Sutherlin, OR — The KWPN-NA awarded $9,000 to three young riders in 2011 through the Willy Arts Grant, sponsored by Little Creek Farm. Madeleine Birch, Salt Lake City, UT, Sadie Lahey, Eagle, ID, and Catherine Chamberlain from Chandler, AZ were each awarded $3,000 to help make their equestrian dreams a reality. The riders were able to use the funds to pay for lessons, clinics and competition expenses. All three riders parlayed their grants into successful show seasons, with each rider earning a gold medal at the 2011 North American Junior and Young Riders Championships (NAJYRC). The Willy Arts Grant is an annual scholarship award and is intended to aid in the development of KWPN-NA horse/rider combinations competing in young rider divisions.
Madeleine Birch, 20, is a full-time student at the University of Utah, majoring in Biology, with the goal of attending medical school in 2014. In the meantime, Birch rides her horse Uoeri, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding (Houston x Idorette by Kaiserstern) that was bred by H. H. Pieters. The duo made their Prix St. Georges debut this year at shows in Denver, CO and Nampa, ID and qualified for the NAJYRC, where they claimed a Team Gold Medal and finished 8th individually. “He’s pretty easy going, as long as you can make him think it’s his idea,” Birch said of Uoeri. “He’s easy to travel with and likes to show.” Birch’s aspirations include another trip to the NAJYRC in 2012 and then onto the Brentina Cup.
Lexington, KY – The competitive action jumped into high gear on Day Two of the 2011 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, which got underway at the Kentucky Horse Park yesterday and will continue through Sunday.
In the Rolex Stadium, it was a quest for Individual Gold for dressage competitors, then, later in the day the show jumpers took the course for phase one of the Individual qualifiers. Across the compound, three-day eventers took part in the dressage portion of their eventing championship, and in the Alltech Arena, the Team Reining finals wrapped up the day.
In all, 34 Young Riders vied in the USDF/Platinum Performance Dressage Championship Individual tests today, but it was Region 8 representative Isabelle Leibler aboard Watson 108 who earned the Gold. Team Gold medalist Brandi Roenick (Region 5) and Pretty Lady took Silver while Chase Hickok (Region 1) and Palermo captured the Bronze.
Kelli McLean Newton and Luciano (Region 7) sat at the top of the leader board for a good part of the day with a 64.526, but soon after the lunch break the scores just kept growing higher. But it was Leibler, a Team Bronze medalist, who turned in the winning performance that scored a 67.289.
In the end, less than half a point separated the top three riders.