Sixteen-year-old McKayla Langmeier and her mount Classic Care bested a field of top international riders to take top honors in the $35,000 West Canadian Cup on Sunday, July 3rd, 2016 at the Spruce Meadows ‘Pan American’ CSI5*.
Langmeier has already made a name for herself in the equitation ring—last year winning the ASPCA Maclay Finals—but she reached a new level on Sunday when the young talent proved she is also a force to be reckoned with in the international jumper ring.
“It is my first FEI win, so there are no words that can describe how amazing it is,” the American rider said with a smile. “To have my first win at Spruce Meadows in the 1.45m is amazing. We’ve never been here before, and everybody has good things to say about [the venue], so we figured we’d give it a shot!”
The Alan-Wade track attracted a field of 77 international riders, with an even 20 riders progressing to the jump-off against clock.
Langmeier’s plan going into the class was simple: “go double-clear and fast,” and that she did. Langmeier and her nimble mare produced a time of 39.76 seconds that could not be matched. The pair carried a bold pace throughout the entirety of the track, with Langmeier giving Classic Care a little kick before the final fence to leave out a stride in the final bending line.
After contributing their jump-off course mid-way through the order, there was nothing the rider could do but wait to see if her time would hold up.
“I have a thing where if I am doing well, I do not watch the rest of the competition, but obviously I can hear the announcer sometimes,” she remarked. “I was mostly back with my horse just waiting.”
American riders dominated the top finishes in the class, the next-fastest being Mario DesLauriers, who clocked in a time of 39.89 seconds aboard the nine-year-old mare Cherrypop (Contendro I x Cinderella Z). Settling for 3rd place was Johnothan McCrea and Special Lux (Lux x Coille Mor Hill), who finished the short track in 39.90 seconds.
The winning horse, Classic Care, is a 13-year-old Holsteiner mare (Caretino x Accord II) owned by Linda Langmeier, McKayla’s mother. The horse was purchased by the Langmeiers through the late Andres Rodriguez, who imported the mare from Europe.
Langmier has been partnered with the horse for four years now, and the pair were part of the team of American riders that won Junior Team Gold in show jumping at the 2014 Adequan FEI North American Junior/Young Rider Championships.
“She is a very special horse to me. We have grown up together doing the bigger classes,” Langmeier noted.
Still riding in the junior ranks in jumper and equitation rings, Langmeier’s immediate goals are to be competitive at the 2016 equitation finals this coming fall. But with this first FEI win under her belt, it is safe to say the young talent will be itching to be for anther top result in the international division.
See full results of the $35,000 West Canadian Cup at this link.