Lexington, Ky. – The Organizing Committee of the 2017 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) presented by Gotham North is pleased to confirm the dates and locations of the 2017 Championships following approval from the FEI.
HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, N.Y. will host the disciplines of dressage, para-dressage, and jumping July 18-23, 2017. Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Mont. will host eventing July 20-23, 2017. With unwavering support, Adequan will mark its seventh consecutive year as title sponsor of the event.
“We are very excited to be able to host the 2017 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North at two beautiful venues,” said USEF CEO Bill Moroney. “NAJYRC is an important Championship for the future of equestrian sport, giving many top riders their first experiences in international competition. The wonderful support of Adequan, Gotham North, and all of our sponsors make the event possible.”
Supporting the only FEI Championship held annually in North America, NAJYRC is lucky to have a long list of dedicated sponsors, which include: Adequan, Gotham North, U.S. Hunter Jumper Association, U.S. Dressage Association, U.S. Eventing Association, Equine Canada, and the Mexican Equestrian Federation.
Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Mont. as the proposed location for the 2017 FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) to host the discipline of eventing, pending approval from the FEI. The event will be held July 20-23, 2017.
After reviewing the applications received and working alongside possible organizers, the USEF will not submit a proposal to hold endurance as part of the 2017 NAJYRC as there was not a feasible option. Addressing the challenges of hosting the discipline this year, alternative opportunities will be explored for youth endurance athletes in 2017.
Parker, Colo. – The Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC) concluded Sunday, July 31, at The Colorado Horse Park (CHP), bringing a close to competition, which featured three disciplines throughout the week including show jumping, eventing, and dressage.
Carmen Holmes-Smith (18, Chase, B.C.) and Spartacus continued their move up the leaderboard after a double-clear stadium round Sunday and were presented with the CH-J* Individual Gold medal for finishing on their starting score of 45.9. Shelby Brost (18, Red Deer, Alta.) and Crimson made a significant jump up the standings after tackling the cross-country track of the CICY2* and added no penalties to their dressage score of 50.20. The pair finished with one of five double-clear show jumping rounds to conclude NAJYRC, capturing the Individual Gold in the CICY2*. The Area I Team took to the medal podium as they were awarded with the CH-J* Team Gold medal, while the Area V/IX Team rode to victory in the CICY2*, participating in the final medal ceremony of the week. Closing out the jumping and dressage disciplines, Lucy Matz (16, Coatesville, Pa.) guided Bailey VI to the top of the Jumping Junior Individual Final, while Jenna Upchurch (18, Chesterfield, Mo.) and Greystoke earned top honors in the Dressage Junior Freestyle with a score of 71.350%.
NAJYRC remains a yearly highlight and source of motivation for young riders competing in multiple disciplines and CHP, along with the facility’s management team, are honored to have hosted this prestigious championship event, which showcases the talent, perseverance, and sportsmanship of the next generation of top equestrian athletes.
“It has been an honor to host the Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) this year at The Colorado Horse Park. This competition continues to serve as an essential component in the continued history and tradition of equestrian sport in North America,” said Meg Krueger, Chief Operating Officer of The Colorado Horse Park. “The team at CHP is proud to have contributed to the success of this monumental event and we are grateful for the opportunity to support the careers and aspirations of these dedicated riders.”
Carmen Holmes-Smith and Shelby Brost Collect Top Honors on Final Day of CH-J* and CICY2* Individual Competition
Individual and team medal ceremonies in the USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Eventing Championships were presented at CHP to close the 2016 Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, recognizing riders in both the CH-J* and CICY2*. Carmen Holmes-Smith (18, Chase, B.C.) and her mount Spartacus, competed as individuals throughout the week and sat well within reach of the win following cross-country. Haley Rosenberg (18, Pleasantville, N.Y.), representing Area I as an individual, piloted Evil Munchkin to the Silver medal, also finishing with a score of 45.9. The tie for first place was broken by a comparison of each rider’s cross-country time, with the closest to the optimum time taking the victory. Cornelia Dorr (18, Manchester, Mass.) and Sir Patico MH received the Bronze medal, alongside their Team Gold with Area I.
“I was thrilled with my horse today. The scores today were very close and there really was no margin for error. I rubbed one fence pretty hard, which was nerve-racking, but we ended up finishing clear,” explained Holmes-Smith. “I was thrilled with the way he stepped up and performed throughout the week.”
Holmes-Smith was ecstatic with the pair’s cross-country trip and stadium round. Even with a few self-proclaimed bobbles in their dressage test, the duo finished one of the their most competitive weekends yet.
“Overall, the dressage has been our weakest phase and I thought that our test this weekend was one of the best tests we’ve done ever. I was thrilled with that and our cross-country round,” she said. “We’re pretty good in stadium, but there’s always that chance that you can have a rail. I was really happy with the weekend.”
Overcome with emotion, Holmes-Smith addressed her initial reaction when she learned of her top finish and the meaning of competing alongside her sister Tosca, as well as the return of British Columbia to the medal ceremony.
“This was very emotional. I didn’t come into this competition thinking that I was a contender for a medal. I want to thank the grooms, my chef, my coach, and my parents. It was also really great to compete alongside my sister and she did extremely well herself, which was special too,” she commented.
“Even though I wasn’t on a team, I still felt the team atmosphere. I don’t’ think anyone was really expecting that we would do that well here. British Columbia hasn’t really been competitive in eventing and to come out and do this well was overwhelming.”
Silver medalists Rosenberg and Evil Munchkin have only been competing at the FEI level together since last summer and their strong finish this week is a testament to how far they’ve come since Rosenberg took over the ride.
“I mentioned yesterday that I really think the horse is only as good as the rider, and we really stepped up as a pair today. I always know that he can do it, but sometimes I feel like I can’t, and I was proud of myself for not letting my nerves get the best of me,” she said.
Rosenberg and Evil Munchkin found themselves tied with Holmes-Smith heading into the final phase, but the pair did not let the added pressure alter their ride, which is a noted improvement in Rosenberg’s mental game.
“This is been our best competition ever. We’ve never broken into the 40s in the dressage and typically in high pressure situations I contribute to us having a rail,” commented Rosenberg. “The week, as a whole, has been amazing. I wouldn’t trade this week for the world. Even if we did terribly, I still would have loved and enjoyed every moment.”
Dorr and Sir Patico MH were the only horse and rider combination in the CH-J* division to medal in both individual and team competition, anchoring the Area I Team before learning she had also earned the Individual Bronze medal for her efforts.
“This week was the best week of my summer, not just because we medaled as a team or individually, but because of the friends and experiences that we had. I just loved the week,” she explained. “Dressage for us is always hit or miss and I think this summer we’ve worked really hard on making it more consistent and that showed through in our test. This was also our best score at the FEI level.”
Shelby Brost (18, Red Deer, Alta.) and Crimson made the most of their time at NAJYRC as their win fit perfectly into their future plans of one day representing their home nation of Canada on an even more international scale. Brost and Crimson sat in fifth place with a 50.2 after the dressage phase, before moving into second after a double-clear cross-country trip. The duo, who were Individual Bronze medalists at the 2015 NAJYRC in Lexington, Ky., in the CH-J*, returned this year to finish as the only combination to complete the weekend on their dressage score in the CICY2*.
“I always try to stay out of her way in the show jumping. The last line turned out to be a little difficult for us, but she gave it her all and I’m so proud of her,” said Brost. “Coming into stadium I knew that I was sitting in second so it was important for me to jump a clear round. I was beyond thrilled with her to even be sitting in second place.”
“She’s still green at the 2* level and so am I. We only did our first 2* together this spring and I was still 17. I think we’d like to do a CCI2* in the fall and she’s just a great horse for the future,” added Brost.
Clara Cargile (20, San Angelos, Texas) also secured a Team Gold medal for the Area V/IX Team in the CICY2* and finished with Individual Silver aboard White Indian with an overall score of 55.5.
Cargile and White Indian have been rebuilding confidence throughout the year in CCI/CIC2* competitions, and their finish was an emotional one, as they completed one of their best competitions to date.
“He felt great. When he came into the ring he could tell that this is not what we were doing two days ago,” laughed Cargile. “We had the first rail down because I let him get a little long but, you know, I was proud because we kept it together even after having the rail because there was a lot more to come.”
Rounding out the top three individual finishers was Elena Hengel (20, Woodland, Minn.) and Zipp, who ended the week on a final score of 60.3. The pair began competition earning a 42.1 in the dressage phase, before picking up 9.6 time faults on cross-country to move into stadium with a 52.3. The pair dropped two rails on the course to secure their final score of 60.30.
“Zipp felt great this week. It’s always been a dream of mine to come here and medal like we did. It’s really nice to feel like we finished strong through the whole week,” added Hengel. “We’re going to aim for a fall CCI and I’m really just learning how to ride him for the future. I want take my time and see what the next few years bring.”
Area I Team Takes CH-J* Championship while Area V/IX Team Captures CICY2*
Team competition for the USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Eventing Championships concluded Sunday for both the CH-J* and the CICY2* divisions, as a new group of champions were crowned for their efforts at the 2016 NAJYRC competition. The Area I Team was composed of four riders from Massachusetts including Katie Lichten (17, Hamilton, Mass.) and RF Luminati, Madeline Lichten (17, Hamilton, Mass.) with Yarrow, Erica Jarrell (17, Lincoln, Mass.) aboard Uni Sprite, and Cornelia Dorr (18, Manchester, Mass.) with Sir Patico MH, took to the podium, hoisting the Gold medal for their overall team score of 146.7, which bested the other seven teams competing in the CH-J* division.
“Show jumping is Hugo’s strongest phase and it was nice to be able to go into the ring and perform under pressure. That was the biggest piece and improvement in our round this week,” said Dorr, who anchored the team as the last rider on course for Area I.
