Zayna Rizvi of Wellington, FL, won the hunter phase of the WIHS Equitation Finals riding Finnick on Friday, October 23, during the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) presented by MARS Equestrian™ at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). She will lead the charge into Saturday’s jumper phase and final top-10 work-off.
Fifteen-year-old Rizvi made her WIHS Equitation Finals debut last year with Finnick, owned by Jordyn Rose Freedman, and placed ninth overall. The pair is hungry to move up in the rankings this year and is sitting well poised to do so. Rizvi qualified for WIHS during her time showing in Florida over the winter season under the direction of trainers Missy Clark and John Brennan of North Run.
“It was definitely a lot different this year with everything going on in the world,” said Rizvi, who has had the ride on Finnick for three years. “He is a super forgiving horse; he always covers any mistakes I may have. He is also super adjustable and knows how to listen if I want him to go forward or if he needs to come back to me. He’s super fun to ride!”
Rizvi topped the hunter phase with combined top scores of 91 and 89 from two judging panels, giving her an impressive 90 overall. Posting the same average score of 90, Dominic Gibbs rode Cent 15, owned by Mountain King Ranch, LLC, to second after the highest score from panel 1 determined the leader. Sophee Steckbeck of Clarksburg, NJ, claimed third with an 87.5 aboard Zapfier for owner North Run.
“I’m looking forward to the jumper phase tomorrow and switching horses in the work-off,” said Rizvi. “That was really fun last year, and I think it’s a really cool experience to see how other people’s horses are since I’m usually just able to watch them.”
Of her hunter phase round, Rizvi said, “The course today was really nice for me and Finn. We love the hunter phase. The bending lines are something we have gotten really good at over the years. The bending line in ten strides we did really well. Some people were getting there short or long, but I measured it well and he jumped great. Overall, I really liked the course and the way it rode.
“I love being here and it’s really cool that we can still do all the finals even in a different place. It’s been a great experience,” concluded Rizvi.
The Washington International Horse Show continues at TIEC on Saturday, October 24, with the jumper phase and top-10 work-off of the WIHS Equitation Finals, as well as the coveted $214,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix presented by MARS Equestrian™.
Catch Every Stride
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WIHS Equitation Finals – Hunter Phase
Rank Horse Rider Panel 1Panel 2 Final Score
1 FINNICK Zayna Rizvi 91/89 90
2 CENT 15 Dominic Gibbs 89/91 90
3 ZAPFIER Sophee Steckbeck 87/88 87.5
4 SALVATORE Baylee McKeever 86/87.5 86.75
5 CARLSON 83 Hannah Hoch 83/90 86.5
6 FRH REMARKABLE Ellie Ferrigno 86.5/86 86.25
7 DAVIDE Tessa P. Brown 85/87 86
8 QUITE CASSINI Skyler Fields 86.75/83 84.875
9 CHARISMA Natalie Jayne 84/84 84
10 QUIMBY Grace Debney 81.5/86.5 84