Tag Archives: FEI North American Youth Championships

Future Stars Make Their Mark

Winners of the Children Team Jumping, USA zones 8/9/10 – Dianette and Lilah Nakatani, Douwe and Jordan Gibbs, Elba 41 and Reagan Tomb. FEI/Georgie Hammond – Phelps Media Group.

The FEI North American Youth Championships (NAYC) 2021, formerly the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, continues to evolve. After a year hiatus, the prestigious event returned with a new location in Traverse City, MI as well as a new category in the Pre-Junior Championship. But the abundance of talent remained the same.

The USA’s Zone 4 — made up of riders hailing from the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and South Carolina — dominated jumping competition, claiming three of the four team Championships, while the American west coast shined brightest in dressage.


The Children’s category of Jumping made its debut when this event was last held in 2019, and the division has grown, with Mexico sending forward two teams for the first time. Mexico North and Mexico South would take up two-thirds of the team podium, but both would fall just short of USA’s Zone 8/9/10.

The pressure was on anchor rider Reagan Tomb (Elba), who needed to produce a clear effort to secure a victory. Tomb delivered, clinching the gold medal for teammates Lilah Nakatani (Dianett), Leila Diab (Unang de Kergane), and Jordan Gibbs (Douwe) on a collective score of just four faults.

“It was kind of a lot of pressure, because I didn’t know how I was going to win. After the last jump, I sat up super tall, and everyone started clapping and were all really happy.” — Reagan Tomb (Team USA)

That left Mexico South and Mexico North — both on eight faults — to jump-off for the remaining medals, and Mexico South ultimately earned silver, with Mexico North bronze. However, Mexico would get its turn atop the podium in individual competition, with Jimena Carrillo Watanabe (First Time LS) of Mexico North emerging victorious from another jump-off.

At the conclusion of individual competition, six riders remarkably sat on perfect “0” scores. Carrilo Watanabe proved fastest in the tiebreaker, and all three individual medalists completed the competition without touching a pole. Lenir Alejandro Perez Facusse (Di Vadine) of Honduras received the silver medal, with Carrillo Watanabe’s teammate Alessandro Neumann Priess (Corlinus) finishing as the individual bronze medalist.


The addition of the Pre-Junior category to jumping competition further enhanced a gradual pipeline of rider progression in the sport in North America. With fences set up to 1.30m, the Pre-Junior division bridges the gap between Children’s (1.25m) and Junior (1.40m) competition.

The USA’s Zone 4 rallied for a come-from-behind victory, with teammates Mia Albelo (Cocominka EST), Caia Watridge (Iselle van Orshof), Trinity Beitler (Coconut), and Lawson Whitaker (Brownie and Cream) each producing at least one clear round for the team. The squad completed the final round of team competition without a single fault, which would comfortably propel them ahead of Mexico North and USA Zone 10, despite Mexico North solidly holding an early lead.

“All of them contributed to the team score, and it was very tight going into the last round today, and they pulled it out with three clears,” said Zone 4 Chef d’Equipe Kim Land. “It was really a huge team effort, and we’re so excited for them and the future of the sport because of them.”

“I’m very blessed and very honored to have this gold medal and to be on this team,” Whitaker added. “It’s really a dream come true.”

Zone 4’s Mia Albelo added a second gold medal with the individual title. Having won the opening qualifying competition, the 16-year-old rider entered the individual final on a flawless score. Albelo delivered under the utmost pressure, jumping yet another clear round aboard her 10-year-old mare Cocominka EST to clinch gold. Zone 10’s Caroline Mawhinney (Stella Levista) received the silver medal, with Xaviera Maurer Burch (Con Rouet) of Mexico North bronze.

“I’m so lucky to have come back today in the top spot,” Albelo said. “Going through those timers, keeping all the rails up was pretty emotional.”


Zone 4 jump-started a winning streak with another gold medal-worthy performance in Junior competition. The group of Hailey Royce (Sonic Boom), Ansgar Holtgers Jr. (Elina), Reid Arani (Ziezo), and Zayna Rizvi (Excellent) finished the team final impressively, with two rails in hand.