Securing the overall place of the Area I Team was based on the efforts of Katie Lichten, Jarrell, and Dorr, as Madeline Lichten was unable to compete due to her cross-country elimination on Saturday, serving as the only drop score.
“Uni Sprite was just amazing today. He was very through his topline and we’re always working on getting him to extend his neck a bit more. He was listening to everything, which ended up being tough for us in the triple combination, but it was only one rail and I was so proud of him. This was an amazing day and an amazing event,” detailed Jarrell.
Katie Lichten and RF Luminati posted a double-clear effort around the stadium course designed by Chris Barnard (USA) to finish in seventh place overall with a score of 48.3, while Dorr and Sir Patico MH produced the team’s second clear-round effort to secure the top podium.
“Even though I didn’t get to compete today, I was still so proud of all of my teammates. They each put in such beautiful rounds under pressure and this has been a great experience for all of us. To come out with a win is something that we’ve all been working towards,” concluded Madeline Lichten.
The Area III Team earned the CH-J* Silver medal with a total score of 160.8:
Mikensey Johansen (Hamilton, Ga.) and Grey Prince – 66.7
Carson Richards (Charleston, S.C.) and Fernhill Mr. Cool – 53.5
Parker Miller (Bainbridge, Ga.) and What Law – 57.4
Haley Curry (Canton, Miss.) and Resolute Protector – 49.9
The Area VI Team earned the CH-J* Bronze medal with a total of 181.5:
Delaney Vaden (Nevada City, Calif.) and Redrox Jazzman – 85.1
Kelsey Holmes (Malibu, Calif.) and NZB The Chosen One – 48.4
Mia Farley (San Clemente, Calif.) and Fernhill Fine Diamond – 48.0
Megan Traynham (Arbuckle, Calif.) and Lord Lombardi – E
The Area V/IX Team was victorious in the CICY2* division after compiling strong rides from their three-member team of Clara Cargile (20, San Angelos, Texas) and White Indian, Madeline Backus (21, Larkspur, Colo.) with P.S. Arianna, and Alyssa Phillips (19, Fort Worth, Texas) aboard Bliss III with a total score of 183.7, which was more than 20 points lower than the second-place team.
“Bliss came out this morning feeling great and I was excited to get to the show jumping. We’ve been working on her rideability at home and she was really with me the entire time around the course,” detailed Phillips. “It says a lot that we were a team of three this week and really held our own against the rest of the competition. I think that was one of the more exciting parts of the week. It’s nice to end on this note.”
Backus and P.S. Arianna have competed at the upper levels of the sport for numerous years, as this season marks their 10th anniversary together. The pair has established a trusting relationship, which Backus noted, was evident in their completion of the three phases this week.
“Ari was great. She tries really hard for me every time out. We’ve been together for over ten years and I think our partnership really starts to show at competitions like this,” she said. “This is very exciting and I think from here we’re going to do a few more 3* competitions and then look to qualify for Rolex next year.”
“Area V hasn’t won a Gold medal in the two-star since 2005, and it’s very exciting to bring it home again,” added Cargile. “I think we’re going to contest some additional two-stars in the fall and we don’t have any plans to move up to Advanced any time soon, so we’ll just see where it goes.”
“This venue is absolutely beautiful and we’ve had great weather here. We’ve each had great rounds and it’s been fun. This competition is always a fun experience,” she concluded.
The Ontario/Alberta Team earned the CICY2* Silver medal with a total score of 218.0:
Jamie Kellock (Cedar Valley, Ont.) and Don’t Blink – 73.0
Shelby Brost (Red Deer, Alta.) and Crimson – 50.2
Emma Green (Alliston, Ont.) and Raniki – E
April Simmonds (Uxbridge, Ont.) and Impressively Done – 94.8
The Area VI/VIII Team earned the CICY2* Bronze medal with a total score of 250.5:
Josey Thompson (Shafter, Calif.) and Pistol Annie – R
Margaret Ragan (Crestwood, Ky.) and Surefire’s Anwar – 68.4
Woods Baughman (Lexington, Ky.) and Montesquieu – 62.5
Chelsea Kolman (Versailles, Ky.) and Dauntless Courage – 119.6
Lucy Matz Races to Victory in Junior Individual Final
Lucy Matz (16, Coatesville, Pa.) and Bailey VI, competing for Zone 2, nearly didn’t make it to the finish of the USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Junior Rider Individual Finals, as the pair encountered a hairy moment at the final oxer before crossing through the timers. Instinctively, Matz clucked Bailey VI forward and the pair regained their balance upon landing, which secured their overall win. Carlos Hank Guerrerio (16, Mexico City, Mexico) and Santos, competing for the Mexico North Junior Team received the Silver medal. Brian Moggre (14, Flower Mound, Texas) and MTM Flutterby of Zone 7 took home the Bronze medal for their efforts throughout the week.
Matz has held her own during the competition aboard Bailey VI, who was originally ridden by her brother Alex Matz, who also competed this week in the Young Rider division at NAJYRC. In addition to their strong finish in the final, Matz and Bailey VI picked up a Bronze medal in the team portion of competition, and finished in third place during the Junior Rider First Round Individual Qualifier.
“I thought the courses were great all week. They were technical enough but definitely fair. Walking the first course, we just wanted to have a smooth clear round,” detailed Matz, as she discussed her approach and plan for the week. “The second course was a little bit more difficult for us. Unfortunately, the last fence got a little bit away from me, but it all worked out.”
Out for a bit of redemption, Matz explained that she narrowly missed the cut for the Junior Individual Final at the 2015 NAJYRC and made it her goal to make it beyond that point this year. She commented, “I just missed the cut last year. This year I wanted to be more consistent, especially in the first round. I knew that if I could put together a clear round, then I would hopefully end up on the podium somewhere.”
Guerrerio and Santos also concluded a banner week, as they propelled the Mexico North Junior Team to a Team Gold medal in the Junior Team competition. The duo dropped a single rail in the first round Sunday and one in the second round to ultimately finish in second place and earning the Silver medal.
“I think the first round was similar to the rest of the championship courses we’ve seen this week. It was technical and our goal was to jump a clear round, but there was a little bit of pressure coming into the first round as the last rider in the lead,” explained Guerrerio. “In the second round, I thought it was quite bigger and still technical. I think my horse jumped really well and, overall, I’m very happy.”
Guerrerio, like Matz, just missed the cut for the individual component of competition last year and wanted to put in two solid rounds aboard Santos in the final class of the week.
“Being on the podium again today was really important to me. I was really happy to earn two medals because last year we only got Bronze. It was good to improve,” he added.
Moggre and the feisty mare MTM Flutterby were not expecting to finish in the top three after a few difficult trips early on in the week, but two solid rides on the final day helped to push the pair into the top three in the standings.
“Earlier in the week I didn’t do too well, so today, I was hoping for two clear rounds and to move up a couple of spots,” commented Moggre. “I came to Young Riders hoping for a medal and after my results earlier in the week, I wasn’t necessarily planning to be on the podium. I have to say though, being up there with these two amazing riders is really an honor.”
Upchurch Pilots Greystoke to Junior Freestyle Victory on Final Day of NAJYRC
Jenna Upchurch (18, Chesterfield, Mo.) and Greystoke, representing Region 4, continued to build on their success of the week, finishing the final day of dressage competition with another Gold medal podium appearance for their ride in the USDF North American Junior & Young Rider Dressage Championships Junior Freestyle. The duo received a score of 71.350% for the win. Vanessa Creech-Terauds (16, Caistor Centre, Ont.) piloted Fleur de Lis L to a Silver medal, earning a score of 70.500%, while Jackson Gillespie (17, Denver, Colo.) and Westpoint CB, riding for Region 5, secured the Bronze medal with a score of 69.500%.
Upchurch and Greystoke have impressed in each of their classes, attesting to the talent of both the horse-and-rider combination, as well as the growing potential for the duo moving forward in their career together. Upchurch and Greystoke have only been partnered since December 2015 and have already made great strides in their communication in the ring.
“I feel like we’ve improved on our connection a lot with the flow of the test and going from movement to movement, as well as how relaxed and collected he could be throughout the test,” detailed Upchurch. “For our music, it’s a compilation of Coldplay music including “Viva La Vida” and an assortment of scores from the “Fast and Furious” movies, which I love. I edited and cut the music myself with my trainer.”
While Upchurch competed at NAJYRC in 2015, she did not qualify to move forward to the freestyle, so the experience and thrill of the atmosphere this year is something she will always remember.
“Last year when I came I didn’t make the freestyle. Being able to ride it this year was just fantastic. I have music that I made, and the choreography that we created between myself and my trainer and getting this result is just fantastic,” she said. “He’s a fabulous horse and to be able to say that he’s mine is incredible. He’s an amazing animal. I have to thank so many people for the opportunity to work with him and have him. I’m really happy to be able to make my trainer Martin Kuhn proud.”
Silver medalists Vanessa Creech-Terauds and Fleur de Lis L have also stood side-by-side with Upchurch and Greystoke in nearly every class this week. Creech-Terauds noted that NAJYRC is her favorite week of the year and also commented on the continued improvements of the young Hanoverian mare throughout the duration of the competition.
“Fleur was very good in all three classes and all three tests. She stayed very focused today, and was energetic with the music going. She kept with me very well and I was proud of her for that,” said Creech-Terauds. “She was great all three days. This is a gorgeous facility and I have to thank the sponsors for making this show possible.”
Creech-Terauds touched on the fun and lively music selection for her freestyle aboard Fleur du Lis L. She noted, “The trot music is from “Madagascar 2” and the canter is “Kung Fu Panda”. We had a lot of fun making the music and in the juniors it’s all about having fun and getting experience in the ring. I find that’s exactly what our music reflects.”
Gillespie returns to NAJYRC this year as a rider, as the Denver native narrowly missed selection to last year’s team and traveled to Lexington, Ky., as a groom for Region 5. He explained, “This year getting to make the team was such an amazing experience, especially because there is nothing else like this competition for the youth community in our sport.”
When describing his test and the inspiration behind his music and choreography, he spoke of other freestyles that had incorporated the scores of another famous movie franchise, “James Bond”. Triple Gold medalist at NAYJRC, Nicholas Hansen, also rode to a popular movie franchise score in “Star Wars”.
“My trot work music is my favorite part of the choreography because it’s to “James Bond” music. He has an incredible extended trot, so when it slips into the larger band section it really goes well with his movement,” explained Gillespie when discussing his musical choice. “I’ve seen freestyles put together with the “James Bond” music and wanted to include it in my music.”
Competition at the 2016 Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North concluded Sunday at The Colorado Horse Park.
Parker, Colo. – The Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC) concluded the fourth day of competition at The Colorado Horse Park (CHP) showcasing show jumping, eventing, and dressage and featuring the USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Show Jumping Championships Young Rider Individual Final, USDF North American Junior & Young Rider Junior Rider Individual Final and Young Rider Freestyle, while eventing took to the cross-country course in the USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Eventing Championships CH-J* and CICY2*.
Sophie Simpson (18, Wellington, Fla.) and Why Not accomplished a rare feat in the longstanding history of NAJYRC, as the pair secured the Individual Gold medal in the Young Rider Individual portion of competition, without adding a single fault to their score the entire week. Nicholas Hansen (21, Catawissa, Pa.) and Ritter Benno captured their third Gold medal, this time topping the Young Rider Freestyle Test with a score of 72.125%. Jenna Upchurch (17, Chesterfield, Mo.) and Greystoke rode to victory in the FEI Junior Individual Test, receiving a score of 70.632%. Clara Cargile (20, San Angelo, Texas) and White Indian rose to the top of the leaderboard in the CICY2*, while Annick Niemuller (17, Goodwood, Ont.) and FE Akari secured first place heading into show jumping Monday in the CH-J*. The Area V/IX Team sits atop the standings in team competition in the CICY2* with a total score of 183.7, while the Area I Team moved from fourth place to first in the CH-J* with a 146.7.
Sophie Simpson Shines in Young Rider Individual Final aboard Why Not
Sophie Simpson (18, Wellington, Fla.) and Why Not, owned by Simpson Show Jumping, forged their way through competition this week, riding five clear rounds to finish a flawless effort at The Colorado Horse Park. Simpson rode to victory in the Young Rider First Round Qualifier on Wednesday, and then piloted Why Not to two clear rounds in the Nations Cup-formatted Young Rider Team competition to secure a Team Gold medal. The duo then returned to the International Ring to produce two clear rounds against the Manuel Esparza (MEX)-designed track in the Young Rider Individual Final, placing her atop the podium for the final time this week.
“Walking it, I thought that they were skinny fences and wide oxers. There were careful jumps in the first round, especially with the plank. I think my mount did a great job this week,” said Simpson. “This is my fourth time here and every year you try to chip away at more clear rounds and always want to come back and ride better.”
“This week was quite crazy for me. After winning the speed on Wednesday, I just had to keep a clear head and clear mind. I never looked at the paper to see where I stood and didn’t want to see how many faults I had behind me. You take every round for what it is,” she added.
Delaney Flynn (16, Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Tacxo de la Nutria finished with the Silver medal in their first NAJYRC appearance, while Jennifer Gates (20, Seattle, Wash.) and Luftikus S secured the Bronze medal.
“I think [Esparza] built fantastic all week. He challenged the riders enough by having a few tall skinny jumps that were very careful and some lines with multiple options. I think he challenged us to a very fair degree without making it too difficult,” commented Gates. “This is my third year here and my second year doing the Young Riders. I’ve really enjoyed being here and I think this competition is always a goal.”
Flynn spoke candidly about her first experience at NAJYRC and the meaning of earning back-to-back Silver medals in the Young Rider Team competition with the Zone 3/8/9 Team, as well as in the Young Rider Individual Final.
“This was my first time here at NAJYRC and it was a very good experience for me. The team atmosphere, working together, and supporting each other was one of my favorite things about this competition,” said Flynn. “I was coming here just expecting to learn more about Young Riders and to actually medal with silvers is just amazing. I’m happy with my horse and the support that everyone has given me.”
The Gold medal duo impressed throughout the week and Simpson was in awe of their accomplishments and perseverance, stating, “Five clear rounds, that’s you know, crazy. When you sit in the stands and you watch previous years, you always think about how you can get five clear rounds.”
“After winning the speed she felt great. I felt quite solid going into the rest of the week. Team day is always my favorite. Even though we were on a combined team, I still loved it and the support we gave each other. Coming into today, everyone kept asking me why I was so quiet and I just was trying to zen and be calm.”
The duo have been working on their connection and communication for years, as Why Not is the only horse that Simpson has brought to NAJYRC in each of her four appearances.
“I think she wanted this just as bad as I did. It still hasn’t sunken in yet. I was crying and my mom was crying. This has always been a dream of mine and always something that I’ve wanted, to win double Gold,” she smiled. “For this dream to come true after coming here four times with the same horse and everything; I just really feel like it all came together.”
“I do want to thank everyone that is involved in my success. The grooms, the vets, and everyone who is involved with Nini, also on my side, my family and my friends who have been so supportive this week. I want to thank each of the sponsors of this event. Without their support we wouldn’t be able to compete on teams at such a young age and have this incredible experience.”
Allyn Mann of Adequan®, the title sponsor of the event, spoke about the deeply rooted purpose of their sponsorship, which is a major component in the continued importance and history of the annual event.
“I want to thank everyone for participating and to the parents for supporting their children here. We’re just a piece of the puzzle in the overall success of this event and I’m honored to be able to support this amazing competition. We saw three of the Olympic disciplines competing this week,” he said. “I love to see the perseverance of each of you. There are no guarantees when you get here of how it’s going to go. People deal with more adversity than others, but it shows what they’re all made of, and it’s just a pleasure to be here.”
Nicholas Hansen and Ritter Benno Take Young Rider Freestyle to Earn Three Gold Medals
Nicholas Hansen (21, Catawissa, Pa.) and Ritter Benno swept the Gold medal podium this week in the USDF North American Junior & Young Rider Dressage Championships in each of the three classes offered to Young Riders. First, Hansen earned Team Gold alongside his fellow Region 1 riders, before continuing his brilliant consistency in the FEI Young Rider Individual Test and the Young Rider Freestyle. The duo earned a 72.125% to secure the victory ahead of Rebekah Mingari (20, Crestwood, Ky.) of Region 2 aboard Elzarma TF, who collected the Silver medal. Emily Ferguson (20, Winnipeg, Man.) representing the combined team of Ontario/Manitoba/Alberta and Wrazzmatazz received the Bronze medal for their score of 68.295%.
Hansen and Ritter Benno have dominated the competition this week, as the pair did not earn a score lower than 70% for their efforts and have been working towards a strong performance in their last appearance at NAJYRC. Hansen was still shocked with the results, making their conclusion to competition even more bittersweet.
“This is something I certainly didn’t expect to happen. You know, the horse works its heart out. I worked as hard as I could and rode as diligently as I could. It’s really amazing to see your hard work over the course of the past few years pay off,” noted Hansen.
As the pair took to the ring, the notorious Star Wars theme song played through the speakers. Hansen, who is a fan of the storied series, wanted to use something creative for his choreography and musical accompaniment, explaining that as the test continues, the music slowly transitions from the older scores of the Star Wars franchise, to newer versions, ending with the most recent edition.
“I thought it would be something cool to play with. I’ve always really liked a lot of the scores from Star Wars itself and the way we put it together is that at the entrance of the freestyle that is the original music and then we work through the rest,” discussed Hansen. “I always try to ride to music you can hum along to.”
“The part of the test that I’m the most happy with was the final extension to the halt. Out of the corner, he just kind of took me to the centerline. I didn’t need to tell him to go. He just knew what we were doing and took me right to the halt at X,” detailed Hansen, when speaking of his favorite part of the test.
Mingari and Elzarma TF also surpassed their own personal expectations of a final podium finish, as the young mare, at only seven years of age, only recently began contesting Prix St. Georges. Their music, which is a mixture of compositions previously used by the mare’s dam, Allure S, in Large Tour competition, received great marks from the judging panel.
“I had a really awesome ride today and my mare put her heart out there for me. The music is actually her mother’s [Allure S]. We tweaked everything to fit her routine a bit more and she did an incredible job,” said Mingari. “The music fits her very well and it was overall just a great experience.”
“The pirouettes and the tempi changes were very good. We went down the centerline and she gave me five perfect three tempis in a straight line and I was really proud of her for that,” she added.
Ferguson and Wrazzmatazz have only been partnered together since this past February and the pair has made tremendous improvements in just a few short months before arriving at NAJYRC.
“I thought our half passes were great. He’s a very dynamic horse and we’re able to increase the level of difficulty by making the angle a bit steeper and he really showed those well today in the ring,” she said. “We’ve accomplished so much in such a short time. It’s been a very fun journey for us.”
The pair rode to a compilation of One Republic music, which Ferguson says fits the tempo and style of Wrazzmatazz perfectly. She commented, “I love the canter music, especially because it really suits my horse.”
Upchurch and Greystoke Take Gold in FEI Junior Rider Individual Test
Jenna Upchurch (17, Chesterfield, Mo.) and Greystoke, a flashy dapple grey gelding, rode to a class high 70.632% in the FEI Junior Individual Test at the USDF North American Junior & Young Rider Dressage Championships. Upchurch, who stood atop the Gold medal podium for the first time this week, accepted the Gold medal with poise and grace, having bested a competitive class.
Vanessa Creech-Terauds (16, Caistor Centre, Ont.) and Fleur de Lis L were awarded with the Silver medal for their score of 70.184%, while Carlos Maldonado Lara (17, Guadalajara, Mexico) and Massimo, the only representatives in the dressage discipline from their home nation of Mexico, received the Bronze medal with a final score of 69.974%.The FEI Junior Rider Individual Test is the only class of all disciplines hosted so far this week that has seen each participating country represented on the podium.
Upchurch and Greystoke only began working together this past December and have solidified a strong relationship to this point. Upchurch defined herself as a dressage enthusiast who loves the challenge, preciseness, and accuracy of the sport.
“Winning Gold, that’s something you dream about the minute you find out about these championships,” she said. “It was huge for me and it’s always been a dream of mine, so this is wonderful. I really like the challenge of dressage. That’s why I was drawn to it.”
Upchurch has bounced around the disciplines, riding in the hunter/jumpers and also competing in the Arabian pleasure world before transitioning full time to the sport of dressage. The commute for Upchurch is a long one, as she drives over two hours to her home base each week to train.
“This has been an interesting transition going from the hunter/jumpers to the Arabian circuit to open dressage. Last year I was lucky enough to lease a horse and that was a great experience,” she added. “I felt like he was very balanced and correct in our test today and I’m so pleased with the result.”
Vanessa Creech-Terauds aboard Fleur de Lis L narrowly missed the Gold medal as the final rider the class for the afternoon, scoring just four-tenths off the winning ride.
“I was so pleased with her today and I felt like she gave me her all in the ring. It was a great feeling to earn that score and I’m so happy to be here,” said Creech-Terauds. “This competition means so much to everyone and it’s an incredible experience for each of us.”
Maldonado Lara was the sole representative of Mexico in dressage competition this week. He and his mount Massimo performed beautifully and will look to improve on their results Sunday in the Junior Freestyle Test on the final day of competition at NAJYRC. Maldonado Lara also noted that he would like to motivate more members of the dressage community in Mexico to travel to the competition in 2017.
“To come here and have this huge venue and all these other disciplines was fun. To have Mexico and the United States and Canada on the podium together is kind of surreal to think about,” said Maldonado Lara. “My horse was very good today, and I want more riders from our country to come here and compete. I want to have a good team here for next year.”
Area I Team Leads CH-J* While Area V/IX Team Holds CICY2*
The USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Eventing Championships saw the leaderboard shake up after horse-and-rider combinations took to the cross-country course Saturday in both the CH-J* and CICY2* divisions. The Area I Team, composed of four riders from the state of Massachusetts, overtook the lead after strong performances by three of the team’s members. Katie Lichten (17, Hamilton, Mass.) and RF Luminati, Madeline Lichten (17, Hamilton, Mass.) and Yarrow, Erica Jarrell (16, Lincoln, Mass.) aboard Uni Sprite, as well as Cornelia Dorr (18, Manchester, Mass.) with Sir Patico MH, finished with a total team score of 146.7 to push them into the first place position heading into show jumping Monday in the CH-J*.
In the CICY2*, the Area V/IX Team rose to the occasion to take over the top spot in the division with the final phase of stadium to be completed Sunday, which medals will be presented to both the top teams and individuals. Clara Cargile (20, San Angelo, Texas) and White Indian, alongside Madeline Backus (21, Larkspur, Colo.) and P.S. Arianna, as well as Alyssa Phillips and Bliss III (20, Fort Worth, Texas) earned a total score of 183.7 to sit just five points ahead of the Area VI/VIII Team, who are in second place with a 188.8.
The Area I Team CH-J* riders finished consistently within the time allowed. Each of the members commented on the thoroughness of the course design, which made them feel confident and prepared. While three of the four members completed the track, Madeline Lichten and Yarrow accidentally jumped the CICY2* coffin obstacle, which led to their technical elimination from competition.
“The course rode really well and it was very fun. Hugo ran boldly, which I was not quite expecting, but he was super and honest,” said Dorr, regarding her ride aboard Sir Patico MH.
“I thought the beginning of the course was big and bold and that set the tone for a good ride throughout the rest of the course,” said Katie Lichten. “The course was very fair and you couldn’t take anything for granted out there. I thought my horse was just amazing. There was a little bit more pressure this year, because I think we were expected to do better.”
“The support from the team has been amazing,” said Madeline Lichten. “I felt really bad that I messed up on course today, but everyone on the team was so understanding. I jumped the 2* coffin instead of the 1* coffin, so we were eliminated.”
Jarrell, who completed the track aboard Uni Sprite, felt the benefits of team competition specifically, as she said the support throughout the course and at the finish is something she particularly enjoyed.
She commented, “You have eleven girls running at you and hugging you at the end of your course. It helps you to forget anything you may have been stressing about. I think our team is really close this year and it’s been the greatest support network.”
The Area V/IX Team clinched the top spot on the leaderboard after faults were accumulated by nearly every team on the CICY2* course. Of the three combinations, two riders feel their strengths lie in their show jumping phase, which will help them immensely looking towards the final day of competition Sunday.
“I’m just going to try and ride my best. He typically does better when I don’t mess us up, so I’m just going to give him the best ride possible,” said Cargile.
“I would say that it’s one of her best phases. She’s really a freak show jumping so I just have to hold on,” laughed Phillips.
Cargile continued to speak of the course, which she previously had the chance to see, as the pair took top honors at the CIC2* hosted at CHP earlier this summer.
“This was a similar track for us, as we ran an FEI event here in June, and I was a little bit nervous. He was an absolute super star today,” she said, as the pair’s performance have them currently leading the division individually with a total two-day score of 49.50.
Phillips and Bliss III had a strong go around the track and finished with just 13.6 time penalties to help boost the combined team’s chances of standing atop the medal podium Sunday.
“She really handled everything the way that I wanted her to. She got a little bit tired at the end, but other than that she jumped around everything great. I’m super happy with our round and that she’s feeling good and ready for tomorrow.”
Backus is a Colorado native who returned back to the state after being based on the East Coast for the past year. She piloted P.S. Arianna to an overall score of 60.8, as 11 penalties were administered for breaking a frangible pin on course.
“It’s great to compete at home again. I think it all rode very nicely and rode very well. Coming from Area IX, we’re a small area and I don’t always have the privilege of being on a team, so it’s been great this year to have a team,” she said. “We’ve done a great job to this point and we’ll continue that all the way through the weekend.”
Annick Niemuller (17, Goodwood, Ont.) and FE Akari currently lead the CH-J* division after producing a double clear cross-country round to sit on their dressage score of 43.50. Lee Camiolo (16, Louisville, Ky.) and Cahaaron V.E. are in second place with a score of 45.00, while Carmen Holmes-Smith (18, Chase, B.C.) and Spartacus round out the top three individuals with a score of 45.90 heading into Sunday’s competition.
Cargile and White Indian will hold the lead in the CICY2* division with an overall score of 49.59, while Shelby Brost (18, Red Deer, Alta.) and Crimson follow just behind the leaders on a score of 50.20. Elena Hengel (20, Woodland, Minn.) and Zipp round out the current top three standings with a score of 52.30 seconds.
Nicholas Hansen and Ritter Benno (SusanJStickle.com)
Nicholas Hansen and Ritter Benno Take Gold in FEI Young Rider Individual Test; Ontario Team Leads CH-J* Heading into Cross-Country Phase
Parker, Colo. – The Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC) continued on at The Colorado Horse Park (CHP) welcoming the third day of championships for athletes competing in the show jumping, dressage, and eventing disciplines.
The Mexico North Junior Team captured a significant feat in the USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Show Jumping Championships Junior Team competition, as the winner’s podium welcomed the only team represented by four male riders, who accepted their Gold medals in front of a roaring crowd. Nicholas Hansen of Region 1 and mount Ritter Benno secured another mark above 70% this week, receiving a 72.502% from the judging panel to take the USDF North American Junior & Young Rider Dressage Championships Young Rider Individual Gold medal. The Ontario Team will test the James Atkinson-designed cross-country track Sunday morning, as they look to maintain their lead over the remaining seven teams competing in the USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Eventing Championships CH-J*.
Mexico North Junior Team Captures Gold Medal in Junior Team Show Jumping Competition
The four gentlemen representing the Mexico North Junior Team in the USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Show Jumping Championships Junior Team competition finished with a total of 16 faults in the Nations Cup-formatted class to earn victory, as Carlos Hank Guerrerio (16, Mexico City, Mexico) aboard Santos, Antonio Abascal Secchi (15, Veracruz, Mexico) with Continio 4, Cristobol Collado (18, Mexico City, Mexico) and Corin, alongside Yago Alvarez Del Castillo (16, Guadalajara, Mexico) with Coloredo 2, stood atop the medal podium overlooking the International Ring, beaming with joy. The Mexico North Junior Team Chef d’Equipe Maurcio Guerra accompanied the team as they made their way to the podium.
The Zone 10 Team, under the watchful eye of Chef d’Equipe Morley Abey, featured Hunter Siebel (17, Woodside, Calif.) and AD Vangelys, Dalan Laughlin (17, Carmel, Calif.) with Babiole, Sarah Baz (17, Los Gatos, Calif.) aboard Abadan, and Sydney Hutchins (18, Westlake Village, Calif.) with Zorlando, who secured the Silver medal totaling 28 faults. The Zone 2/9 Team of Megan Hilton (18, Seattle, Wash.) and Washington, Lilly Higgins (18, Summit, N.J.) with Zinnia, Lucy Matz (18, Coatesville, Pa.) and Bailey VI, led by dual Chef d’Equipes Cara Anthony and Ralph Caristo, captured the Bronze medal and finished with 32 total faults.
