The United States rider from Zone 10 was the only rider to pull out five clear rounds during the championships, something Juniors and Young Riders up to age 21 couldn’t even do.
Canadian riders Anya Bereznicki and Kyara Semrau joined Laiken on the podium, with Bereznicki taking silver and Semrau taking bronze. They’re also looking to take on the Olympics someday.
All three riders triumphed through a technically difficult first round. But Laiken went clear course after course, and it was too much for anyone to beat.
“I felt like the world was in my hands,” Laiken said of her clear rounds.
That attitude was especially clear after she jumped her last fence. But right before it, Laiken gave Callao a huge kick to propel him over the jump.
“It’s ‘wake up, this oxer is very big,’” Laiken explained of her go-to last-fence technique.
Callao got the message loud and clear, and the pair jumped their way to victory.
Watch that massive kick, their final fence and the celebration that followed below: