NEXT GENERATION RISE TO THE CHALLENGE AT TOUGH KENTUCKY CHAMPIONSHIPS by Louise Parkes
Lausanne (SUI), 1 August 2011 – A heat-wave and thunderstorms failed to throw the next talented generation off their stride at the FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championship which came to a thrilling conclusion at the Horse Park In Kentucky, USA yesterday. Open to riders from the USA, Bermuda, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Islands, the five-day action-packed fixture attracted 250 entries, all hoping to make their mark in the five disciplines of Dressage, Endurance, Reining, Jumping and Eventing.
US Region 5 captured Young Rider Dressage Team gold. Aylin Corapcioglu (Ruhmann), Madeleine Birch (Uceri), Catherine Chamberline (Verdicci) and Brandi Roenick (Pretty Lady) completed with a combined score of 198.104, but only pipped Canada BC/QC – Emily Fownes (Frapuccino), Mathilde Tetrault (Michelango), Anna Mylai Messier (Marzipan) and Esmee Ingham (Norseman) – by just over one point, while USA Region 8 were less than another point further adrift in bronze.
Roenick produced the highest score of the competition, 69.289, and the 16 year old from Arizona complimented her team-mates: “It’s an awesome opportunity to ride with these girls and really get to know them,” she said. Canada’s Esmee Ingham put the Canadian silver medal in context. “Since British Columbia is on the West Coast and Quebec City is so far east, for us to come together as a team having never met, and to take a medal is really incredible!” she pointed out.
Roenick had to settle for silver in the Individual Championship however when Isabelle Leibler (Watson) took gold and fellow-American Chase Hickok (Palermo) claimed the bronze. And it was Hickok who moved into silver medal position in the Freestyle in which Leibler’s flawless performance with her 14 year old Westphalian gelding earned a winning score of 74.00. “He just felt like he was right there for me… it was the most amazing feeling,” Leibler said. Mackinzie Pooley claimed the bronze with her last ride in international competition with the 20 year old Oldenburg Jonkara.
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