Quincy Hayes from Aurora, ON, finished as the top Canadian and Reserve Champion in the Uplands Under 25 (U25) Jumping National Championship, which wrapped up on Nov. 12 at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON.
Daniel Coyle of Ireland, who was provided with one of the wild card slots for foreign riders, claimed the Championship title after back-to-back wins in the two-phase final aboard Fortis Fortuna, owned by Canadians, Susan and Ariel Grange.
Hayes began her ride to the Reserve Championship title after earning second place in the $12,500 Alfred Rogers U25 National Championship – Phase 1 on Nov. 10, held as a speed class. Her partner was Calgary 56 (Carinjo x Cassini I), a 10-year-old German Warmblood gelding she co-owns with Sorensen Stables.
“I know with my horse it’s better to stay a little smoother and not rush the first couple lines, so I thought my plan went really well,” said Hayes, who also qualified and competed with Calgary 56 in the Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championships during opening week of the 2016 Royal Horse Show, where she earned a top-10 finish in Phase 1. “Calgary is a fantastic horse and he tries his heart out. He’s proved time and time again to be a horse that steps up in every atmosphere – grass, indoors, at night – it’s never a problem for him, so he’s been a really great horse.”
Returning to the ring for the $12,500 Alfred Rogers U25 National Championship – Phase 2 on Nov. 12, Hayes and Calgary 56 laid down a clear round to secure their berth back to the jump-off, which featured a total of nine horse-rider combinations. Quick and clear until the very last jump, Hayes lowered the final oxer but achieved one of the fastest four-fault rounds to take fifth place.
“I’m 25 now, so unfortunately this is my last year doing the U25 series. It was a great way to finish, I couldn’t have asked for any more,” explained Hayes, who recently graduated from Auburn University in Alabama on a full riding scholarship, where she rode to two National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships before returning to Nobleton, ON to run Benchmark Equestrian, a full-service hunter, jumper and equitation stable, with her mother and fellow professional rider, Darcy Hayes.
“U25 is a fantastic series for young riders and young professionals coming up the ranks. It gives so many young riders opportunities to jump in bigger classes and more intense scenarios like indoors here at The Royal with so many people watching. It’s an invaluable experience for all young riders,” Hayes said of the series, which featured six qualifiers held throughout the 2016 season as well as a semi-final. The series was made possible through the generosity of multiple sponsors, including the Younger-Millar Family, recently named the 2016 Jump Canada Sponsor of the Year, as well as Spruce Meadows, the Ontario Hunter Jumper Association, the Rogers Family and Equestrian Canada.
Hayes was honoured with the Reserve Champion title during an awards ceremony presented by the family of the late Alfred Rogers. As the Champion, Coyle was also presented with a saddle generously donated by Antares Sellier.
For full results, visit www.royalfair.org.