Malinda Edwards da Mata and Macarena Chávez are just two of the riders at the top of the leaderboard after the first day of competition at the Haras Cup held at Haras dos Cavaleiros in Magnolia, Texas. Edwards da Mata and Guerreira DC led the pack after the Dressage phase in the Adult Amateur Introductory division and Chávez is currently in both first and second place on two different mounts, Mickey Mouse and Beauty, in the Children’s division.
The Haras Cup is a three-day competition in the equestrian discipline of Working Equitation and it is the premier Working Equitation show in North America. Riders compete at a variety of levels in three different phases: Dressage, Ease of Handling and Speed. The Dressage portion began today and the Ease of Handling phase, where horses and riders maneuver through a series of obstacles, is slated for Saturday. On Sunday, the Speed phase involves the same obstacles ridden at top speed.
Edwards da Mata rode Guerreira to a 59.58 percent to clinch first place in Dressage in the Adult Amateur Introductory division. She will go into Saturday’s Ease of Handling portion with four points toward the final tally. Guerreira is a horse usually ridden in dressage so Saturday’s obstacles will be a new experience for the mare.
“I really think that dressage people at the lower levels would really enjoy this,” she said of Working Equitation. “It’s a lot harder than it looks and it’s a lot more technical. I think the obstacle phase is all about the rhythm and balance and bend and trust. It gives them [the horses] something different to think about to get them outside the arena.”
Chávez rode both Mickey Mouse and Beauty to first and second place finishes in the Children’s division with a 66.00 percent and a 65.56 percent respectively. The 9-year-old rider will go into Saturday’s Ease of Handling phase with a total of 10 points toward the final tally. The Children’s division does not include the Speed phase with the obstacles.
“It really feels good to win!” Chávez said, adding that she has been riding for almost four years. She has had Beauty for nearly two years and Mickey Mouse for only one month. She said sometimes she is nervous before she competes but today she felt confident. She is looking forward to the obstacles on Saturday. “I don’t do speed but I LOVE watching it. The people with long hair, their hair flies in the wind!”
Other riders who claimed the top of their division in the Dressage phase include Claire Moucadel and Xaveco Interagro in the International division, Carlos Carneiro and Andiamo in the Advanced division, Tammy Williams and Davidoff DC in the Adult Amateur Intermediate division, Dori Johnson and Vincedor JB in the Open Intermediate Division, João Conçalves and Hamlet DC in the Open Introductory division, Madison Waller and Diablo DC in the Junior Introductory division, Madison Waller and Rollingwoods Double Stuff in the Junior division, Kiki Pantaze and Sandhaven Late to the Party in the Adult Amateur Novice division, and João Conçalves and Hercules DC in the Open Novice division.