While the age and experience level of each team member is varied on the Mexico North Junior Team, the group united together to achieve a common goal, as they were determined to reach the medal podium once again. The Mexico North Junior Team secured the Bronze medal in team competition at the 2015 Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North at The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.
“I know that when I walked the course it wasn’t going to be easy,” said Abascal Secchi. “I wanted to go clean, and unfortunately I didn’t, but I think our expectations were the same as the result. We always wanted to win and we did.”
The course added elements of technicality that tested each rider’s ability to navigate a large track built with multiple combinations and a series of airy square oxers, as well as an open water obstacle.
“I was a little bit nervous, but I expected to complete two clear rounds. We had a technical problem in the second round, but we had a good result as a team. I’m so happy to be here,” added Alvarez Del Castillo, who encountered an equipment malfunction, as a rein snapped in the second round, forcing him to retire early aboard Coloredo 2.
While no teams in the Junior Team phase of competition finished without faults, the Mexico North Junior Team secured a class best result of 16 total faults. The strong riding of Carlos Hank Guerrerio and Santos helped propel the team to the podium. The duo completed two clear rounds in team format after collecting a win in the Junior Individual First Round Qualifier Thursday afternoon.
The Mexico North Junior Team accepts the Gold medal in the USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Championships Junior Team competition with the Zone 10 Team and Zone 2/9 Team, alongside Katie Patrick, Director of Sport for the USHJA; Bill Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of USEF; Phillip Rozon, President of the FEI Ground Jury; Michael Stone, President of The Colorado Horse Park; and
Allyn Mann of Adequan®.
“It’s always really important to finish well here. I was on the team that earned Bronze here last year and we were looking to improve on that,” commented Guerrerio. “Also, Mexico hasn’t won a Gold medal in a couple of years so I was pleased with the result today.”
“I’m really happy to have my teammates here and we all did a good job to win this Gold medal,” said Collado, the oldest member of the team. “This was a great experience and we’re proud to be here.”
Nicholas Hansen and Ritter Benno Take Gold in FEI Young Rider Individual Test
Nicholas Hansen (21, Catawissa, Pa.) of Region 1 has had a spectacular week at CHP, piloting his mount Ritter Benno to the two highest scores seen so far this week in the USDF North American Junior & Young Rider Dressage Championships Young Rider classes. The pair earned a 72.502% in the Young Rider Individual Test to take the gold medal, while Rachel Robinson (21, Orlando, Fla.) of Region 3 guided Indira to a Silver-medal finish, receiving an overall score of 68.921%. Hometown competitors Lexy Donaldson (18, Littleton, Colo.) of Region 5 and Power Play rounded out the top-three finishers, collecting the Bronze medal with a score of 68.053%.
Hansen and Ritter Benno have taken the week by storm, first anchoring Region 1 in the FEI Young Rider Team Test, in which they earned the Gold medal, as well as rocketing to the top of the leaderboard in the FEI Young Rider Individual Test. The 2001 Westphalian gelding has proved to be worth his own weight in gold this week, helping Hansen to achieve his dream of standing atop the podium at the NAJYRC.
“It honestly hasn’t really sunk in yet. For us to be at the very top for the second time this week, it just doesn’t feel real. It’s something that I think I can speak on behalf of almost all riders that are here; this is something that takes so much work,” commented Hansen. “I just can’t thank everyone enough who has helped me get here but I also can’t thank the horse enough.”
“If he were a human, he would give the best hugs,” smiled Hansen, when describing the personality and traits of Ritter Benno. “Honestly, he’s the happiest horse who always tries 100% every single day and never gives up. It’s a pleasure and an honor to be able to ride him.”
The pair have had a tumultuous go over the past four years, as Ritter Benno was given a poor diagnosis on his potential return to top competition after sustaining a serious injury. Hansen, not willing to give up on his dreams, rehabilitated Ritter Benno, navigating him back through the ranks of dressage and ultimately guiding him to their two Gold medals this week.
“Being able to put him slowly back into work, have him actually feel better than before he went lame, and get here after being told that your horse probably won’t be able to work again is something that is amazing,” he explained. “It honestly is. I would like to thank the vets who did what they did to get the horse to where he is now. My horse, in particular, has such a big heart and is such a hard worker. He’s just such a happy horse.”
The pair excelled in their trot work, scoring above the expectations of Hansen, although he anticipated improvement as it is what the pair have been focusing on in the months leading up to the event. He commented, “My favorite part of the ride today was the trot work. It’s something we’ve really been working on over the last couple of months and it felt really great to be able to sit the trot and have it be so adjustable.”
The three riders discussed the different mentality needed to switch from a team competition atmosphere back to an individual one, as they now turn their focus to the final class of the week in the Young Rider Freestyle.
“I was really happy with my canter work today, especially the one tempis because we hit all of the counts,” said Donaldson. “I went into both tests knowing that I had to just try my best, because I knew that ‘Player’ was behind me and I wanted whatever happened to be successful. He tried his heart out.”
Robinson, who earned her first medal of the week in the FEI Young Rider Individual Test aboard Indira, found herself overjoyed with emotion at the conclusion of their test, which she noted was the best of their career together.
“This test today was most likely the best test I’ve ever had in my entire life. I actually came out crying, which never happens for a good reason,” she laughed. “It was pretty incredible. Her canter work was just super on point to the aids. She was engaged and beautiful. It was definitely the best ride we’ve had together.”
Ontario Team Leads CH-J* Heading into Cross-Country Phase
A team of riders from Ontario lead the charge on the second day of competition in the USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Eventing Championships CH-J*, as the second phase of cross-country is set to begin Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. Alisa Morrison (17, Belle River, Ont.) and Princess Sophia, Emma Johnston (18, Uxbridge, Ont.) aboard FE Coconut Kiss, Annick Niemuller (17, Goodwood, Ont.) with FE Akari, and Alexis Murray (18, Barrie, Ont.) with My Principle make up the team representing their home nation of Canada and currently sit on a combined score of 137.0.
The Area VI Team holds second-place position with an overall score of 139.6 and is represented by Delaney Vaden (14, Nevada City, Calif.) and Redrox Jazzman, Kesley Holmes (17, Malibu, Calif.) and NZB The Chosen One, Mia Farley (16, San Clemente, Calif.) with Fernhill Fine Diamond, and Megan Traynham (16, Arbuckle, Calif.) piloting Lord Lombardi. Following closely behind with an overall score of 141.3, the Area IV Team of Lily Geelan (17, Independence, Minn.) and Luksor, Emma Fettig (18, Lake Geneva, Minn.) aboard Spanning The Globe, Ellis Rold (16, Delano, Minn.) and Fernhill Spring Lightly and Makenna Rold (16, Delano, Minn.) with Fernhill Imperial will look to move up the leaderboard after their cross-country performances.
“I was thrilled with Coco today. This is her first time at Young Riders with a ring of this atmosphere and she was absolutely incredible. She gave me 150% and I couldn’t be more proud of her today,” said Johnson, who rode FE Coconut Kiss to a score of 42.3, which currently places them in second individually.
While some members of the team are still building partnerships with their mounts this season, the entire group was thrilled with their overall result in the team portion of competition.
“I think this opportunity is incredible for future eventers,” noted Morrison. “It allows both horse and rider to get used to this atmosphere, as well as working with and on a team. It’s been great having such good teammates this year.”
The added pressure of team competition can be demanding, which is why understanding the team dynamic at an early age is incredibly beneficial to the budding careers of the competitors. Niemuller, who rode a beautiful test on FE Akari, found herself dealing with the pressures of team competition, but also balancing the focus on her own goals in the ring.
“Being on a team can be really stressful because you want everything to go right for your teammates. When you’re on a team it’s a great experience and you have a whole new network of people, but you’re not only worried about yourself anymore and how your ride is going to go. You’re now hoping for the best for the three other people around you.”
The riders discussed their initial thoughts on the cross-country track they will face Sunday and each was delighted with the design, layout, and overall appearance of the course. Murray, who will look to pilot a solid round aboard My Principle, touched on her first impressions and commented on what she thinks will be the deciding factor for competing teams.
“The course looks great and I’m looking forward to getting out there. It’s well built and I think that there are a lot of spaces to make up time or get ahead, which I think will be the separation for teams,” she added.
The Ontario/Alberta Team hold the lead heading into the USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Eventing Championships CICY2*, with a total score of 153.2. The Area III/IV Team sits in second place with a total score of 156.0, while the Area V/IX Team is in third place with a score of 159.1.
The CH-J* competitors will head out on the course beginning at 8:00 a.m., while the CICY2* riders are set to follow.
Carlos Guerrerio (Mexico North) and Santos (Sportfot)
Parker, Colo. – The first medals for team show jumping were presented at the Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC) hosted at The Colorado Horse Park (CHP), as riders participating on the combined Zone 4/7 Team secured victory in the USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Show Jumping Championships Young Rider Team competition. Adjacent to the show jumping featured in the International Ring, riders representing Region 3 rose to the top of USDF North American Junior & Young Rider Dressage Championships FEI Junior Team Test competition, hoisting Gold medals in the Olson Ring.
Carlos Guerrerio competing for the Mexico North team, sealed a strong victory in the USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Show Jumping Championships Junior First Round Individual Qualifier aboard Santos, while Elena Hengel of Area III piloted Zipp to first place in individual competition following dressage competition on the first day of the USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Eventing Championships CIC2*.