Called the “Zone 4 Dream Team” by Chef d’Equipe Kim Land, Holtgers, Jr. and Rizvi produced critical double-clear efforts for their teammates, which put Zone 4 on a total score of 10.15. Canada jumped onto the podium with the silver medal (20.62), while USA Zone 5/6 earned team bronze (27.48).

“I went last, so I had a lot of pressure on me, but I had faith in him, and he was so good, at every single jump,” Rizvi said of her mount.

“Words can’t describe this feeling,” Holtgers, Jr. added.

Proving the merit of Land’s words, Rizvi and Holtgers, Jr. went on to claim the top two individual medals of the competition. Rizvi and Excellent jumped to their second gold medal, finishing the competition on just 2.46 penalties. Holtgers, Jr. (Elina) took the silver, with Canada’s Lea Rucker (Evita) bronze.

A year hiatus did not change much for Region 4, who rode to a second consecutive title in the Junior team Dressage competition. With just three riders, the Region 4 squad did not have the luxury of a drop score, but it wasn’t needed, with sisters Kylee (Honor) and Lexie (Montagny von der Heide) Kment and Ella Fruchterman nearly five percentage points better than runners-up Region 7. USA Region 3 rounded out the podium.

“I am elated to see these girls up there, because it is the second year in a row that we’ve been atop the podium at NAYC,” said Nancy Gorton, who, alongside Ann Sushko, served as Chef d’Equipe for Region 4. “Region 4 has always been the underdog — we’re the flyover states — but I think that what we’re seeing is the dedication to the sport that’s been passed down over generations.”

The Kment sisters again shared the podium in the NAYC Junior Individual Championship, with Lexie and Kylee finishing first and second, respectively. The sisters were separated by just one percentage point. Kat Fuqua, who competed in both dressage and jumping at NAYC, received the bronze medal.

In her NAYC debut, Lexie Kment rode to a third gold medal by week’s end, topping the Junior Freestyle Championship with a score of 74.775 percent. Julia McDonald (Lehndorff van de Vogelzang) of Region 2 received the silver medal, while Fuqua claimed her third bronze medal of the week aboard her own Dreamgirl.

Young Rider

Zone 4 emphatically capped its week with a third gold medal in Young Rider competition. Erika Jacobson (Everton), Riley Delbecq (Julesraimus de Brisy), Violet Lindemann Barnett (Alanine de Vains), and Ashley Vogel (Bellissimo Z) brought their team from fourth to first with just a single rail and a time fault against them over the course of the two rounds of the team final.

Zone 2 would make it close, and while anchor rider Mimi Gochman (Celina BH) delivered with a double-clear performance, it wasn’t quite enough to overtake the lead. Zone 2 settled for silver, with Canada bronze.

“From the [opening] speed and today, through each round, they just got better and better,” Zone 4 Chef d’Equipe Kim Land said. “They moved up. They were fourth, then they were second, and then they won gold. I’m incredibly proud of them for their accomplishment.”

After riding to individual gold in the Junior championship two years ago, Gochman claimed her second individual title at NAYC, this time in the Young Rider Individual Championship aboard Celina BH. Gochman led from start to finish, completing the competition on a perfect “0” score. Mexico’s Daniel Rihan Goyeneche (Chousa Sho Z) and USA Zone 4’s Violet Lindemann Barnett (Alanine de Vains) completed the podium with individual silver and bronze, respectively.

“Jumping this many rounds is tough on any day, and it’s really important this week,” Gochman said. “I was super thrilled to continue to jump clear throughout the whole week.”

Region 7 received the gold medal in the Young Rider Dressage Team Championship with a dominant performance. Erin Nichols (Handsome Rob AR), Miki Yang (Donavan), Katherine Mathews (Soliére), and Christian Simonson (Zeaball Diawind) were so impressive, the team’s drop score was higher than two of the three scores on Region 1’s silver medal-winning squad.

