editor's note: It has been an amazing competition in the United States, where we have been photographing the Dressage portion of the 2006 North American Junior and Young Riders’ Championships. We have had slow internet connectivity on location here in Lexigton Virginia, and are on our way for the 10 hour drive to Lexington Kentucky, where a full week of the USEF Pony Finals begins on Wednesday. Astrid Appels of eurodressage.com has been On the Scene in Verden, Germany where the final competition of the US Short Listed Dressage Riders will decide the 2006 WEG Team. We hear Euro based American Catherine Haddad finished fifth in the Grand Prix. Verden was also the FEI Young Horse Dressage Competiton, where Ulf Moeller has done it again.
Stay tuned this week as we get caught up and bring you news and photos in depth.
Individual Gold Medals Awarded in Dressage, Eventing and Show Jumping at CN North American Junior and Young Riders’ Championships
Lexington, VA—August 6, 2006—Individual Gold Medals in dressage, eventing and show jumping were awarded to highlight a successful conclusion of the 2006 CN North American Young Riders’ Championships (NAJYRC) at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, VA.
The NAJYRC is the premier equestrian competition in North America for junior and young riders. Young equestrians come from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean Islands to vie for team and individual medals in the three Olympic equestrian disciplines of show jumping, dressage, and eventing. This year marks the first time that fully-recognized Championships for Junior riders (age 14-18) are being held along with those for Young Riders (age 16-21).
Teams from all of the disciplines filled the Anderson Coliseum floor for the final medal ceremony. The national anthem for both the U.S. and Canada was heard several times as teams stepped forward to the podium to receive their medals. The Area I & III team won the team Gold in eventing’s CCI** for Young Riders and Area IV won the team Gold in the CCI* for junior riders. Earlier in the week Canada West and Region 1 won team Gold in the Young Riders and Junior dressage competitions. Zone 1 and the combined team of Zones 2 & 5 won team Gold in the Young Riders and Junior show jumping team competitions.
The closing ceremonies began with the presentation of medals to the top dressage competitors. In addition to the individual and team awards, a Gold Medal was awarded to Young Rider Musical Freestyle winner Bobbie McKee of Phoenix, AZ, with a score of 71.1% on Jamalone. The Silver Medal was won by Amanda Harlan of Oakville, CA, earning 70.6% on Liberte, and Bronze went to Caroline Roffman of Wellington, FL, with 69.7% on Bulgari 5. The Junior Musical Freestyle competition was unbelievably close, with only three-tenths of a point separating the top three. Julie McKeen of Camden, ME, won the Gold Medal on Heslegaard's Stravinsky with a score of 71.4% Hannah Holland Shook of Charlotte, NC, won the silver Medal with a score of 71.35% on Cape Town. Earning the Bronze Medal was Amanda Stearns of Royal Palm Beach, FL, with 71.1% on Mitchell.
In eventing, Alexandra Zavoyna of Unionville, PA, jumped a fault-free show jumping round on Merloch to win the Gold Medal in the CCI** Young Rider Championship with a final score of 49.2 penalties. Also jumping clear rounds today were Silver Medalist Rebecca Barron of Monticello, FL, riding Oberon IV to a final score of 51.5 and Jessica DiGenova of Norval, Ontario, who won the Bronze Medal on Upolu with a score of 52.1.
"This is my third year to compete at Young Riders'," said Gold Medalist Alexandra Zavoyna, "but it is only the second two-star competition for both Merloch and me. I was thrilled with his dressage, and he's just a machine on cross-country, but all I could think about heading to my first jump this morning was (last year's winner) Jessica (Pye) speaking at the Opening Ceremony about doing well for her horse. I just wanted to be up on that podium for Merloch."
The Gold Medal CCI** team of Area I & III was the only team to have every member jump without any faults on cross country and show jumping. The team of Dana Widstrand of Richmond, MA, on Relentless Pursuit, Rebecca Barron of Monticello, FL, on Oberon IV, and Kate Luce of Mobile, AL, on Fox in Flight, was also the only team without a fourth member, so each team member's score counted toward the team total of 159.2 penalties. The Silver Medal went to the team from Area II, Stephanie Boyer of West Grove, PA, on Macloud, Ashley Adams of Southern Pines, NC, on Vaunted, Emilee Libby of Sussex, NJ, on Golden Malt and Alexandra Zavoyna of Unionville, PA on Merloch with a team total of 171.2. Canada's team from Ontario/Alberta won the Bronze Medal in the CCI** with riders Waylan Roberts of Port Perry, Ontario, on Pale Face, Kelly List of Bracebridge, Ontario, on Minstral, Laura Thompson of Red Deer, Alberta, on Quinn, and John Thier of Lexington, KY, on Everest with a final score of 175.0.
In the CCI* Junior Individual Championship, Gold Medal winner Katlyn McMorris of Barrington Hills, IL, had some breathing room going into show jumping with a 10-point lead. Only one rail down gave Katlyn a final penalty score of 44.7 on Clifton Peekachu. This was the second year the pair had competed at NAYRC. Clear show jumping rounds moved both silver and Bronze Medalists Jessica Rice and Caitlin Silliman up in the placings. Rice, of Kingsburg, CA, rode I'm So Brite to finish on 51.7 penalties; Silliman of Paoli, PA, moved up five places with her horse Twain, finishing with a score of 53.8.
