Lexington, KY - Thursday's Gold-medal Canadian Reining Team members showed their muscle once again in Saturday's Individual competition at the Adequan® FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North. They put in a dominant effort and swept the medal positions in the final and most thrilling competition so far - the SmartPak Reining Individual Championship, held today at the Kentucky Horse Park indoor arena.
Riding the momentum created from the strong showing in the first round with Team Alberta, Nancy Pratch aboard Rooster Kicker secured the Gold and top podium position with a score of 215, only 1 ½ points ahead of the next competitor.
Seated positions in the order-of-go are a luxury for high-placed riders from the Team competition and in draw number 11, the 2009 Individual Gold medalist Darcy Wilson on Miss Cielo Chex clinched Individual Silver with a 213.5 score after carefully watching and calculating the highly-competitive field that competed before her. Rounding out the podium and winning the Bronze was Vanessa Strotman riding Listos May Day Hobby with a score of 212.5.
The total dominance in the Individual medals is yet another sign of the strong and growing number of key competitors coming out of Canada in FEI reining. Supporters since the beginning, all four hard-working, dedicated Canadian teams, led by chef d'equipe Wendy Dyer arrived in Kentucky determined to return to the Great North with hardware in hand.
It's not just in the Young Riders that Canada is a force to be reckoned with for international reining competition. FEI riders from Canada have a long and highly-decorated resume of FEI reining wins and are one of the top nations to watch at the upcoming 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, to be held beginning September 25 at the very same arena at the Kentucky Horse Park.
With strong developing programs and a solid set of Young Riders teams, the future continues looks bright for the next generation of Canadian high-performance riders.
Just out of the medals, U.S. teams held their own in the placings with fourth place going to Thea Arnold riding PKM Imjusttwosmart and a score of 211.5, just one point back from the podium. The Americans will undoubtedly begin plans for redemption in 2011, and reining fans at next year's North American Young Riders Reining Championship will be the likely benefactor as the fierce, but friendly, rivalry between the U.S. and Canada will once again be on full display.
For more information about the 2010 SmartPak Reining Championship and the Adequan® FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, visit www.youngriders.org.
Photo: Nancy Pratch of St. Paul, Alberta, aboard Rooster Kicker, takes Individual Gold in the SmartPak Reining Championship at the 2010 Adequan FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Chamionships. Photo by Waltenberry.