It was much closer for the remaining medals, with less than two percentage points separating silver and bronze. USA Region 2 just edged Region 4, who received the bronze medal.

Simonson was also the individual champion — and the only rider to score above 70 percent in the competition. In the individual final, Simonson also rode to a personal best score of 75.353 percent. The 19-year-old has had the ride on Christina Morgan’s 9-year-old gelding for two years.

“When I was on the podium, I was thinking about the fact that the last time I rode the individual test at a NAYC, I was disqualified,” said Simonson, who trains with U.S. Olympian Adrienne Lyle. “Thinking about that and the fact that I’m here now with a different horse, one that we’ve brought up and shown step by step and I’ve been a part of the whole process — to be able to redeem myself in that individual test was an amazing feeling.”

Simonson’s successful week concluded with an exclamation point, as he rode to one last gold medal in the Young Rider Freestyle Championship. Simonson and Zeaball Diawind continued to bring their scores up, this time receiving a 78.935 percent from the judges — setting a new record for the highest score awarded in the FEI Young Rider Freestyle Test. The judge at B even awarded this pair an 81.375 percent.  Region 1’s Allison Nemeth (Tiko) received the silver medal, finishing less than two-tenths of a percentage point ahead of bronze medallist Tillie Jones (Qi Gong TF) of Region 4.

View full results from NAYC here.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager, Media Relations and Media Operations
+41 78 750 61 46

Team Silver for Vade Mecum Interagro in North American Youth Championships

Vade Mecum Interagro and Annika Tedlund (Photo courtesy of Annika Tedlund)

North Salem, New York (September 7, 2018) – Winning Team Silver on a silver horse was a dream come true for Annika Tedlund: in her first ever Junior/Young Rider Championship effort, Tedlund and the 17-year-old Lusitano gelding put in strong scores at the USDF North American Young Rider Dressage Team Championship, held during the 2018 Adequan/FEI North American Youth Championships in North Salem, New York. With scores through 67%+, Tedlund was the second highest scoring of her four team members for the combined team of US Regions 4 and 7.

Tedlund began her relationship with Vade Mecum three years prior. After trying him on her birthday in Wellington, she stated that he was different from any horse he had ridden before and he was purchased by her mother, Linnea Tedlund, for Annika to campaign with the goal of qualifying for and competing in the Juniors and Young Riders. Bred and trained by Interagro Lusitanos in Itapira, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Vade Mecum Interagro is by Noblissimo Interagro and out of Pecunia Interagro. Noblissimo Interagro is by the celebrated Lusitano stallion Xique-Xique (CI) and maintains a legacy of successful sport competition and highly decorated offspring. With wins at the FEI level in Brazil and the US, Vade Mecum was no exception to this legacy.

Tedlund, with the help of her trainer Alison Sader Larson, began the long road of perfecting the Young Rider test and earning qualifying scores. Working on Vade’s fitness, as well as Tedlund’s execution, the pair progressed quickly and Tedlund notes that Vade’s exceptional temperament, willingness, and ride ability were major factors in their success, including their own personal best score of 67.029%. “Vade felt amazing at the show, and every day he got better and better,” said Tedlund. “Getting Team Silver was incredibly exciting, and Vade was really excited to be in the arena but stayed focus on his job! After two days we were ranked in the top 18 so we were able to do our Freestyle, which I wasn’t expecting as it was my first time at the Championships. We had a few little mistakes, but I’m thrilled with Vade and our results. He really gave it all he had the whole week.”

While Vade is all business in the ring, Tedlund also noted his wonderful personality in the barn as well as under saddle. “Every single time I hop on him just gets better,” she said. “He tries so hard to do everything right and loves to show off. He’s very supple, and the lateral movements come easy for him, which made it easy for us to up the degree of difficulty in our Freestyle. He also collects very well and his piaffe is exceptional. His intelligence makes training him very easy for me; we do an exercise once. He never acts up at the show, likes to go hacking even after being inside all winter, and is a total goof around the barn. He just loves being with people and enjoys grooming time. He loves to be pampered. Vade also gets very attached to his rider, and I think this contributes to him trying so hard in training and at shows.”

