Yowan and Deslauriers Garner Gold in Individual Jumping at NAJYRC

Jumping Junior Individual Gold medalsit Vivian Yowan and Vornado Van Den Hoendrik (SusanJStickle.com)

Davis and Moreira Laliberte Win Freestyle Medals, and Team USA Golden in Para-Dressage

Lexington, Ky. – Show jumping competition at the 2015 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) presented by Gotham North came to a close on Saturday with the awarding of the Individual medals. Riding away with Gold were Vivian Yowan in the Junior division and Lucy Deslauriers in the Young Rider division.

The USDF/Platinum Performance North American Junior and Young Rider Dressage Championships also concluded on Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park with the Dressage Freestyle competition. Bebe Davis earned the Gold medal score in the Junior division and Naima Moreira Laliberte took the top position atop the podium in the Young Riders.

Para-dressage awarded the first medals in the discipline’s inaugural year at NAJYRC with the presentation of Individual and Team medals. On Sunday the riders will vie for Freestyle medals. The final of the four disciplines competing on Saturday, eventing, completed the cross-country phase, and eventing riders will return on Sunday for their show jumping phase.

Vivian Yowan Victorious in Junior Individual Show Jumping Championship

During the USHJA North American Junior and Young Rider Show Jumping Championships at the NAJYRC, Individual show jumping riders compete over five total rounds. By the end of the final round, Vivian Yowan (17, Lexington, Ky.) had managed to complete all five courses without a single rail rolling out of the cups with Vornado Van Den Hoendrik, securing her the Junior Individual Gold medal.

Yowan, of Zone 5, crossed the timers on Saturday with one single time fault. This added with her 3.08 coefficient score from the first round gave her a final total of 4.08. Her consistency throughout the three days of competition is something that Yowan worked hard on following her first NAJYRC appearance last year.

“Last year maybe wasn’t my best year here; it was my first year, so this year I knew what it took,” Yowan said. “You have to be consistent to even medal, so coming into this, and even in today, I knew that I just had to keep being consistent to get here.”

Also showing great consistency throughout the week was Mexico’s Juan Pablo Gaspar Albanez (17, Guadalajara, Mexico). Albanez kicked off the week by winning Wednesday’s opening round, and on Saturday he rode to a final score of 8.00 to win the Silver medal.

“This is good, but I think next year I’m going to do Juniors again,” joked Albanez. “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. I hope next year to get the Gold.”

At 17 years old, Albanez will have another go at the Junior Gold next year, as will this year’s Bronze medal winner, Sophie Simpson (17, Royal Palm Beach, Fla.).

“I was close, but the luck wasn’t really in my favor today,” Simpson said. “My mare was incredible, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I’m happy standing next to good competition with a medal around my neck.”

Deslauriers Clinches Gold in Close Finish

In the Young Rider Individual Championship, the race for the Gold medal came down to less than one single time fault. Going into the fifth and final round of competition, Brittni Raflowitz (20, Palm City, Fla.) and Noel Fauntleroy (20, Manakin-Sabot, Va.) sat neck-and-neck with scores of 4.15 and 3.49, respectively. Sitting in third with a score of 8.04 was Lucy Deslauriers (16, New York, N.Y.) who had moved up from the fifth place position going into the day.

Jumping Young Rider Individual Gold medalist Lucy Deslauriers and Hester (SusanJStickle.com)
Jumping Young Rider Individual Gold medalist Lucy Deslauriers and Hester (SusanJStickle.com)

As the riders came back in reverse order of their standings, Deslauriers and her mount, Hester, delivered. They crossed the timers with just one time fault, giving them a total score of 9.04 and guaranteeing that they would finish no worse than Bronze.

After already turning in an impressive three clear rounds throughout the week, Raflowitz and Baloumina Du Ry finished the final round with five faults. Those faults positioned her nearly just one-tenth of a point behind Deslauriers, finishing on 9.15 and guaranteeing her a medal.

The 20-year-old was leading going into the final round, but she would have to settle for Bronze as two rails hit the ground, giving her a total score of 11.49. A Bronze at the NAJYRC is still an extremely impressive achievement, particularly as this year marks Fauntleroy’s first NAJYRC appearance.

“I honestly had no expectations coming into this,” Fauntleroy said. “This was my first time here so I’m just happy with yesterday, and having another clear round today was more than I could have asked, so I’m happy.”

