Each year this award is presented to a young rider in one of the Olympic disciplines who exemplifies both sportsmanship and horsemanship. In 2015, Deslauriers career took off when she captured the “Grand Slam” of show jumping for a young rider, winning Individual Gold and Team Silver at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, Individual and Team Gold at the Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Championships, and Individual Gold at the 2015 USEF Under 25 National Championships.
Sixteen-year-old Deslauriers was presented with this prestigious award at the USET Foundation’s Olympic and Paralympic Games benefit, Rockin’ Rio, on Jan. 22, in Wellington, Florida. “It’s a huge honor that I wasn’t expecting,” expressed Deslauriers. “I’ve received this thanks to the incredible team I have behind me and my group of horses. I’m very thankful that I’ve been recognized and have received this honor.”
“I think that is part of the reason that I was able to accomplish these goals, because I didn’t get caught up in how I had done previously or how much I had ahead of me, but took it step-by-step,” she said. Deslauriers quickly added, “I also think that it’s important that I don’t get too caught up in how successful this year was. I’m definitely very lucky to have the results that I did. I am looking forward to competing next year and continuing my partnership with Hester. Hopefully we’ll continue to do well as we bond and move up and forward into next year.”
Lucy’s father, former Olympian Mario Deslauriers, originally rode Hester, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, but when Lucy took over the reins, it was an even better match. “He’s really incredible in a number of ways, but I think that something that really stands out about him in particular is his fight,” noted Lucy. “I always know that he’s going to be there for me trying his best 200 percent of the time. It’s really important to have a dependable partner like he has proved to be for me.”
In 2015, Lucy’s success was not only related to the show jumping arena, as she also took top honors in the 2015 George Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship and placed second in the 2015 ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Championships.
“The equitation division has provided a great base for my jumper riding and doing the jumpers with my father has also helped a lot in the equitation ring,” she commented. “I think that the courses are often very similar.”
This year, Deslauriers’ goal is to move into the 1.50m division with Hester, where she already had success competing against the best in the world during the Bromont CSI3* over the summer. Deslauriers concluded, “In the more extended future, being able to represent the United States is something that I have dreamed of for a very long time, so that would be an amazing goal for me to accomplish.”