Gold Medals Awarded to Zone 4/7 Team as They Take the Top Podium in Young Rider Team Show Jumping Competition
A strong team of riders combined to represent both Zone 4 and Zone 7, catapulted themselves to the top of the leaderboard, taking top honors in the USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Show Jumping Championships Young Rider Team competition. The Zone 4/7 Team of Hannah Donald (18, Highland Village, Texas), Alexandra Ozmy (18, Coppell, Texas), Nicole Peterson (20, Dallas, Texas) and Sophie Simpson (18, Wellington, Fla.) finished the two round competition with zero faults to secure the victory ahead of the team representing Zone 3/8/9, who concluded competition with four faults and featured riders Delaney Flynn (16, Scottsdale, Ariz.), Jennifer Gates (20, Seattle, Wash.), and Christina Firestone (21, Upperville, Va.).
The Bronze medal team of Zone 10 saw riders Mackenzie Drazan (21, Woodside, Calif.), Hannah Heidegger (19, Chatsworth, Calif.), Chandler Meadows (20, Newport Beach, Calif.) and Uma O’Neill (21, Santa Cruz, Calif.) earn a third-place finish with a combined total of 12 faults.
The Zone 4/7 Team, led by dual Chefs d’Equipe Kim Land and Matt Cyphert, finished with zero faults around the Manuel Esparza (MEX)-designed track, as Peterson, Ozymy, and Simpson each completed with a double-clear effort in both portions of competition. Donald and Hector were eliminated, but as the single lowest score is dropped, Zone 4/7 stayed within striking distance of the win. The pressure was placed on Simpson, who earned a Gold medal in the Junior team competition last year, as she and Why Not were the final combination on course for the Zone 4/7 Team.
“Why Not felt really good today. She felt great yesterday too and I wanted to take it one jump at a time. She felt a little tired towards the end of the course so I had to give her that, but I’m hoping for a great week,” said Simpson. “It was a nice track and coming into today, I wanted to focus on jumping two solid clear rounds and hope for the best.”
Most of the competitors composing the Zone 4/7 Team are veterans of NAJYRC competition, having competed as a Junior or Young Rider in previous years. Ozymy, who guided Curtis 57 to a double-clear effort around the track, commented on her appreciation for the event and the valuable experience team competition provides.
“My favorite part of coming to this competition is getting to compete with a team. In this sport, you don’t usually get the chance to compete with a team and really root for each other, so that’s the coolest part. Today, to be able to do this with a team of people, is just incredible,” said Ozymy.
“I had a great team behind me and it’s awesome to have them as teammates because they really held it together this week. It ended up being okay because of the great support behind me,” added Douglas.
Peterson and Fast Flo have been gaining valuable experience over the past year, as the pair contested the $1 Million Grand Prix during the winter circuit in Thermal, Calif., as well as completed their first Longines FEI World Cup Qualifier this past spring. Commenting on their growing partnership, Peterson said, “We didn’t really get along at first and I was getting jumped off a lot, but she’s really turned out to be a very special horse.”
“I want to thank all of the sponsors of this event. I don’t think that many Young Riders and people our age get to jump in competitions with teams. To get that experience at a young age, at a venue like this is really important, so I want to thank the sponsors for this opportunity,” added Simpson.
Region 3 Captures Gold in USDF North American Junior & Young Rider Dressage Championship FEI Junior Team Test
Four riders hailing from Region 3 secured their place atop the winner’s podium in the USDF North American Junior & Young Rider Dressage Championships FEI Junior Team Test with an average score of 197.298 to best the Region 4 team, who completed the competition with a final score of 194.729. A combined team of riders from Region 1 and Region 6 earned the Bronze medal, finishing the day with a score of 194.298.
The Region 3 Team, guided by Chef d’Equipe Sue Bender, featured riders Juliet Hess (17, Atlanta, Ga.) aboard Diano, Emily Hewitt (18, Atlanta, Ga.) and Whats Up De La Ferme Rose, Helena Marie Milazzo (17, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) with Baccus, and Marline Syribeys (17, Atlanta, Ga.) aboard Hollywood.
“Region 3 is a very special region because we’ve all been close for a while. Even before we came here, we knew each other and were friendly with each other. That made us want to do well even more,” said Hess, who piloted Diano to a team high score of 67.162%.
Teammates Emily Hewitt and Helena Marie Milazzo were overwhelmed with emotion when they received the final word to confirm where the foursome finished in competition, and both described the importance of the day, as one they’ll always remember.
“Winning gold was a shock and I wasn’t really expecting it. Everyone on the team held true to what they were supposed to do today and it was a team effort,” commented Hewitt.
“These ladies made this win so special,” added Milazzo. “I was flooded with emotions; that’s for sure. I couldn’t have asked for a better team and I’m really thankful that I get to ride with these ladies.”
While Syribeys did not have the day she was expecting aboard Hollywood, she triumphed on with a positive attitude and demeanor, aptly describing her experience at the competition and the benefit it holds when creating and maintaining relationships within their discipline.
“When you’re able to compete in an environment that you don’t feel like you’re competing against each other, but that you’re competing together is so much fun,” she said. “It gives this horse show such a different feel than any other show.”
Each of the riders commented on their individual tests, as well as the improvements they felt they had made on the first day of competition for junior dressage competitors.
“I think today was a really solid ride for me. I’m learning to ride the edge of the power with him and that is an improvement for us. It was a really special day,” noted Hess.
“His energy level today was a lot better than it usually is and I felt like he was much more expressive,” commented Milazzo. “I think NAJYRC is such a fantastic opportunity. You can come here and prove to yourself that you can achieve certain things that you may not have originally thought. I didn’t think that I would be doing something like this if you had asked me a few years ago and being able to compete in this type of environment is something so important and special.”
The Region 3 Juniors won the Gold medal with a total score of 197.298:
Juliet Hess (17, Atlanta, Ga.) and Diano 67.162%
Emily Hewitt (18, Atlanta, Ga.) and Whats Up De La Ferme Rose 65.595%
Helena Marie Milazzo (17, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) and Baccus 64.541%
Marline Syribeys (17, Atlanta, Ga.) and Hollywood EL
The Region 4 Juniors earned the Silver medal with a total score of 194.792:
Cara Fragomeni (17, Maple Grove, Minn.) and Aragon 62.432%
Jenna Upchurch (17, Chesterfield, Mo.) and Greystoke 67.919%
Bianca Schmidt (15, Edina, Minn.) and Octavian’s O’Neill EL
Madison Peer (17, Derby, Vt.) and Stella Luna 64.378%
The Bronze medal was awarded to Region 1/6 Juniors with a total score of 194.298:
Kayla Kadlubek (16, Fairfax Station, Va.) and Freewill 60.865%
Allison Nemeth (14, Flemington, N.J.) and Dafoe 67.703%
Cameron Wyman (17, Gig Harbor, Wash.) and Thys 65.730
Carlos Guerrerio and Santos Claim Victory in USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Show Jumping Championships Junior Individual First Round Qualifier
Carlos Guerrerio of Mexico City, Mexico, who is competing for the Mexico North team, piloted Santos, a 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding, to top honors in the USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Show Jumping Championship Junior Individual First Round Qualifier, with a score of 33.196 seconds in the fault converted format of the class.
Guerrerio’s teammate Antonio Abascal Secchi of Veracruz, Mexico and Continio 4 earned second place with a total score of 34.719, while Lucy Matz of Coatesville, Pa., representing Zone 2, secured third place with a final score of 34.978 aboard Bailey VI.
“I discussed a plan with my trainer when we walked the course and we didn’t want to go all out, but with the format being faults converted, you have to go quickly because if you have one down you take yourself out of placing,” explained Guerrerio. “We wanted to stay with a good pace, not too fast, but also trace the tight turns and I rode all of the strides forward.”
This is the second year that Guerrerio has represented Mexico North at the NAJYRC, as he debuted last year at the competition in 2015 at The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. This season, Guerrerio has been focused on gaining experience with Santos, who is a relatively new ride, and hopes their experience in Europe earlier this season will translate into top finishes throughout the week.
“My trainer rode him at WEF and then I started riding him in June. We had him over in Europe earlier this season and we did some of the shows over there with good results,” he stated. “We just got back to the U.S. last week so I’m hoping that we do well in the remainder of competition.”
“I think this is a very important competition for all of the Junior riders in North America. Last year we took bronze on Mexico North and I’m hoping that we can improve on that this year. We’re hoping for a good result tomorrow in the team competition,” added Guerrerio.
Elena Hengel Sits in the Lead aboard Zipp in the USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Championships CIC 2* Division While Team Canada Holds Top Team Position
Elena Hengel of Area IV and Zipp sit atop the leaderboard for the individual portion of competition in the USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Eventing Championships CIC2* division with a score of 42.70. Hengel nearly outdid herself, riding Say I Do, who is participating in the team portion of competition for the combined Area III/IV Team to a score of 46.0. Alyssa Phillips and Bliss III, who are competing on the Area V/IX Team, rounded out the top three individuals, with a score of 48.80.
“They were both incredible,” said Hengel. “Donovan was second in the ring this morning and he was really calm and was able to have a nice, consistent test. Zipp was awesome – he is always great in the dressage and I felt that he was really on today. I am really proud of both of them.”
The Canadian team, featuring riders from Alberta and Ontario, are currently in first place in team competition with an overall score of 153.2. Riders Shelby Brost, April Simmonds, and Jamie Kellock compose the team of riders, while Brost and Crimson scored a team best 50.2 to help secure the team’s first place position.
“Crim felt great today. She gave it her all. We’ve been training really hard these last few weeks, putting some finishing touches on and she brought all of that to the ring,” commented Bost. “I really don’t think I could have gotten more from her in that test. She was foot perfect.”