Similarly, Raflowitz was thrilled with her and her mare’s incredible performances throughout the week that put her in the Silver position.

“My mare literally gave me everything she could today. I’m so happy with her,” Raflowitz said. “I never thought that I would jump three clean rounds this week with her. I could not have asked for any more of her.”

As for Deslauriers, the Gold medal makes the perfect addition to the Individual Silver medal she claimed last year, and she could not be happier.

“It’s really incredible. I really didn’t think going into this that this would be the end result. Especially going into this today I knew I was kind of the underdog coming back in fifth place,” Deslauriers said. “My horse jumped incredibly. He’s really a dream. He’s honestly the greatest horse that I’ve ever ridden for sure.”

Bebe Davis and Rotano Ride to Individual Junior Freestyle Gold

The top 18 Junior Individuals advanced to the Freestyle Championship on Saturday where they were judged by Brenda Minor at E, Marian Cunningham at H, Jayne Ayers at C, Anne Prain at M and Mercedes Campdera at B.

Bebe Davis (17, Wellington, Fla.) of Region 3 earned the highest Junior Freestyle score of the day with a 71.825% and secured the Gold medal.

“I had a previous [Freestyle] that I won Bronze with here in 2013. So I decided to change it,” Davis said. “I have all new music and all new choreography. I have a very difficult pattern in my canter tour. I have a half pass to the left and four changes on a 20-meter circle every seven strides. Then I have to half pass back to the right to the centerline. It went absolutely perfect today. So after that movement I was completely over the moon.”

Davis continued, “[Winning the Gold] is amazing. It’s been a long journey. 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. It’s amazing to see that my hard work has finally paid off. All of the hours and all of the long days and early mornings have led to this. I’m extremely happy.”

Helen Claire McNulty (15, Holland, Mich.) of Region 2 and Checkmate earned the Silver medal with a score of 71.725%. McNulty turned in a solid freestyle test, despite admitting to a slight change of plans part way through.

“I picked up the counter canter, and when I asked him to do the changes on the quarter line he threw in a couple one-tempis. That sort of messed up what I was going to do with it, so I sort of had to just play along. The canter work that I wanted to use would have been harder than what I did use, but that was okay. It turned out pretty good.”

The Bronze medal went to Camille Carier Bergeron (15, Mascouche, Que.) of British Columbia-Quebec. She and her mount Delfiano rode to a score of 71.375% in their freestyle test set to upbeat African-style music.

Naima Moreira Laliberte Leaves with Second 2015 NAJYRC Medal

On Friday, Naima Moreira Laliberte (18, Montreal, Que.) earned the Young Rider Individual Bronze medal, and on Saturday she returned to claim the Young Rider Freestyle Gold medal.

Laliberte and her mount, Belafonte, earned a score of 71.825% in one of their first times performing their freestyle test together in full.

“I won’t lie. I only rode it once and qualified,” Laliberte said. “I just know the music and know the patterns. That’s kind of my style – just feel the groove, practice every day, and build up. You practice a little piece here and a little piece there. It’s much easier when you put the music together yourself because you know when you make the cues and the timing. You know your music.”

The judges for the Young Rider class were Gabriel Armando at E, Lorraine Stubbs at H, Janet Foy at C, Ulrike Nivelle at M, and Cesar Torrente at B.

The ground jury scored the combination of Hannah Bauer (16, Purcellville, Va.) and Trustful with a 70.000%, securing them the Silver medal.

“I’m super excited,” Bauer said. “My freestyle went pretty well. There are some things where you think, ‘oh if I just could have fixed that,’ but I’m super happy. My horse was in a good mood; I was in a good mood. I think I’m most happy with that feeling of it.”

The Bronze medal went to Kerrigan Gluch (Mt. Pleasant, Mich.) who earned a score of 69.050% on Vacquero HGF.

Team USA Gets the Gold in Inaugural NAJYRC Para-Dressage Championship

While the Team Para-Dressage championship took place on Thursday, the winners received both their Team and Individual medals on Saturday after also completing their Individual tests. Topping the podium in team competition was Team USA, with Team Canada taking the Silver.

The U.S. team finished with a team cumulative score of 380.191. The team is composed of:

Kate Shoemaker (Glendale, Ariz.) on Pacifec M – Grade III
Cambry Kaylor (Lehi, Utah) on Markgard Donnewind – Grade 1b
Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) on Wentworth – Grade 1b

Beyond just being happy with their performances, all members of Team USA were excited to see para-dressage added to the disciplines offered at the NAJYRC.

