The Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships, presented by Gotham North, featured dressage, eventing, and show jumping competition at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colo., from July 27 to July 31. The facility hosted 175 entries representing the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Dressage Young Rider Team Competition
On Wednesday, the first day of competition, the USDF North American Junior & Young Rider Dressage Championships Young Rider Team medals were awarded to three teams. The Region 1 Young Riders took to the top podium, earning the gold medal.
Nicholas Hansen of Catawissa, Pa., and his mount Ritter Benno, earned the highest score of the class and anchored the Region 1 team. “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,” he said.
Show Jumping Young Rider Individual First Round Qualifier
The USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Show Jumping Championship began Wednesday and featured the first class of the week in the International Ring at CHP, the Young Rider First Round Individual Qualifier, with 23 entries. Sophie Simpson (18, Wellington, Fla.) and Why Not, capitalized on their first trip around the International Ring, capturing the win with a score of 37.72 seconds.
Show Jumping Young Rider Team Competition
A strong team of riders, combined to represent both Zone 4 and Zone 7 took 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 xx combined faults to secure the victory.
Dressage Junior Team Championship
Four riders hailing from Region 3 secured their place atop the winner’s podium in the Junior Team Test with an average score of 197.298. 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 percent.
Show Jumping Junior Individual First Round Qualifier
Carlos Guerrerio of Mexico City, MEX, 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.
“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,” said 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.”
Eventing CIC 2* Division, Dressage Phase
Elena Hengel of Area IV and Zipp sat atop the leaderboard for the individual portion of competition in the USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Championships CIC 2* division with a score of 42.70. Hengel also rode Say I Do to participate in the team portion of competition for the combined Area III/IV Team to a score of 46.0.
The Canadian Team, featuring riders from Alberta and Ontario, sat in first place in team competition with an overall score of 153.2 after the dressage phase.
Show Jumping Junior Team Competition
The four young men representing the Mexico North Junior Team in the 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, MEX) aboard Santos, Antonio Abascal Secchi (15, Veracruz, MEX) with Continio 4, Cristobol Collado (18, Mexico City, MEX) and Corin, and Yago Alvarez Del Castillo (16, Guadalajara, MEX) with Coloredo 2 stood atop the medal podium.
“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,” said Guerrerio. “Also, Mexico hasn’t won a gold medal in a couple of years so I was pleased with the result today.”
Dressage Young Rider Individual Test
Nicholas Hansen (21, Catawissa, Pa.) of Region 1 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. Today, the pair earned a 72.502 percent in the Young Rider Individual Test to take the gold medal.
“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,” said Hansen. “I just can’t thank everyone enough who has helped me get here, but I also can’t thank the horse enough.”
Eventing CH-J* Division, Dressage Phase
A team of riders from Ontario, Canada led the charge on the second day of competition in the USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Eventing Championships CH-J*, in advance of the cross-country phase. Alisa Morrison (17, Belle River, Ontario) and Princess Sophia, Emma Johnston (18, Uxbridge, Ontario) aboard FE Coconut Kiss, Annick Niemuller (17, Goodwood, Ontario) with FE Akari, and Alexis Murray (18, Barrie, Ontario) with My Principle made up the team.
“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 percent and I couldn’t be more proud of her today,” said Johnson, who rode FE Coconut Kiss to a score of 42.3, which placed them in second individually after the phase.
Show Jumping Young Rider Individual Final
Sophie Simpson (18, Wellington, Fla.) and Why Not forged their way through competition this week, riding five clear rounds to finish a flawless effort at The Colorado Horse Park with a second gold medal in the Young Rider Individual Final.
“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.”
Dressage Young Rider Freestyle
Nicholas Hansen and Ritter Benno swept the gold medal podium this week in the Young Rider division. The duo earned a 72.125 percent to secure the Young Rider Freestyle victory.
“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,” said Hansen, who selected the Star Wars theme song to accompany his ride.
Dressage Junior Rider Individual Test
Jenna Upchurch (17, Chesterfield, Mo.) and Greystoke, a flashy dapple grey gelding, rode to a class high 70.632 percent in the Junior Individual Test. “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.”
Eventing CH-J* and CICY2* Divisions, Cross Country Phase
The leaderboard in both the CH-J* and CICY2* divisions changed after horse and rider combinations took to the cross-country course. 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. In the CICY2*, the Area V/IX Team rose to the occasion to take over the top spot in the division in advance of the final phase of stadium.
Eventing CH-J* and CICY2* Divisions, Individual Competition
Individual and team medal ceremonies in the USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Eventing Championships were presented on Sunday to recognize the top three riders in both divisions. In the CH-J* division, Carmen Holmes-Smith (18, Chase, British Columbia) and her mount Spartacus, competed as individuals throughout the week and emerged the winners after a tie breaker that relied on her cross country time.
In the CICY2* division, Shelby Brost (18, Red Deer, Alberta) and Crimson captured the win. “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.”
Eventing CH-J* and CICY2* Divisions, Team Championships
The Area I Team, 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, won the team gold medal 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.
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.
“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,” said Phillips.
Show Jumping Junior Individual Final
Lucy Matz (16, Coatesville, Pa.) and Bailey VI, competing for Zone II, 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.
“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,” said Matz.
Dressage Junior Rider Freestyle
Jenna Upchurch (18, Chesterfield, Mo.) and Greystoke, representing Region 4, finished 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 Rider Freestyle.
“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.”
Full results: http://www.youngriders.org
About the NAJYRC
The NAJYRC began in 1974 as an eventing challenge between the United States and Canada. A dressage championship was added in 1981, and show jumping was added in 1982. The first complete Young Riders championship was held in British Columbia, Canada in 1982. The Championships were expanded to officially include a championship division for juniors in 2006.
About Colorado Horse Park
Situated on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside and the famous Rocky Mountains, The Colorado Horse Park is the largest horse park West of the Mississippi. CHP offers the opportunity to participate in, enjoy and support world-class equestrian sports. Amateurs, juniors and Olympians in all disciplines compete at CHP each year, making it one of the most influential equestrian centers in North America.
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