Mill Spring, North Carolina, USA – May 13, 2021 – The youngest in the class navigated a tricky course to beat the adults in Thursday’s $20,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake, resulting in Zayna Rizvi (USA) claiming her biggest win to date aboard Peacock Ridge LLC’s Excellent. The duo was one of four to challenge the jump-off track, but none could best their trailblazing time of 38.759 seconds.
Rizvi, 15, and the 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Cicero z van Paemel x Royal Queen) faced a significant challenge set by Catsy Cruz (MEX), with tight combinations that Rizvi worried would work against her mount’s massive stride.
Gavin Harley (IRL) rode the E2 Show Jumpers’ entry, Very Chic du Tillard, the 2009 Selle Francais gelding (Diamant de Semilly x Jumping Queen), to reserve on a jump-off time of 40.287 seconds.
Schuyler Riley (USA) also guided an E2 Show Jumper entry, Quilimbo, the 2009 Holsteiner stallion (Quidam de Revel x Soda), to third on a time of 41.943.
“Honestly, I was a little worried going into the first round, because some of the lines were kind of steady, and he has a huge stride, so that was probably the hardest part of the course for me,” she admitted. “But, he’s so good, and if I back him off he’s very careful. It worked out great for us, but I was definitely a little nervous about that part.”
As the jump-off trailblazer, Rizvi chose to push the pace away from the jumps, taking her time at each fence, and still ended up with a comfortable lead after the jump-off unfolded. “Since I had to go first, I just wanted to keep the jumps up, really.” Rizvi detailed, “I tried to go fast around the turns, then slow down for the jumps, so that I wasn’t rushing him off the floor. He was so good about it.”
Though it’s not every day a junior rider tops a tough Welcome Stake – and this win was her first win at this level – Rizvi relies on her partnership with her horses to get her through the nerves of new things. “Sometimes I definitely get nervous because a lot of the riders [I’m competing against] have done this multiple times, and I’m just kind of starting with the bigger classes, but I trust my horses so much, and I know they’re always going to have my back, so also, not really!”
Final Results – $20,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake
1) Zayna Rizvi (USA) & Excellent – 0 / 0 – 38.759
2) Gavin Harley (IRL) & Very Chic Du Tillard – 0 / 0 – 40.287
3) Schuyler Riley (USA) & Quilimbo – 0 / 0 – 43.812
Source: Press Release by Sarah Madden from TIEC – Tryon International Equestrian Center
Photos: © TIEC – Tryon International Equestrian Center
Categories: Tryon International Equestrian Center