Naturally Tedlund’s goals with him are to move up the levels, with the ultimate goal of competing in the Grand Prix, but she also thinks another trip to the Young Rider Championships isn’t out of the question: “[The Championships] were an amazing experience. Being part of a team was something I really enjoyed and would like to do again. I loved being with riders my age that were competing at the same level as me, and who were all so skilled and talented. The horses were amazing to watch, and riding in front of 5 judges was really a unique experience. It definitely left me craving for more, and I’d also like to show in Wellington. I can’t thank my trainer enough for her guidance; her time and effort helped us come so far and reach my goals. With her help I achieved beyond what I ever could have expected at our first big show. I’m very lucky to have such a great horse, a great trainer, and supportive parents.”

With over 40 years of experience breeding, training, and exporting Lusitanos, Interagro’s mission is to preserve the exceptional bloodlines and qualities of the breed while showcasing their talent, beauty, and intelligence, especially in the FEI and sport horse disciplines. Established in 1975 by Dr. Paulo Gavião Gonzaga, Interagro’s initial vision was to preserve and restore the original foundational Lusitano bloodlines and lineages, many of which were in danger of extinction following the Portuguese Revolution of 1974. Through meticulous breeding, exceptional care, and world-class training, the Interagro Lusitanos of today continue that legacy as they compete across four continents.

For more information on Interagro Lusitanos, Interagro’s horses for sale, or the Lusitano bloodlines, visit Interagro’s website at www.lusitano-interagro.com.

Media contact:
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
Holly Johnson
+1 954 205 7992

USET Foundation Awards Maxine Beard Trophy to Daisy Farish at NAYC

Daisy Farish and Great White. Photo: SEL Photography.

Gladstone, N.J. – Aug. 13, 2018 – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation is excited to announce this year’s recipient of the coveted Maxine Beard Show Jumping Developing Rider Award is Daisy Farish of Versailles, Kentucky. At just 17 years old, the accomplished athlete will be adding this prestigious award to her growing list of achievements.

The presentation of the Maxine Beard Show Jumping Developing Rider Award will take place at the FEI North American Youth Championships (NAYC) each year.

Farish earned the award after being the highest placing United States Young Rider at the 2018 NAYC in the Individual Show Jumping Final, held this year from July 31 to August 5 at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, New York.

With the ongoing mission to support and further the level of America’s developing horses and athletes, the USET Foundation Maxine Beard Show Jumping Developing Rider Award was established to elevate athletes’ opportunities on their journey to equestrian excellence.

“It was really a dream come true,” Farish explained. “I have competed at NAYC for three years in the Junior division, so this was my first year doing the Young Riders division. It was such a nice show at Old Salem Farm. They did a really great job with it. It is been a goal of mine to be successful there for a very long time, so winning meant a lot to me.”

Trained by Andre Dignelli and the team at Heritage Farm, Farish rode her 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Great White, to earn a spot on the podium wearing the gold medal after her incredible performances over the course of a few days.

“I have had Bruce for almost three years now. I got him when he was a 7-year-old. We have really grown together and started jumping bigger classes together. It is a really cool feeling to progress at the same rate. He has been so amazing and just couldn’t have been better at Young Riders,” Farish said.

The top three podium spots were selected to go to compete in the Young Rider’s Nation’s Cup in Belgium in September, so Farish will be venturing to Europe shortly and is hoping for further success with the United States Young Rider Teams.

“I now get to take him to Belgium in about one month. I am really excited for that,” Farish said. “As far as the rest of the year, we will continue focusing on getting experience in some of the bigger classes. He is so brave and scopey, so he has been a really great horse for me to jump the bigger classes on.”