The CCI* Junior Team Championship winner was Area IV. Riders Meaghan Marinovich of Edina, MI on Ahlerich, Callie Judy of Columbia, MO, on Kilkenny Castle, Cassidy Lundmark of Barrington Hills, IL, on What's Shakin and Katlyn McMorris of Barrington Hills, IL, on Clifton Peekachu held their lead from the start, finishing on a team score of 159.6. The team had advice for aspiring young riders hoping to qualify for the championships. "Don't give up," the girls said in unison, "We have learned so much and had so much fun meeting each other and becoming a team". The Silver Medal went to the Area VI&VIII team with a score of 168.2 and Area II won the Bronze with a score of 170.4.
The Individual Final for Young Riders' in show jumping was won by Evan Coluccio of Middleburg, VA, aboard Champigny with a total of only 0.80 faults over four days and five rounds of competition. While Coluccio, 18, is a five-time national champion, this was his first time to attend the NAYRC. The Gold Medalist said, "I have only had the stallion since December so I've been figuring out things about him. He can be nervous and quirky sometimes, but he is such a good horse. He really likes the hard work. The more rounds he gets, the better he gets. I'd say this week I figured him out just in time!" Coluccio also had words of praise for chef d'equipe Sandra Ruiz, "She did a fantastic job. I'd like to say I did this for her. We need more riders from our zone to participate in this competition." The Silver Medal went to Maggie Mcalary of Amherst, NH, with a total score of 2.69 on Pedro. Natalie Johnson of Greenwich, CT, was close behind with a score of 2.71 on Crocket 16. Mcalary and Johnson were both members of the Gold Medal Young Rider show jumping team.
The Show Jumping Junior Individual Championship culminated in two exciting jump-offs before the medals could be awarded. Catie Boone of Lexington, KY, emerged victorious to win the individual Gold Medal with a cumulative total of 12 faults over the four days of competition on Naleida. Nicole Lakin of Reading, PA, and Alaska also had 12 faults, but were not able to beat Boone's blazing time over Linda Allen's difficult jump-off course, and were awarded the Silver Medal. Both Boone and Lakin were part of the Gold Medal-winning Team from Zone 2 & 5. Paris Sellon from Los Angeles, CA, who was a member of the junior Silver Medal team, won the Individual Bronze Medal with Aurora. Her cumulative score was 13 faults.
For many competitors, the NAYRC is their first experience riding on a team, as well as their first time competing under the rules of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the international governing body for equestrian sport.
“These championships are so significant for many of these Young Riders who benefit from the experience on their way to someday riding for their countries in international competition,” said NAYRC event director Penny Ross. “For those whose careers culminate with this experience, it is meaningful in a very different way. We feel it is important that everyone goes home having gained a valuable experience whether they win medals or not.”
The 2006 NAJYRC is supported by its Title Sponsor, CN, and is also supported by this year’s Platinum Sponsors - Howard and Martha Simpson. Gold Medal Sponsors are the United States Equestrian Federation, Equine Canada and Zone 4.
Other sponsors for the 2006 NAJYRC include Silver Medal Sponsors Devoucoux, Rebecca Broussard, Blue Ridge Farm Center, Practical Horseman, Horsecity.com, The United States Dressage Federation, Antares, Waterjumps.us, Southeast Equine, Dressage Today, Ariat and The Mosaic Foundation; and Bronze Medal Sponsors Becker College, Dover Saddlery, Virginia Dressage Association, Stewart Title, The Jefferson Florist, Larry and Marnye Langer, Thornhill, U.S. Hunter-Jumper Association, and Der-Dau.
Blue Ribbon Sponsors include Rambo Blankets, VTO Saddlery, Mary Phelps—a Markel Equine Insurance specialist, Kelly’s Ford Equestrian Center, Beval, and Cynron Saddlery & Footwear. Other sponsors are American Horse Trials Foundation, Starr Vaughn Equestrian, Inc., Harmony Sporthorses, EMO Insurance, Flame Treating Systems, Inc., Foxden Equine, Mead Associates, North Carolina Dressage and Combined Training Association, Southern States/Triple Crown, Virginia Golf Cars and Tennessee Valley Dressage & Combined Training Association.
Additional donors include Cowboy Magic, Dermafas, Mrs. Pastures Cookies for Horses, Southern States/Triple Crown, Absorbine, Red Ridge Tack, Green Mountain Coffee, Janet Crawford, Charles Owen, Brandy, Straight Arrow, Royal Riders, Sunbelt, Intervet, Hamilton Products, Davis Boots, Cavalia, Best Shot Equine, Horse Tech, Inc., Flair Nasal Strips, Summit Dynamics, Ladysmith Chaps, Equus Entries, Shenandoah Connection, The Clothes Horse, Exhibitor Labs, Nutramax Labs, Hadfields, Fortiflex and Omega Fields.
For full results and further information on the 2006 CN North American Young Riders’ Championships, please visit www.youngriders.org.