidebjerg with a time of 33.493, which would be for the day's
"Cocu has been competing a long time," said Deslauriers after his
win. "She's a very seasoned horse and she is very handy in these classes so
she always does a great job."
Deslauriers had three horses competing in today's 1.35m class, and earned
all three of the top spots. Derek Braun competed again with Rio Lindebjerg,
but had an unfortunate rail early in the course, earning four faults and a
first round time of 61.313, which was enough for fourth place
honors. Deslauriers would be the first rider to complete a fault free first
round and move on to the jump-off round aboard Diablo. The duo also went
clear in the jump-off and speed home with a time off 37.430, moving them
into the lead. Deslauriers would go clear again with his next mount, Vicomte
D, but during the jump-off the pair had a rail at the first fence in the
double combination. Their jump-off time of 35.360 was the fastest of the
class, and held up for the third place. Deslauriers went double clear with
his final mount, Paradigm, but their jump-off time of 41.615 would not be
enough to catch Diablo, and would put them in the second place for the day.
"Diablo is a young horse that I've been showing at WEF in the WEF Challenge
Cups and the grand prix," explained Deslauriers. "It's nice to bring him
here and let him come down a little bit and breathe. He's a really nice
horse with a good stride and some blood, so you don't really need to push
him or kick him, he pretty much does everything on his own."
"We've been jumping outside so it's a big difference for the horses to come
inside," explained Deslauriers about today's courses. "The jumps are way in
the corner so you have to go deep in the corners. There was a skinny fence
that had us jumping right into the corner, so that was a little
difficult. It takes the horses a few rounds to get adjusted from riding
outside to riding inside."
After Tampa, Deslauriers plans to go the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows and
then to Spruce Meadows.
Competition will continue tomorrow at the Tampa Equestrian Festival with the
hunters and jumpers competing for top prizes. The Tampa Equestrian Festival
will conclude Saturday, April 4 at the Raymond James Stadium for the
$200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, the top show jumping competition
in the nation.
For more information please visit www.stadiumjumping.com.