As the winner of this immense honor, Farish will also receive a trip to a FEI Nations Cup Show Jumping competition. This will give the young athlete a look at a major international competition including the chance to observe operations in the horse show office, stabling area, veterinary inspections and schooling rings. Farish will also walk and discuss each course and have the chance to strategize with U.S. team riders and the chef d’Equipe.

Farish acknowledged how having the support of the USET Foundation has benefited her as she continues on her path toward competing for the United States at the highest level of the sport.

“The USET Foundation is really great. I have competed at USET Finals many times and I know that they are very involved in that, as well,” Farish noted. “I know everyone, especially the USET Foundation, is trying to focus on developing young riders. It is really cool to be a part of that generation that they are focusing on and supporting.”

For more information on the USET Foundation, visit www.uset.org.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386

Star Power in Abundance at North American Youth Championships

Olivia Stephenson and Chaccana. (FEI/SELPhotography)

Team dominance and three double-gold medalists highlight rebranded youth championships

Rebranded with a new title after more than four decades as the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, the 2018 FEI North American Youth Championships brought together some of the brightest young stars in the sports of show jumping and dressage. With numerous zones and regions represented, the United States dominated the podium, but a new division proved that Canada has an incredibly strong group of youth competitors coming up through the ranks.


For the first time in its 44-year history, a children’s division of show jumping was added to the Championships, showcasing riders in the 12-14 age bracket. Capitalizing on this new opportunity was Team Canada, consisting of Charlotte McLaughlin (Bronan), Stella Chernoff (Filia van de Bisschop), Eric Krawitt (Wellington), and Olivia Stephenson (Chaccana). The quartet was positively dominant on the day, finishing on a perfect score of 0 to win the inaugural USHJA North American Child Rider Show Jumping Team Championship at the FEI North American Youth Championships. The silver medal went to the combined team of Zones 3, 4, 5 and 7 on 12 faults, while Mexico earned the bronze with a score of 20.

Both Charlotte McLaughlin, 14, and Olivia Stephenson, 12, put in double clear efforts for their team.

“This has been a goal of mine since I started riding when I was six,” said McLaughlin, Ottawa, ON. “I’m so proud to be doing this at such a young age. I never thought it would happen so soon, but I have to thank my amazing coaches and [chef d’equipe Beth Underhill] so much for this opportunity. It’s been amazing.”

The individual title came down to a three-horse jump-off, as Canadians Stephenson and McLaughlin, along with Guatemala’s Valentina Arenas Saravia, finished on perfect scores of 0 after three rounds of jumping. Ultimately, Stephenson prevailed over a final shortened track to claim the USHJA North American Child Rider Show Jumping Individual Championship. McLaughlin was silver, and Arenas Saravia received the bronze medal.


It was redemption for Charlise Casas (Rembrandt Blue), Alexandra Pielet (Helene VE), from Zone 5 in the USHJA North American Junior Show Jumping Team Championship. Casas and Pielet, both 17, finished out of the medals when jumping for their zone in 2017. Alongside team newcomers Paige Matthies (Dirkie Z) and Emma Kurtz (Pippi), they went all the way to the top of the podium in 2018, claiming gold with 17.88 penalties. Mexico West received the silver medal, and Canada was bronze.

“Being on a team has always been a dream of mine, but to win gold on team with my three best friends is a dream come true.” — Alexandra Pielet (Zone 5)

Pielet earned a second gold medal when prevailing in the USHJA North American Junior Show Jumping Individual Championship. After three rounds of jumping, Pielet, who hails from Highland Park, IL, finished on just 5.36 faults. Representing Zone 4, Elli Yaeger (Waliba VDL) received the silver medal (11.80), just ahead of Puerto Rico’s bronze medalist, Claudia Villamil (Quite Close vd Smis, 12.00).

The competition was close in the quest for the USDF North American Junior Dressage Team Championships. Caroline Garren (Bell Angelo) clinched the gold medal for Region 3 with a team-high score of 68.606%. Juliette Cain (Mariska), Melanie Doughty (Fascinata), and Isabelle Braden (Dali de la Ferme Rose) joined her atop the podium; they combined for a team total of 202.787, just ahead of an even closer race for silver. Region 4 (199.362) clinched that medal, while Canada Central (199.151) earned bronze.