“I’m just really excited to be here, since it’s the first time ever that [para-dressage] has been in the NAJYRC,” Kaylor said. “I’m just honored to be here, and we’re thrilled.”

Kaylor finished with the Individual Silver medal in the Grade 1b competition, earning scores of 62.65% in the Team test and 61.509% in the Individual test for a 124.16 total. Earning the Individual Gold medal in the 1b competition was Kaylor’s teammate, Collier. Collier received scores of 67.65% and 67.112% for a cumulative total of 134.76.

“I feel ecstatic about it,” Collier said. “I was here [at the Kentucky Horse Park] about three years ago with Jonathan Wentz, doing our demonstration of our freestyle, and it just really feels like Jonathan is right here with is. It’s such an honor to be here as a team, and I’m so impressed with my teammates and incredibly happy with our horses.”

The third member of Team USA, Shoemaker, received the Individual Gold in Grade III with scores of 66.02% and 68.079% for a 134.099 total.

“I just really wanted to thank the whole team that helped get us here,” Shoemaker said. “USEF, USET, Adequan; a whole bunch of people who are unnamed that made everything behind the scenes happen. It was huge, and we couldn’t have done it without the amazing sponsors, and not to mention our individual help from our families and everybody that helped with our horses.”

Riding for Team Canada are:

Nel Godin-Keating (Dartmouth, N.S.) on Mr. Itchy – Grade 1a
Sarah Cummings (Cranbrook, B.C.) on West Bay – Grade II
Madison Lawson (North Bay, Ont.) on Lawrence – Grade IV

Godin-Keating and Mr. Itchy earned the Gold in Grade 1a on scores of 63.315% and 61.902%, Cummings captured Gold in Grade II with West Bay on scores of 61.397% and 61.464%, and Lawson claimed the Gold in Grade IV on Lawrence, earning scores of 66.815% and 65.298%.

Para-dressage riders return on Sunday to complete their Freestyle tests and vie for Freestyle medals.

Area II Retains Team Lead after Cross-Country at 2015 USEA North American Junior and Young Rider Eventing Championship

Heavy rains the previous night made for wet conditions but did not cause problems. Riders uniformly said the course was fair, well designed and rode as they expected. In the CH-J 1* Team competition, Area II retained its lead after cross-country and will head into Sunday’s stadium phase with a total score of 129.0

The Area II team roster is:

Camilla Grover-Dodge (16, Lancaster, Pa.) on Remington XXV – 38.3
Morgan Booth (18, Charlottesville, Va.) on Twizzel – 41.8
Amanda Beale Clement (16, Phoenixville, Pa.) on Peter Pan – 48.9
Skyler Decker (16, Mount Airy, Md.) on Inoui Van Bost – 56.8

Camilla Grover-Dodge and Remington XXV (Brant Gamma Photos)
Camilla Grover-Dodge and Remington XXV (Brant Gamma Photos)

Grover-Dodge, who had only competed at the CCI1* level once before, said her horse, Remi, was “really good. He was a little excited. He felt so great, so rideable to everything. All the combinations and everything rode really well.”

Booth said that when she left the start box aboard Twizzel, Will Coleman’s former four-star mount, “I felt like I was riding a hurricane because he thought he was at Rolex. I just let him go through the first three because I knew that those were just galloping fences. He was amazing. It was probably the cross-country ride of my life, so I was really happy.”

In the Individual competition, Grover-Dodge and Remington XXV lead the field, followed by teammate Booth and Twizzel. Sitting is third is Madison Temkin (14, Sonoma, Calif.) of Area VI and Kingslee with a score of 45.2.

In the CCIYR2* division, Diane Portwood (19, Marrieta, Ga.) of Area III moved into the Individual lead Saturday on Cinerescent a double clear cross-country round, maintaining their dressage score of 60.5. Nicole Doolittle (17, Reddick, Fla.) and Tops, who led the after dressage, slipped into second individually after 20.8 time faults on cross-country, for a total of 68.5. Paige Pence (16, Louisville, Ky.) and Class Action, with 18.4 time faults, stand in third (78.0 total).

The show jumping phase of eventing takes place tomorrow, the final day of the competition, followed by the medal ceremonies.

For full results or to learn more about the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships, presented by Gotham North, please visit www.youngriders.org.

From Phelps Media Group, Inc./USEF

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