“I initially wasn’t on the team because I’m from Alberta and we didn’t have a CIC2* team, but the girls allowed me on their team and I’m very grateful for that,” she explained. “We’re all very good friends and the team experience is unlike any other and I think that’s why people come to Young Riders.”
The USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Eventing Championships continues Saturday featuring the CCI1* dressage phase of competition before riders from both the CIC2* and CCI1* will contest the cross-country track designed by James Atkinson on Saturday, July 30.
Sophie Simpson and Why Not Victorious in Young Rider First Round Individual Qualifier
Parker, Colo. – The 2016 Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North saw the USDF North American Junior & Young Rider Dressage Championships Young Rider Team medals awarded Wednesday at The Colorado Horse Park (CHP), as three teams received the first round of medals presented during the weeklong competition. The Region 1 Young Riders took to the top podium, earning the Gold medal, while the combined team from Canada, composed of riders from Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta, took the Silver medal. The team of three individuals representing Region 4/5/7 for the U.S. received the Bronze medal.
The Young Rider division saw the Gold and Silver medal positions only separated by a slim margin as the Region 1 team earned a total score of 200.605 and the combined Canadian team totaled 200.210 to end the competition. The Bronze medal team, composed of riders from Regions 4/5/7, finished with a total score of 196.421.
Nicholas Hansen of Catawissa, Pa. and his mount Ritter Benno earned the highest score of the class and anchored the Region 1 team with score of 72.263%. Hansen, who is competing at NAJYRC for the third time in his career, commented on the importance and impact of the competition, as well as how it has molded him as a rider.
“I think that this competition is invaluable. When you have an opportunity to compete against people who are riding at your level, but then have a chance to ride against people from different countries at the same time, you form bonds that you have for the rest of your life,” said Hansen. “To have the ability to say that you went to NAJYRC, and when you’re able to put that on your resume, I think that’s something not many people are able to do and it’s a huge accomplishment.”
“It’s great to be here and the connections you make with the other riders are so important. This experience is priceless,” added teammate Chambers, who piloted Urithmic to a score of 64.474%.
The Gold medal-winning team of Region 1 earned their total score of 200.605 in part to the solid and consistent riding displayed by each of the four members composing the team:
Nicholas Hansen (21, Catawissa, Pa.) and Ritter Benno 72.263%
Mallory Chambers (21, Flanders, N.J.) and Urithmic 64.474%
Elizabeth Bortuzzo (20, Annandale, N.J.) and Macao 63.868%
Lian Wolfe (21, New Hope, Pa.) and Zimba 62.026%
Canada’s combined team featuring riders from Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta, collected the Silver Medal for the Young Riders Team division with a total score of 200.210:
Alexandra Meghji (18,Toronto, ON) and Rigo 67.868%
Elexis Ortlieb (20, Leduc, AB) and Verida 66.658%
Emily Ferguson (21, Winnepeg, MB) and Wrazzmatazz 65.684%
Nachelle Forde (21, Winnepeg, MB) and File Della Caccia 62.395%
“I think the special part of this competition is that you have fun and that’s my goal,” said Ferguson. “That is what makes this show so unique. It’s about setting goals, having fun, but also having positive experiences in the ring and that’s what’s so special about this competition.”
“We really want to keep this good vibe going with good rides. I think each of us want to have a clean test and that in itself is so worth it at this competition,” commented Forde, when discussing her ride this afternoon aboard File Della Caccia and what she’s looking forward to for the remainder of the week.
The Bronze medal team combined three horse and rider combinations representing three different states including California, Kansas, and Colorado. The team featured two riders who have previously competed at NAJYRC, and one rider who is competing for the first time at the competition. Each of the three riders were proud to represent their own respective regions in a combined team setting, scoring well throughout the morning and ending the day thrilled with their podium debut.
The Bronze medal team earned a total score of 196.421 for their efforts on the first day of competition:
Codi Harrison (20, Augusta, Kan.) Katholts Bossco 67.921%
Lexy Donaldson (19, Littleton, Colo.) Power Play 67.211%
Katharine Cassidy (20, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) Welt Erbe 61.289%
“It’s been a really fun experience to now have a team and actually be able to bond with our combination region. It’s really wonderful and it’s something that we don’t have in any other aspect of the sport at this level,” explained Harrison. “It’s really helpful to and encouraging to be on a team with people who support you and want you to do well.”
Sophie Simpson and Why Not Victorious in Young Rider First Round Individual Qualifier
The USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Show Jumping Championship began Wednesday, featuring the first class of the week in the International Ring at CHP, welcoming the Young Rider First Round Individual Qualifier. The USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Championship Young Rider Team competition will being Thursday, July 28, in the International Ring at 12:00 p.m. MT.
Horse and rider combinations were able to test their skills for the first time in the main competition arena at the facility, as the class featured 23 entries. Sophie Simpson (18, Westlake, Calif.) and Why Not capitalized on their first trip around the International Ring, capturing the win with a total score of 37.72, while loftier goals lie ahead of the duo in the team and individual portion of the competition.
Christine Firestone (21, Upperville, Va.) and Arwen finished in second place behind Simpson with a score of 38.15, while Mackenzie Drazan (21, Woodside, Calif.) and Waliba VDL rounded out the top three earning a score of 38.19.
Competition at The Colorado Horse Park continues Thursday with the second day of the 2016 Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North featuring competition for each of the three disciplines. The USDF North American Junior & Young Rider Dressage Championships Junior Team competition will begin at 8:00 a.m. MT, while the USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Championship Junior Rider First Round Individual Qualifier and Young Rider Team competition will both take place in the International Ring starting at 8:30 a.m. MT. The USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Eventing Championships will commence with competition Thursday, welcoming the CIC2* dressage portion of competition.
Parker, Colorado – July 5, 2016 – With only weeks before the 2016 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships provided by Gotham North (NAJYRC) taking place at the Colorado Horse Park July 27-31, in Parker, Colorado, the Para-Equestrian Dressage Young Rider Team and Individual Championships were cancelled. Although there was a considerable number of United States athletes looking to make the trip to Colorado, following the close of the Nominate Entry, the FEI requirement of at least two National Federations represented with teams was not met in order to run the para-equestrian division of a Continental Championship. The USPEA would like to thank the NAJYRC show management, sponsors, supporters of our athletes, and show volunteers who worked hard to try and make the Para-Dressage competition happen. The NAJYRC is considered the Junior Olympics and is a 4* competition. In 2015, the U.S. Para-Dressage Team made history at the Inaugural Young Rider Para-Dressage competition when they dominated each of the three days.
Hope Hand of the USPEA commented, “We are very disappointed that we could not meet the criteria this year for many reasons beyond our control but we are thankful to the NAJYRC organizers for including us in this prestigious competition.”
Although the 2016 Para-Equestrian competition was cancelled, the Para-Dressage Young Riders look forward to participating in the NAJYRC in 2017.
The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts. The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.
The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport. This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.
Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline. From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved. From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed. The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.
In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).
For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.
Lexington, Ky. – The Organizing Committee of the 2016 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) presented by Gotham North is pleased to announce that the 2016 Championships will take place at the Colorado Horse Park, July 26-31, 2016.
This will be the fourth time the park has hosted the best Junior and Young Rider competitors from North America as they compete for prestigious Team and Individual medals. With unwavering support, Adequan will mark its sixth consecutive year as title sponsor of the event.
NAJYRC is fortunate to have dedicated sponsors supporting this event as the only FEI Championship held annually in North America, including Gotham North, U.S. Hunter Jumper Association, U.S. Dressage Federation, U.S. Eventing Association, Equine Canada, and the Federación Ecuestre Mexicana. For a full list of NAJYRC sponsors and to learn more about partnership opportunities, please visit www.youngriders.org.
Area ll’s Skyler Decker, Camilla Grover-Dodge, Amanda Beale Clement and Morgan Booth claimed the Junior Eventing Team Championship at the FEI North American Championships for Juniors and Young Riders 2015. Grover-Dodge also claimed the Individual Junior Eventing title. (FEI/Brant Gamma)
Kentucky (USA), 20 July 2015 – The 41st FEI North American Championships for Juniors and Young Riders came to a close yesterday after six hectic days of competition at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, USA.
This is the only FEI Championship held annually in North America, and the 2015 fixture, open to competitors from 14 to 21 years, offered medal opportunities in the Olympic disciplines of Jumping, Dressage and Eventing along with Endurance and Para-Dressage. A total of 222 riders were entered, and Para-Dressage joined the programme of events for the very first time.
Region 7 made it a sensational back-to-back hat-trick of wins in the Young Rider Team Dressage competition. “It was super close, so kudos to the silver medal team for really giving us a run for it!” said gold-medallist Catherine Chamberlain who, together with Lindsey Brewin and Cassidy Gallman, was also a member of last year’s winning side. Samantha Jenny completed the Region 7 side that earned a total of 199.658 to pin Region 3 into silver medal spot by a narrow margin, while Canada’s Alberta/British Columbia team took the bronze.
And Chamberlain was back on the podium for the individual prize-giving, the 2014 Young Rider Individual champion this time having to settle for silver when posting 68.711 with her relatively inexperienced 10-year-old Avesto Van Weltevreden, while team silver medallist, Natalie Pai, took the gold. Pai steered Fritz San Tino to an individual test score of 69.132 to secure victory, and the 18-year-old from Wellington, Florida said afterwards, “I honestly just came here to have a lot of fun. I’m so thrilled with how it turned out.” Individual bronze went to Quebec team member Naima Moreira Laliberte who scored 68.447 with Laliberte, and this 18-year-old rider from Montreal then came out to win Freestyle gold on Saturday, posting 71.825 to a musical score that she put together herself. “I won’t lie. I only rode it once and qualified!” she said. Hannah Bauer from Virginia, USA took Freestyle silver with Trustful on a mark of 70.000 while bronze went to Kerrigan Gluch from Michigan who posted 69.050 with Vacquero HGF.