U.S. riders claimed the top two spots on the podium in the USDF North American Junior Dressage Individual Championships. Garren was again atop the podium, riding to a score of 70.147%. Region 4’s Bianca Schmidt (Lou Heart) was silver, and Canada’s Chase Robertson (Winsome) received the bronze medal. The two riders finished with not only identical scores (70.029%), but also the same collective marks, so the collective mark from the judge at C became the necessary tiebreaker.

Garren’s individual gold was especially rewarding, considering her winning mount is the first horse she has ever owned outright and the first horse she has brought up from a young age. Her family acquired him three years ago when the bay was a 7-year-old.

“The feeling is so amazing,” she said. “It’s been a really wonderful experience growing and learning with [Bell Angelo], so to see all those years of work payoff is really exciting.”

Robertson didn’t need a tiebreaker when she rode to top honors in the USDF North American Junior Dressage Freestyle Championship. This time, her 73.775% score put her safely at the top, while Schmidt (71.905%) received the silver medal, and Garren (71.490%) rounded out the podium with the bronze.

Young Riders

A “dream team” of sorts came together for Zone 2 in the USHJA North American Young Rider Show Jumping Team Championship. NAYC veterans Katherine Strauss (All In), Ailish Cunniffe (Baloucento), and Madison Goetzmann (Prestigious) joined event rookie Samantha Cohen (Carmen) to notch a runaway victory for gold, finishing more than 20 points ahead of the silver medalists from Zone 10. Mexico brought home the silver medal — their first Young Rider medal in 10 years.

All four riders have already competed against seniors at the international level, with Strauss and Goetzmann both having jumped in five-star competition Spruce Meadows (CAN) in the past year.

“I’m so excited to help add a gold medal to Zone 2’s long list of medals,” said Strauss, 19. “We’re all extremely grateful and proud to represent a team that’s historically been so successful. There are so many riders who rode for Zone 2 who we all look up to today, like McLain Ward, Georgina Bloomberg, Reed Kessler, and the list goes on. We’re really thrilled to be here and to have the opportunity to gain this team experience.”

Daisy Farish (Great White) was nearly perfect in the USHJA North American Young Rider Show Jumping Individual Championship. The 17-year-old representing the combined team of Zones 4 and 5, and her 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding finished on a score of four after three rounds of jumping. Cohen earned a second medal with an individual silver (5.14), while Zone 1’s McKayla Langmeier (Durosa W) was the individual bronze medalist (6.28).

The combined Dressage Young Riders Team of Quebec and Alberta was the only group consisting of just three riders, meaning the trio would not have the luxury of having a drop score. But that did nothing to stop them, as Rakeya Moussa (Davidoff v.h. Trichelhof), Beatrice Boucher (Delfiano), and Camille Carier Bergeron (Baldacci) claimed the gold medal for Canada with a team total of 210.145. Region 4/7 finished with the silver medal and Region 1 earned bronze.

Zone 2 was kept off the podium despite team member Callie Jones (Don Philippo) delivering the day’s highest score, 71.823. But the 20-year-old only had to wait a day to get her podium moment. She won the USDF North American Young Rider Individual Championship with a score of 72.20%. Boucher, earning her second medal of the Championships, was the silver medalist, and Kayla Kadlubek (Perfect Step) of Region 1 was bronze. Anna Weniger (Don Derrick) moved up the podium to top the USDF North American Young Rider Dressage Freestyle Championship after contributing to a team bronze medal for Region 1. Her score of 74.225% catapulted her to the top of the leaderboard, just ahead of Boucher (72.800%) and Jones (72.775%).

“I have been fortunate enough to ride on some young rider teams the last few years, but winning an individual medal is way more than I ever imagined,” Weniger said.

Full results here.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 46