The Junior Dressage Team title went to Canada’s Ontario foursome of Vanessa Creech-Terauds, Yanina Woywitka, Georgia Wade and Alexandra Meghji whose total of 200.92 left them less than two marks ahead of the silver medallists from Region 7. Ontario’s anchor rider, Meghji, said, “We’re so lucky to be at this amazing championship at this amazing venue with all of these other girls from across North America who share the same passion for horses that we have. For all of us winning the gold medal today is just the icing on the cake!”
Silver medallists Veronica West, Shelby Rocereto, Brianna Relucio and Mia Slaughter finished less than a mark ahead of Region 9’s Chloe Taylor, Madison Lacy, Bronwyn Cordiak and Allison Hopkins in bronze.
The top three in the Junior Individual decider all finished within less than one percent of each other, with 15-year-old Helen Claire McNulty of Region 2 posting 70.816 with Checkmate for gold. Camille Bergeron from Team British Columbia/Quebec took the silver with 70.079 riding Delfiano and bronze went to Region 9’s Chloe Taylor with Calecto V. McNulty, who finished 11th individually and fifth in the Junior Freestyle at last year’s NAJYRC, said, “It’s pretty cool to come back here and win it!” And it was pretty cool for her again on Saturday when she took Freestyle silver while Bebe Davis from Florida clinched gold with a score of 71.825. Bergeron was back on the podium again too, this time taking bronze. New Freestyle champion, Davis, said, “This is my last year of Juniors; I’m aging out this year. I’ve been working toward this moment for a very long time.”
Zone 4’s Brett Burlington, Louise Graves, Mackenzie McGehee and Sophie Simpson led from the outset to clinch the Junior Team Jumping title boosted by a total of five zero scores including double-clears from both Burlington and Simpson. They were already in command when carrying just the single time fault collected by Graves and Zavira at the end of round one, and when Graves’ double-error second time out was the discard they added nothing further to finish well ahead of Zones 5/9 who took silver with a final tally of 12 faults.
The silver medal team consisted of Annika Faught, Emma Wujek, Daisy Farish and Vivian Yowan and the bronze medal winning side of Mexico North included Alfonso Diaz, Carlos Hank Guerreiro, Fernanda Rodriguez de Haene and Juan Pablo Gaspar Albanez whose finishing total was 20 faults. This was a back-to-back double of bronze for Mexico.
Gold medallist, Simpson, said, “I think I can speak for all of us when I say that this has been a huge dream for us. Everything was aligned for us today, and we had a great day.”
Team silver medallist, Yowan, was out in front going into the individual medal decider on a score of 3.08 and she never faltered, completing all five tracks set by Irish course designer, Alan Wade, without a single rail down with Vornado vn den Hoendrik. On Saturday she added just a single time fault to take the title ahead of Mexico’s Juan Pablo Gaspar Albanez who showed great consistency all week. The 17-year-old rider joked, “This is good, but I think next year I’m going to do Juniors again. I want to have that gold medal around my neck. The first year I was 10th, and last year I was seventh, so I’m moving up!” he said. Bronze went to 17-year-old Sophie Simpson.
The Young Rider Team title went to Zones 3/5’s Kalvin Dobbs, Meredith Darst, Noel Fauntleroy and Jacob Pope. Carrying nine faults at the end of the first round they were trailing Zone 2, Zones 4/8 and Zone 10 who each registered an eight-fault scoreline at the halfway stage. But when Darst’s four faults with Quester de Virton was all that had to be added to their tally at the end of round two, Zones 3/5 came out on top on a final total of 13, while with eight to add Zone 2 had to settle for silver and with 12 more on their scoresheet Zones 4/8 took the bronze.
The Zone 2 silver medallists were Katherine Strauss, Sima Morgello , Kira Kerkorian and Lucy Deslauriers, while the Zones 4/8 bronze medallists were Kaely Tomeu, Brittni Raflowitz, Kelli Cruciotti and Victoria Colvin.
In the race for the Young Rider individual medals, 16-year-old Lucy Deslauriers threw down the gauntlet when collecting just a single time penalty on the final afternoon with her horse Hester, and that was good enough to pin Raflowitz into silver and Fauntleroy into bronze. It was desperately close between the two young ladies, only one-tenth of a point separating the pair at the end of the day but Raflowitz paying the price for two fences down in the final round.
Deslauriers, whose famous father Mario was only three years older than his daughter is today when claiming the FEI World Cup™ Jumping title with Aramis way back in 1984, was adding Young Rider gold to the silver medal she took last year. “I really didn’t think going into this that this would be the end result,” she said. “My horse jumped incredibly; he’s really a dream!”
The Junior Eventing Championship came to a dramatic conclusion yesterday with Area ll taking both team and individual gold despite a last-minute hiccup. The CH-J 1* winning side of Camilla Grover-Dodge, Morgan Booth, Amanda Beale Clement and Skyler Decker had a commanding lead going into the final Jumping phase and could afford to have five fences down and still take the title until Booth’s ride, Twizzel, was withdrawn after being held for re-inspection on Sunday morning. That changed the picture completely, giving them only a one-fence advantage as the final test got underway, but they held firm to win through ahead of Area V in silver and Area Vlll in bronze.
And Grover-Dodge led the individual rankings from the outset, steering her 19-year-old veteran, Remington, into gold medal spot when finishing on her dressage score of 38.3. Individual silver went to 15-year-old Madelynn Snoozy with Udealer while Shelby Brost and Crimson took the bronze.
Heavy rain on the eve of the cross-country phase made for wet conditions, but the course rode well. Booth can look back on her tour of the track with Twizzel, who enjoyed such a tremendous career with American star Will Coleman in his earlier years, as an experience to remember despite her later disappointment. After finishing the course Booth said she felt like she had been “riding a hurricane! It was probably the best cross-country ride of my life, so I was really happy!”
Skyler Decker put the emotion of the team success into perspective. She said that, following Booth’s withdrawal on Sunday morning, “We had a moment, and then we said, ‘Okay ladies, we have to do this for Morgan. Let’s get it together and go jump some double-clear rounds!’” Both she and Grover-Dodge succeeded in doing just that, and with just one mistake from Clement their final score of 148.0 was good enough to clinch it. Area V’s silver medal winning score was 157.4, posted by Margaret Stocker, Caroline Testi, Olivia Alland and Barrett Phillips. Bronze medallists Jackie Lemastus, Emily Hagan, Mary Peabody and Hope Walden from Area Vlll posted 161.9. Grover-Dodge said, “I’m so excited. I was just so happy for everyone. Everyone worked so hard, so it’s just the best feeling.”
In the Young Riders CCIYR 2*, Area lll’s Diane Portwood and Cinerescent claimed the top step of the podium ahead of silver medallist Area lll’s Nicole Doolittle with Tops in silver and Area Vlll’s Paige Pence with Class Action in bronze. “I’m so happy with Leila (Cinerescent),” said Portwood. “I’m super happy with her cross-country, that’s both our best phase. She’s a fantastic cross-country horse.”
Yesterday’s presentation of the Para-Dressage Individual Freestyle medals marked the end of a successful debut for this discipline at these Championships. It all kicked off with Team gold going to USA’s Kate Shoemaker (Grade lll), Cambry Kaylor (Grade 1b) and Sydney Collier (Grade 1b), while Canada’s Nel Godin-Keating (Grade 1a), Sarah Cummings (Grade ll) and Madison Lawson (Grade lV) claimed the silver.
Collier is a sports personality in her own right, and winner of the FEI’s Against All Odds Award at last year’s FEI General Assembly in Azerbaijan. The 17-year-old, who has the Paralympic Games at Rio 2016 clearly in her sights, steered her trusty 12-year-old Hannoverian, Wentworth to also collect Grade 1b gold ahead of silver medallist Kaylor, but the tables were turned when it came to the Freestyle – team-mate Kaylor coming out on top with Markgard Donnewind with a strong score of 70.750 against Collier’s 66.100 in silver medal spot.
The Grade lll Individual and Freestyle gold went to another of the winning US side, Shoemaker with Pacifect M, while the 1a Championship and Freestyle gold went to Canada’s Nel Godin-Keating and Mr Itchy. And the remaining Canadians were not to be outdone either, Cummings and West Bay scooping Grade 11 Individual and Freestyle and Lawson and her horse Lawrence topping Grade lV Individual and Freestyle.
Speaking after her team’s victory, Collier said, “It’s such an honour to be here as a team, and I’m so impressed with my team-mates and incredibly happy with our horses!”
A field of 14 competed in the Endurance Championship including one Canadian and three US teams. And the USA Southeast selection of Mallory Capps, Mary Kathryn Clark, Kelsey Russell, Annie Whelan and Katie Baldino dominated the podium when taking both team and individual gold, while USA Northeast claimed team silver.
Team medals were determined by the top three highest-placed combinations and USA Southeast finished best with a cumulative time of 19:35:15 while USA Northeast registered 20:30:41. The silver medal team consisted of Hanna Weightman, India Orino, Maria Muzzio and Hunter Green. The course designed by Emmett Ross drew plenty of compliments from the competitors and 11 of the 14 starters completed.
USA Southeast’s Kelsey Russell topped the individual podium after another great ride with My Wild Irish Gold who also helped her take the 2011 individual title. The mare is about to be retired and Russell said with emotion, “I won my first ride on her, and she took me to two world championships. It’s a bond I don’t think anyone will ever take away.” The pair’s winning time was 5:43:56, while Hanna Weightman and Syrocco Rabia took individual silver in 5:46:07 and bronze went to Hope Misner with Sweete Legacy who stopped the clock on 5:52:03.